LOS ANGELES – A look at the positives and negatives from USC’s 50-6 victory over Colorado on Saturday.
1. Matt Barkley
In the midst of a senior campaign filled with peaks and valleys so far, Barkley put on a spectacular performance that should quiet the critics for the time being. Throwing six touchdown passes against the Buffaloes, he increased his career total to 102, moving him into the No. 1 spot in the Pac-12 record books ahead of Matt Leinart, the previous leader with 99 TD tosses. Barkley also threw for 298 yards and completed a phenomenal 95 percent (19-of-20) of his passes, another conference record.
2. Robert Woods
Not to be outdone, Woods did his fair share of record breaking on Saturday. Hauling in eight passes for 132 yards and four touchdowns against Colorado, he upped his career total to 220 receptions, becoming the Trojans' all-time leader in that category -- moving ahead of Dwayne Jarrett, who had 216 catches. Woods also set a new USC single-game record with his four touchdown grabs.
3. Forced turnovers by the USC defense
USC entered the game ranked No. 13 in the nation with a total of 16 turnovers collected so far this season, and the Trojans should climb a lot higher after grabbing six more takeaways against Colorado -- three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Safety Drew McAllister made a big impact here, collecting one of the interceptions as well as one of the fumble recoveries.
At least the Trojans are consistent. After entering the clash with Colorado ranked dead last in the nation with an average of 10 penalties per game, USC was flagged exactly 10 times for 90 yards on Saturday. A constant source of consternation for coach Lane Kiffin and staff in 2012, it’s sure to be a point of emphasis this week in practice once again.
While Kiffin won’t be happy with any of the flags that were collected on Saturday, none is likely to get his blood boiling like the penalty committed by Williams. Caught throwing a punch at a Colorado player, Williams was assessed a flagrant foul and tossed from the game. And this might not be the end of the matter, either. Still up for review this week by Pac-12 officials, he could face a suspension.
3. Defensive lapses
While the Trojans’ defense was certainly formidable for the most part, there were temporary lapses when the Buffaloes’ offense was able to march down the field, evidenced by 25 Colorado first downs. USC’s defense also had trouble containing quarterback Jordan Webb when plays broke down -- something that the Trojans will need to address with mobile signal-callers like Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley still on tap this season.