In 2004, his junior year, Leinart won the Heisman Trophy becoming the 6th Southern Cal player to win the coveted award. He had a better season statistically in '05 and was invited back to the Downtown Athletic Club along with teammate Reggie Bush and Vince Young of Texas. Being a past winner he had a vote and place his vote for Reggie Bush - the eventual winner.
He is USC's all-time leader in career touchdown passes and completion percentage. Matt Leinart's college record was 37–2 as a starter and he finished his career with 99 touchdowns passes. He lead the Trojans to the 2004 BCS National Championship beating Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl. His #11 USC jersey has been retired.