USC vs Colorado - Game Day Notes

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

USC needs to come out firing against Colorado

For me the season starts today.

Colorado and the struggles that they have had so far this season is the perfect remedy for a team that has looked flat some weeks and good in others. The big game against Oregon is in two weeks. Kiffin needs to get this team firing on all cylinders...they need to play consistently for all four quarters.

They need to minimize mistakes and play smart.

It all starts with Matt Barkley.

Barkley is about to start what could be the toughest stretch of games in his career.

The USC program might have fallen into the abyss during the period of stiff sanctions by the NCAA, but last year Barkley led a team that was unranked to a top-five finish by throwing for 23 touchdowns and just six interceptions his final six games. The finish was so impressive that when he decided to return to school for his senior season, the Trojans were quickly made a preseason No. 1, Barkley became a Heisman Trophy favorite and USC sold out all but one of its home games.

But there are no trophies for lifesavers at Heritage Hall. It’s why USC fans remember Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart one way and Rob Johnson and John David Booty another. At USC, your legacy is ultimately decided by titles.

There has always been another day or another year in Barkley’s USC journey. There has always been a "you’ll get them next week" or "you’ll get them next season" after a loss. But for the first time since he’s worn the cardinal and gold, those days are gone. That feeling of a never-ending tomorrow has vanished and the finality of it all is finally upon him.

It is clear that USC would not have been in the discussion at the start of the season if it weren't for Barkley.

It hasn't been as smooth as many of us would have thought it could be, but USC heads into the final drive a lot can happen.

Barkley needs to have a solid game for many reasons. Most importantly to get into a groove as USC hits the meat of the schedule. This team cannot go scoreless in the second half today. They cannot commit turnovers. They need dominate the line of scrimmage on BOTH sides of the ball.

I could go on.

It isn't just about winning now, play has to be crisp and as flawless as possible.

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It is clear to many that this game is in the bag...the question is will USC cover?

PREDICTION

Let's face it: This won't be much of a test for USC. Colorado poses little, if any, threat. But the contest still has value for the Trojans, who can use it to fine-tune parts of their game. One area in need of an upgrade is the passing attack, which has been surprisingly inconsistent despite the presence of Barkley and star receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. Barkley set the school single-game record with six touchdown passes against Colorado last season, so he has positive history from which to draw. Expect more records to fall Saturday. Barkley needs four TD passes to break Matt Leinart's career school and conference mark of 99, and Woods needs five catches to surpass Dwayne Jarrett's USC record of 216. The mood will be celebratory at the Coliseum, but it's important to keep in mind the greater challenges that lie ahead.

LEV'S FINAL: USC, 56-6

I am not seeing it.

Kiffin will play it close. Not matter how bad Colorado may be or how good USC may be it just isn't in this teams makeup to run it up. I 'SC getting a nice lead and then working the kinks out where they need work.

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Links...

The Sharks - USC Trojans
USC has taken great pride in its special teams during the Lane Kiffin era under the leadership of John Baxter.

Photo Gallery: Colorado Jock Rally

USC’s pipeline to SEC country is rich with talent - The Orange County Register
From the recruiting front...

Everything has to go right for CU Buffs to beat USC Trojans - Boulder Daily Camera
And then some...

USC-Colorado: 10 things to watch - ESPN Los Angeles
We learn a lot today...

Preview: Colorado at USC " The Trojan Empire

Colorado: By the numbers - ESPN Los Angeles

Kiffin won't run up the score on Colorado - ESPN Los Angeles
Just work out the kinks...OK?

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Kiffin's Presser from Thursday

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Friday Night Video - Colorado

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