By Gary Montgomery, BVN Sports
LOS ANGELES – Robert Woods and Matt Barkley have record days as the Trojans keep pace with the Oregon schools in the Pac-12.
In a game USC was expected to win big, the Trojans continue to rack up mistakes on the field and now lead the conference in penalties. USC had seven for 75 yards on the day. The team is young at many positions, which may account for the frequency of yellow flags.
The powerful offense was more than adequate to mask the penalties, but could prove costly against teams like Oregon and Notre Dame ahead.
The Barkley and Woods show exposed Colorado’s inability to cover elite speed and accurate passing.
The Trojans scored three touchdowns in the first eight minutes as the Buffalos were truly outmatched.
Barkley, who played only three quarters, had a near perfect day. He was 19 of 20 for 298 yards and a record six touchdowns. Four of those tosses went to junior Robert Woods who has distinguished himself as the top receiver in the conference.
Barkley elected to bypass the NFL draft and remain in Los Angeles, despite the harshness of the NCAA sanctions handed down on USC. He passed Matt Leinart as the all time team and conference leader in touchdowns thrown. With his six touchdowns against Colorado, Barkley now has a lofty 102.
Despite the mistakes, USC lurks at number eleven on the list of national rankings. Many insiders believe they are much better than that and could move up dramatically with a strong November. They draw Oregon, Arizona State and Notre Dame next month.
For coach Kiffen, the challenge may be in keeping his other high profile athletes interested, while Barkley and Woods play catch. Marqise Lee had six nice catches of his own for 103 yards and one touchdown.
A second quarter injury to offensive tackle Aundray Walker is a concern. Walker left the game on a cart after incurring an upper body injury. The Trojans (6-1) will travel to play Arizona in Tucson on Saturday.