The Trojans bounced back after a scary first quarter deficit to easily handle the Utah Utes on the road, in front of a sold out crowd. They finished strong for a 38-28 win, the final score not a reflection of just how easily USC put this one away once they got the ball rolling. USC displayed a side of themselves we hadn’t really yet seen going into this game, a testament to the fact that this team is still very much so a BCS contender.
Here’s what we learned.
5. Matt Barkley Is Every Bit the QB We Thought He Was
After tasting the dirt way too many times and throwing five picks through USC’s first four games, Matt Barkley’s clout and esteem were in question. He wasn’t playing well at all and even when USC won, he did not look much like a QB worthy of the Heisman trophy or the first pick in the upcoming NFL draft. If USC’s first two possessions that yielded fumbles and touchdowns for Utah due to bad snaps are taken away, USC beat down Utah, 38-14. After that awful 14-0 start, Barkley and the offense settled down and just played their game. Barkley completed 77% of his passes (23 for 30 on the night) for 303 yards and three touchdowns. Lane Kiffin opened up the playbook after shrugging off the scare, and it really allowed Barkley to flourish. With the accuracy of a surgeon, Barkley lasered balls to his targets, including an 83-yard bomb to Marqise Lee down the middle of the field. Said reception was a career long for both guys, and it was the nail in the coffin for USC’s offense resurgence. Often times throughout his career we have seen Barkley completely fade in the face of adversity, but this time he stepped up and led with confidence. If he continues to play with that kind of leadership and finesse, USC just might win out the season.