PASADENA, California (Ticker) -- Southern California vs. UCLA has been a series of streaks. Carson Palmer kept it that way, and then some.
Palmer continued his late push for the Heisman Trophy by throwing four touchdown passes as the seventh-ranked Trojans cruised to a 52-21 victory over the No. 24 Bruins.
USC (9-2, 7-1 Pac-10) won its fourth straight games in the series, recording its highest point total against the Bruins since a 52-0 win in 1930. The only time the Trojans scored more in the storied rivalry was a 76-0 decision in the first meeting in 1929.
"We played lights-out football across the board," said USC coach Pete Carroll, who is 13-3 in his current job after a 2-5 start. "The defense got the ball, and our offense did their job in terms of controlling the tempo of the game."
UCLA had won the eight previous meetings which came after a four-game unbeaten run by the Trojans. But it was all USC this Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
The Trojans won their sixth straight game overall to keep alive their slim Pac-10 Conference title hopes. USC can win the title if Washington State, which fell to Washington, loses to UCLA in two weeks.
The Trojans will conclude their regular season against Notre Dame next week in a game that could decide an at-large BCS berth.
"This gives us a great shot at the BCS. We should have no trouble playing two great games in a row when we meet Notre Dame in a week," Palmer said.
UCLA (7-4, 4-3) turned the ball over five times and had a pair of early mistakes to fall behind 21-0 after one quarter.
"Today we played a tough football game," UCLA coach Bob Toledo said. "We made way too many mistakes. We fumbled on the first play and they scored right away."
Tab Perry fumbled the opening kickoff and Palmer responded quickly with a 34-yard TD pass to Kareem Kelly.
Palmer was even better on the Trojans' next possession, completing all five passes for 85 yards on a drive that ended with his 51-yard TD pass to Keary Colbert less than four minutes into the game.
The Bruins soon tried to punt, but the snap sailed over the head of Nate Fiske. USC took over at the UCLA 23, leading to a one-yard TD run by Justin Vargas that made it 21-0.
Palmer added a two-yard TD pass to Malaefou MacKenzie in the second quarter and a three-yarder to Gregg Guenther late in the third.
Palmer completed 19-of-32 passes for 254 yards and was not intercepted. In his last five games, Palmer has thrown for 1,581 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Colbert caught four passes for 84 yards and ended any chance of a UCLA comeback when he ran 34 yards for a score early in the third quarter to make it 35-7.
USC took its biggest lead at 52-7 when Hershel Dennis scored on a 38-yard run in the fourth quarter. Ryan Killeen kicked a 27-yard field goal five minutes earlier.
USC reached 40 points for the fifth time this season, the most since doing it five times in 1979.
"The confidence we have in this offense is enormous," Palmer said. "Before the game we were all talking about putting up 50. I'm jealous of all the young guys who get to play for coach Carroll for four years.
The Bruins had their three-game winning streak snapped and will conclude their regular season against Washington State on December 7.
UCLA used three freshman quarterbacks, including Drew Olson, who completed 8-of-17 passes for 121 yards.
Freshman Tyler Ebell, who had rushed for 100 yards or more in his last six games, was held to 56 yards on 12 carries.
Manuel White of the Bruins scored on a seven-yard run in the second quarter and caught a 10-yard TD pass from Matt Moore in the fourth. John Sciarra threw a 14-yard TD pass to Mercedes Lewis with 54 seconds left.