50-6 feels good, no matter how it happens, and the Trojans beatdown of Colorado happened exactly how one would expect it to.
USC has the exceptional talent and experience, while the Buffaloes have been muddling along, trying all season to keep their heads above the proverbial water.
That said, I have to laugh. I just got home from the game and SportsCenter is on. The anchors are lauding Matt Barkley’s performance and calling him a Heisman contender once more.
Hey, I’m as happy as anyone to hear Barkley get kudos, but it seems disingenuous.
Tonight, Barkley did become USC's all-time leader in touchdown passes with his 100th scoring pass (to Robert Woods, natch). This is an honor that by all that is right and holy should be Barkley’s. He is a four-year starter who has stood for all that being a Trojan truly means—and has done so through a difficult era of sanctions and scholarship reductions.
Congratulations go out to Matt Barkley. You will forever be remembered as one of the greatest Trojans.
Other records were set tonight. Robert Woods, on this third TD of the night, became the all-time Trojan career receptions leader with 217 catches, breaking the record previously held by Dwayne Jarrett. Later, Woods set a single-game school record for TD catches with four.
Woods had eight catches tonight for 132 yards, while Marqise Lee had six catches for 103 yards. By all accounts, USC’s passing game made a big return tonight, and look at how the offense flourished. It isn’t rocket science. Most teams in the Pac-12 play a certain high-octane style of offense: ball control, low-scoring B.S. isn’t it.
In fact, the media is already crowing—USC looks like it was supposed to this season. Oh how fickle we are, the media—especially those of us who are also fans.
Barkley had an epic night—tying his own team record for TD passes in a single game. He was 19-of-20 on the night, a vast improvement over last week. In fact, in a sweet bit of irony, Matt Barkley broke none other than Rick Neuheisel’s conference record for completion percentage in a single game with at least 20 pass attempts.
Barkley’s only incompletion tonight wasn’t even his fault. Curtis McNeal dropped the ball.
USC had a great day, but let’s keep this in perspective—the Trojans did play conference-bottom dweller Colorado. Whether or not USC is a reborn offensive machine for the second half of the season will become more apparent next weekend against Rich Rodriguez’s Arizona Wildcats.
USC’s defense held the hapless Buffaloes to just six points, which is more of a statement of Colorado’s woes than the Trojans’ defensive strength.
Even when backup QB and presumed heir apparent to the keys to the Trojan kingdom, Max Wittek, came into the game in the fourth quarter, the offense didn’t skip a beat. Wittek threw a TD pass to D.J. Morgan to put the Trojans up 50-6.
Penalty-wise, USC was a bit better, but still racked up five infractions. Of note, freshman DT Leonard Williams was ejected from the game in the second quarter for throwing a punch at a Buffalo player. Also, left tackle Aundrey Walker went down early in the third quarter to an undisclosed injury.
All in all, this was a promising outing for the Trojans who face their toughest challenges of the season ahead. Next week, USC travels to Tucson before returning to Los Angeles for the balance of their season.
My feeling is that USC fans better get ready for some fireworks. This Trojan team has issues to be sure, but it is ready to fire on all cylinders for its last five games.