Against Colorado: Lane Kiffin introduced the no-huddle and the offense looked noticeably more in sync. Matt Barkley had a career day, breaking numerous school records and throwing for a ridiculous 19/20, 298 yards and six touchdowns. Robert Woods broke records of his own while reeling in eight catches for 132 yards and four touchdowns.
What that means for Arizona: The no-huddle could be a real weapon for the Trojans. They put up 458 total yards and averaged 9.5 yards per play but the big story was the aggressiveness of the offensive attack. It would have been easy to just buckle down and run the ball, keep things conservative and move on to Arizona. Instead USC ran the ball just once in the first quarter and immediately went after the Colorado secondary. The no-huddle allowed Barkley to get into a rhythm early and his 95% completion percentage is evidence of that. In fact, if not for a Curtis McNeal drop, Barkley would have been perfect on the day.
Obviously the numbers put up against Colorado were inflated by just how awful the Buffaloes are this season. However, the Wildcats aren’t exactly a defensive juggernaut. In the Pac-12 Arizona ranks 10th in rushing defense, 6th in pass efficiency defense, 11th in pass defense, 11th in total defense and 10th in scoring defense. That’s barely better than Colorado in most of those categories. They also rank 11th in sacks and tackles for loss while sitting 9th in interceptions. Their low sack numbers stand out in particular because Kiffin’s concern this season regarding the passing game has been related to pocket protection on the road. Arizona is not a team that gets after the quarterback very effectively so there shouldn’t be as much fear about dropping back to pass. Putting them further off-balance with the no-huddle could mean another big offensive performance this week.