After having a bit of their momentum tempered at the end of the first quarter, USC bounced back to not only extend their lead, but to set two new records in the process.
USC’s first score of the quarter came when Matt Barkley hit Robert Woods for a 29-yard TD pass, and in doing so, he became USC and the Pac-12’s new leader in TD passes, with 100. Shortly after that, Barkley returned the favor to Woods, who helped him set the record, by helping Woods set one of his own: Barkley again found him for a touchdown, this time from 17 yards out, and it gave Woods his 217th reception, good enough to now lead USC in career catches.
Both Trojans received congratulatory messages on the video board in the Coliseum, from former Trojans and famous athletes alike, such as Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin.
When the Trojans weren’t setting records they were racking up more points and creating more headaches for Colorado. The defense routinely kept the Buffs out of the endzone and off the field, swallowing Colorado QB Jordan Webb for two sacks by LB Hayes Pullard and DE Greg Townsend, and just generally being under constant duress from USC’s shining star, the defensive line.
Offensively, the Trojans are on fire, and it’s hard to tell if it’s because Colorado is that bad or if USC has made the necessary adjustments to look like a championship-caliber team. At one point, Matt Barkley had more touchdowns than USC had time of possession, with three TDS in just two minutes. The Trojans amassed 259 yards already through the air and just 44 on the ground for 313 total yards, but that can be attributed to the teams’ quest for records. They have only had the ball for just over 10 minutes, and in that time have scored five times.
Though they have looked much better than in recent weeks, the Trojans have by no means played perfect. They have two fumbles and an interception already, and freshman DE Leonard Williams has been ejected from the game for throwing a punch. The suspension will also carry over to the Trojans’ next game at Arizona. The defense has also give up 162 yards (only 59 rushing) and has given way for two Buffs field goals. Lane Kiffin has appeared visibly frustrated by his team’s continuing lack of discipline, and there’s no question that this will be something he strongly addresses with his team at the half.
But Barkley will close out the half having completed 16 of 17 passes for 269 yards and five TDs, and is absolutely overwhelming this Colorado team.