Closing the book on Colorado

Just one of our freshman who are making their mark...

I realize that the game was anti-climatic when it comes actual football but it was nice to see that the team could bounce back after such a heart breaker to Stanford.

I am not going to break this game down too much, CU is not a good a team and with USC coming off an emotional loss I just wanted a win. USC got the win and in the process Matt Barkley broke the programs touchdown record.

The performances were not 100% crisp, but the performances were serviceable.

One aspect of the game was how a number of our freshman stepped up...

Linebackers Lamar Dawson and Tre Madden made their first college starts, adding to an already sizable contingent of USC freshman first-teamers.

Counting redshirts, the Trojans had seven freshmen in the starting lineup against the Buffaloes.

Dawson started at middle linebacker in place of senior Chris Galippo. Madden started at an outside spot in place of the injured Dion Bailey, another freshman.

Dawson finished with four tackles. Madden had one.

I have to give Kiffin credit, at times some of our freshman looked clueless at times earlier this season, but they are coming around.

This staff has done a good job of evaluating the talent and bringing it along even when the results sometimes pissed us off.

With the Scholarship reductions hitting next season, any quality play that the freshman get now will only be good for their experience later. I am not really concerned about burning redshirts at this point...now is the time to get everyone up to speed.

It's all hands on deck!

The logic is pretty simple too as Moura explains...

In short, USC got an opportunity to give its talented young players a chance against Colorado, and Kiffin took it and ran with it.

"We have a great class from top to bottom, and we have a lot of talent out there," said Carlisle, who scored his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter on Matt Barkley's record-breaking sixth touchdown pass. "It's going to be a bright future for USC.

"These young guys have just been working hard."

No disrespect intended to our friends in Boulder, but USC could afford to experiment against the Buffaloes. The outcome of Friday's game was never in doubt, so why not tinker around with the line-up and see what you have.

Lamar Dawson is one of those that Kiffin is counting on. Dawson was named starter for next weeks game against the Huskies.

I think a number of people were surprised at this move but there is more to this...

The truth is, Dawson would have been starting even earlier if an ankle injury didn't sideline him at the start of the season. He was awarded the coveted No. 55 jersey after he signed with USC and Kiffin told associates he might start the first game of the season.

But Dawson's ankle injury only made it more difficult for Galippo. He never came out of most games because there was no viable backup.

[...]

Kiffin said Saturday that Galippo finds himself in a position similar to former tailback Allen Bradford, who was buried on the depth chart for most of last season. Galippo has overcome prior obstacles, including two back operations.

"It's happened to (Galippo) before," Kiffin said. "He can work his tail off and prove us wrong or he can sit around and pout. We're very upfront with our players."

The question for Galippo is simple...are you in or are you out?

The other reason is because with USC's injuries starting to pile up more guys need to step up and get ready for the stretch run of UW, UO and UCLA.

Nobody knows who will be coming back but 'SC needs as many of them as possible to play the remainder of the slate. All three of those games are important for the obvious reasons...UCLA mat be even more so with their new found life in the Pac-12 South. USC has to be prepared to play spoiler against both UO and UCLA. UW will just be a grudge match to avenge the results of the last two years.

It is crunch time. Many are getting their chance now. Some are on the back end of their careers at USC so they want to go out on top and make the best of their final three games.

One of those players is Matt Barkley, it is hard to know just where he will go next season. More on that later...

We turn our attention to Washington tomorrow...

- - -

Grades: USC-Colorado - ESPN Los Angeles

Report card: Grading the Trojans (vs. Colorado) - The Orange County Register

5 observations: USC 42, Colorado 17 - The Orange County Register

Video: Matt Barkley after win over Colorado - ESPN Los Angeles

Video: Lane Kiffin after win over Colorado - ESPN Los Angeles

Coach, 'My name is Marqise' - ESPN Los Angeles

6-Points: USC 42, Colorado 17 - USC Trojans

- - -

Here is the Drive chart...

FULL SCREEN VERSION

Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.
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