Barkley, Woods make history in USC win
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Barkley stood behind center Khaled Holmes in the shotgun. The senior quarterback noticed something in the Colorado defense. Barkley proceeded to walk up and down the line of scrimmage, both arms stretched and yelled out signals to change the play on Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum. Done issuing his commands, he got under center.
He saw one of his main targets, Robert Woods, one-on-one on the outside.
Five-step drop. Pass. Catch. Touchdown.
The 29-yard completion was one for the history books. It was the 100th career touchdown pass for Barkley, moving him past Matt Leinart for most career touchdown passes in conference and school history. On the receiving end, Woods tied Dwayne Jarrett for most career receptions in USC history with his 216th, in what Lane Kiffin called a "good team win (and) historic day," as No. 10 USC (6-1, 4-1 Pac-12 South) defeated Colorado 50-6 at the Coliseum.
"It was a real quick check and they heard the signal and got it out," Barkley said. "I'm glad they all knew what to do and I just put it up for Robert and there was history."
USC unveiled a video tribute featuring current Oakland Raiders teammates Leinart and Carson Palmer, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin from the Clippers, Kings president of business operations Luc Robitaille, Landon Donovan of the Galaxy, former Trojan Keyshawn Johnson and former USC coach Pete Carroll, who received the loudest ovation of the bunch.
Barkley was then shown on the video monitor and said "Fight On" to the USC fans in attendance. He couldn't, however, fight his emotions.
"Did not expect that at all," Barkley said of the video tribute. "I was surprised when I looked up and saw Matt and Carson up there and some of the rest of the LA sports figures. That was pretty special to be recognized by them, the best in the business at what they do.
"To be able to be here for four years living those dreams out as a senior, it's something cool, and I never really thought would happen, but I'm trying to soak it up."
There were more records and more moments to be soaked up as the day went along against the Buffaloes (1-6, 1-3 Pac-12 South).
On the Trojans' next possession, Barkley found Woods on a skinny post for a 17-yard touchdown to put USC up 33-6. It was his 217th reception putting him at the top of USC's all-time receptions list.
Woods too received a video tribute that featured former Trojan and current Oakland Raider David Ausberry, Paul, Griffin, Robitaille, Donovan and Johnson.
Said Johnson to Woods during the video tribute, "That makes you just a little bit better than me. Fight On!"
Woods, shown on the video monitor, pointed to the "O" on the tape on his wrist and pointed towards heaven in honor of his late sister, Olivia. Woods writes the "O" on his tape before every game. She lost her fight with cancer when she was 17 when Woods was a sophomore at Serra High School.
"(I'm just) living what she told me as her last words, to be a role model," Woods said. "I just felt like just thanking her right then and there. I just felt like everything she lived for and fought for, that it was kind of like a breakthrough.
"I felt like I made it just to be along with those group of guys at receiver."
In the third quarter, Woods broke one of his own records, becoming the sole owner for most touchdown receptions in a game for a Trojan with his fourth. The pass was Barkley's sixth touchdown pass of the day, tying his own school record for most in a game. USC took a 40-6 lead.
With all of the records to be broken and celebrations to be had in front of a far-from-capacity crowd at the Coliseum, USC continued to have its fair share of mistakes. The Trojans had five penalties for 60 yards in the first half and turned the ball over twice in the game's first 30 minutes.
Another sour note was freshman defensive tackle Leonard Williams getting ejected in the second quarter for throwing a punch.
Coach Lane Kiffin was so annoyed he didn't bother waiting to get to the locker room to give his team a tongue lashing. He huddled them up on the field as time expired in the first half and had a "very critical conversation" with them.
"It just really was about Trojan football and we weren't doing that," Kiffin said. "We looked really undisciplined and it looked really bad."
Kiffin was also upset about how the penalties took away from Barkley and Woods' special day. Woods finished the day with eight receptions for 132 yards and four touchdowns.
Barkley completed 19-of-20 passes for 298 yards and was a drop away from a perfect game. He also set the conference record by completing 95% of his passes, passing the previous mark of 92.6% (minimum 20 attempts) set by UCLA's Rick Neuheisel against Washington in 1983. He was .08% shy of the NCAA record (minimum 20 attempts) set by USC wide receivers coach Tee Martin, while at Tennessee, in 1998 against South Carolina.
Barkley also set a conference record for passing efficiency in a single game with a 319.16, breaking former UCLA quarterback Drew Olson's record of 301.3 set in 2005 against Arizona State.
"It's a special day to be able to celebrate it with Robert and all the guys on the team," Barkley said. "The offensive line and wideouts have done an unbelievable job, and coach Kiffin with the playcalling. It's very, very special for me to be able to represent USC in that manner."