Trojans Topple Buffaloes

Stephen Dunn

Matt Barkley, Robert Woods break numerous records in helping lead USC to its fourth win at home this season.

No. 10 USC easily disposed of Colorado at home, 50-6, in front of an announced crowd of 83,274.

The stories of the day, of course, were quarterback Matt Barkley becoming the first quarterback in USC and Pac-12 history to reach 100 career touchdown passes, and wide receiver Robert Woods breaking the program's all-time record for receptions. Woods also broke the school's single-game mark for touchdown receptions with four.

Here are three quick observations from the game:

1. The passing game should be fine going forward.

Yes, the Trojans did play Colorado, but you can't be too picky here. Barkley, as noted already, tossed six touchdown passes, but he did so on 19-of-20 completions. That broke a Pac-12 record for completion percentage, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The Barkley to Woods connection that had seemingly been missing for much of the season got back on track in this game. Of maybe even greater note, Lane Kiffin opened up the playbook a little bit more and made it a point to just attack Colorado's secondary from the opening play. That's a good sign considering how many people were starting to really question Kiffin's decisions.

2. Penalties are still a problem, and that's a little concerning.

Going into this game, the Trojans ranked dead last in the nation in committing penalties. There really wasn't much change against Colorado, either, as USC committed nine more. Against much better teams, you can't expect to commit so many mistakes and still find a way to win. The fact that they committed that many penalties against a subpar team at home is a little concerning. It'll be interesting to watch how this plays out going forward. If the Trojans don't find a way to clean up their play, it could end up costing them a game or two.

It was also disconcerting to see defensive end Leonard Williams get tossed before halftime. In a game like this where the outcome was pretty much decided after the first quarter, there's no reason to lose your cool, despite what happened. The ramifications of his ejection are unclear at the moment, but if Williams is to miss some time, it would be a blow to USC's defensive front. That line wasn't deep to begin with this season, but now it could lose a player who had been a bright spot for that unit.

3. The defense continues to shine.

In a game where the offense got most of — if not all — the credit, the defense continued its strong play, forcing six turnovers (three fumbles and three interceptions). It did give up 351 total yards of offense, but when you hold a team to just six points, can you really complain? This unit has been underrated all year long, and yesterday was no different.

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