No. 10 USC blasts UCLA 50-0 in season finale

UCLA showed up at the Coliseum in unfamiliar all-white uniforms,

flouting tradition and radiating confidence for their annual

showdown with Southern California.

A few hours later, the Bruins probably wished they had packed

more disguises.

Matt Barkley passed for 423 yards and six touchdowns in his

possible Coliseum farewell, Robert Woods set the conference’s

single-season receptions record while catching 12 passes for 113

yards and two TDs, and No. 10 USC finished its resurgent season

with a 50-0 demolition of Pac-12 title game-bound UCLA on Saturday

night.

Kevin Prince passed for 261 yards for the Bruins (6-6, 5-4

Pac-12), who had won three of four heading into the city

championship game. The Bruins changed up their look for a game

usually played in both clubs’ colored home uniforms, but the

Trojans left them with nothing but grass stains on the backs of

those slick new jerseys, posting the third-biggest blowout in

rivalry history and shutting out UCLA for just the second time in

64 years.

USC won seven of its final eight games capped by this utter

obliteration of the Bruins, who will represent the division at

Oregon next week despite finishing two games behind the Trojans in

the South standings.

”Life still goes on. We still have the opportunity to do

something big in the Pac-12 championship,” said UCLA tailback

Derrick Coleman, who was stopped on fourth-and-goal at the USC 1 in

the first quarter. ”That was a shot to the gut for everybody. We

can’t take anything for granted. We’ve got to go out and take

it.”

After the game, the Trojans wore T-shirts proclaiming themselves

to be the South division champions. UCLA had no room to argue after

the postseason-banned Trojans still went out in style, jumping to a

29-point halftime lead before posting their largest victory in the

city championship game since 1930, the rivalry’s second year.

”Tonight they were clearly the superior team,” UCLA coach Rick

Neuheisel said. ”I don’t think that’s the case all the time. I

believe we can close the gap, and we will. We weren’t good enough

to play a marquee team like USC.”

Earlier this week, Neuheisel said he felt the Bruins had

”closed the gap more” with the Trojans, who won 10 games for the

eighth time in the past decade.

Mind the gap, UCLA.

”They took it very personally,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said of

his players. ”That’s a pretty strong statement to make. Did it

motivate them? I don’t know, but it was talked about a lot, and not

much by me. I think they felt disrespected.”

Despite the Bruins’ Pac-12 title game berth, Neuheisel’s job is

thought to be in jeopardy after his fourth inconsistent season.

Athletic director Dan Guerrero said Neuheisel will coach in

Friday’s title game, but the program will be evaluated after

that.

Marqise Lee had 13 catches for 224 yards and two TDs during a

showcase of offensive brilliance by the Trojans (10-2, 7-2).

”We’ve worked hard for this, and I think we deserve to

celebrate this,” said Barkley, who surpassed Matt Leinart’s

single-season conference record for touchdown passes. ”We knew

(about the postseason ban) coming into this year, and there’s

nothing we can do about it. We just tried to take advantage of

every opportunity we did have.”

With the Coliseum crowd repeatedly chanting ”One more year!”

Barkley was brilliant in what might have been the junior’s final

game at USC. He went 35 for 42 and set a Pac-12 record with his

39th touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, hitting Woods from

41 yards out to surpass Leinart’s mark. Barkley also surpassed his

own school record set earlier this year with 35 completions.

Barkley and left tackle Matt Kalil are near-certain first-round

NFL draft picks, but they claim they haven’t decided whether to

return for their senior seasons and a shot at a national title with

a team that’s likely to be among the nation’s most talented next

year despite severe NCAA scholarship restrictions that start in

2012. Barkley again declined to speculate on his decision, saying

he’ll figure it out soon.

”Unless he wants to do it, just to be a special Trojan, he

ain’t coming back,” Kiffin said. ”He’s every bit ready to go to

the NFL. It’s just going to be a decision, does he want to do

something really unique? He might be the guy to do that.”

Woods broke Keyshawn Johnson’s 1995 record with his 103rd catch

during the first half, while Lee joined Woods as a 1,000-yard

receiver. Rhett Ellison and Randall Telfer also caught TD passes

from Barkley, who had 29 scoring passes and just four interceptions

in his last eight games.

Curtis McNeal added a 73-yard TD run as USC beat UCLA for the

12th time in the last 13 meetings.

Kiffin had no mercy on his rival while claiming the Victory

Bell. USC went for a 2-point conversion after its third touchdown,

and Barkley attempted 50-yard passes in his first two plays after

halftime, hitting Lee for a 52-yard score with the second throw to

take a 36-0 lead. Kiffin and Neuheisel still shared a warm postgame

handshake.

The Bruins failed to score on three drives inside the USC 25 in

the first half, with Prince throwing an end-zone interception to

T.J. McDonald. USC’s defense preserved its first shutout since Nov.

1, 2008, by stopping the Bruins on fourth down at the 7 with 2:48

to play.

USC hadn’t shut out UCLA since 2001, the only other time since

1947.