Trojans offense gets back on its feet in record setting game against Colorado

American Football on FieldAs of late, it seems that the University of Southern California Trojans have lost their way, and have been struggling to deliver offensively. They came into Saturday night’s game against lowly ranked Colorado hoping to pack a punch and gain some much needed momentum back.

A 55-yard scoring TD pass from USC quarterback Matt Barkley to wide receiver Marqise Lee in the second play of the game gave them the boost they were looking for, and it didn’t take long for their dream scenario to begin unfolding before them. Following an interception by USC safety Drew McAllister, Barkley connected with wide receiver Robert Woods for a 39-yard touchdown. USC forced a fumble against Colorado on the first play of the following drive, and Barkley wasted no time in throwing an 8-yard TD pass to tight end Xavier Grimble. The Trojans had three touchdowns up on the score board less than six minutes into the game, setting themselves up for a smooth blowout victory of 50-6 against Colorado.

“I’m proud of the guys, because we prepared well this week as if we were playing the best team in the world, and it resulted in a historic day where so many good things happened,” said USC head coach Lane Kiffin.

Barkley was the superstar of the night for USC. He completed 19 out of 20 passes and six touchdowns for a total of 298 yards. Those touchdowns allowed him to surpass the Pac-12 career record set by Matt Leinart, former USC quarterback, and he now has 102.

“It was a special night… It’s something I did dream of as a kid, not the records, but to be able to be here for four years and live those dreams out as a senior. I was surprised when I looked up and saw that video, it was pretty special to see Matt and Carson and all those guys,” said Barkley.

And it didn’t just stop there. Barkley also succeeded in setting a conference record for completion percentage. His 95 percent rate surpassed the record held by Rick Neuheisel from UCLA. It fell short, however, to the NCAA record held by Tee Martin from the University of Tennessee, who is now the USC receivers coach. The only miss of the game for Barkley came from a pass dropped by running back Curtis McNeal.

Barkley was not alone in setting records for the day either. Robert Woods had eight catches for 138 yards and four touchdowns. He was able to topple Dwayne Jarrett for the record in USC career receptions, reaching a total of 220 catches. Not only that, but it was also the first time in USC history that a player had completed four touchdown catches in a single game.

“I grew up watching USC receivers… I don’t see myself above them but more a part of an elite group that I’ve wanted to be a part of ever since I understood what USC football was all about,” said Woods.

Records are great, particularly the records that were set by Barkley and Woods in this game, but one must recall that they were playing against a very lowly ranked Colorado defense with not much to offer, and that ahead of them are much bigger fish to fry.

The Trojans began this season with very high expectations, and while there have been a few highlights, they knew they needed to step it up if they were expecting to compete for a conference title. And this game has possibly offered the confidence boost that they need to move ahead.

“We’re not overreacting to one game… We still have a lot of work to do but this game showed the sky is not falling and Matt Barkley can still throw the football,” said Kiffin.

Now USC prepares for the Arizona Wildcats this upcoming Saturday with the hopes of keeping steam for this offensive momentum. They face the Oregon Ducks the following week, and will most certainly need to be in tip top shape for that.