After an easy home opener, USC found more of a challenge in the Syracuse Orange at Metlife Stadium in New York. The game featured some good, some bad, and an ugly thunderstorm that delayed play for over an hour. So what does the Trojan performance against Syracuse mean for this week’s Stanford game?
Against Syracuse: Robert Woods took control of the game with 10 catches for 93 yards, two touchdowns and the key plays — a 31-yard punt return and a 75-yard reverse — that set up two key second half touchdowns. This time, it was Marquise Lee who quietly came away with 11 catches for 66 yards and three touchdowns.
What this means for Stanford: This will be a theme, so might as well get used to it — pick your poison. Woods and Lee were once again the center pieces of Matt Barkley’s passing attack. What’s more, they did damage outside of the passing game through specials teams and on the ground, using their deadly speed to get around the defense on a reverse each. Stanford gave up 358 yards passing to Duke so it is unlikely Matt Barkley’s rather pedestrian 180 yards against the Orange will be a trend, though his six touchdowns might be. Five of those six scores were caught by either Woods or Lee, so the Syracuse game reinforced what we all already knew: The two Trojan receivers are more than most teams can handle.