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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Trojans Smack Buffs on Record-Breaking Day

Matt Barkley and Robert Woods each set school records in USC's 50-6 beat down of Colorado.

It was a coronation a long time coming.

On a day the Trojans played their most impressive game of the season, the story wasn't about the team, but individuals.

The video board at the Coliseum congratulates Matt Barkley on breaking the all-time USC TD pass record.
The video board at the Coliseum congratulates Matt Barkley on breaking the all-time USC TD pass record.

Matt Barkley became the all-time USC and Pac-12 leader in touchdown passes and Robert Woods became the all-time leader in receptions in Trojan history in USC's 50-6 beat down of the Colorado Buffalo on Saturday. 

Barkley entered the game with 96 career touchdown passes, three short of Matt Leinart's career record of 96. He tied the record less than six minutes into the game with an eight yard TD toss to tight end Xavier Grimble. Then, less than three minutes into the second quarter, Barkley found Woods from 29 yards for his 100th career touchdown pass, becoming the all-time leader in USC history.

"It's a special day," said Barkley after the game. "It means a lot. And to celebrate with Robert [Woods] and all the guys. It means a lot to this university to represent them in that way."

Then just five minutes later, Barkley hit Woods from 17 yards for the receiver's 217th career catch, breaking Dwayne Jarrett's USC record with "a year and a half left to go," as coach Lane Kiffin joked after the game (Woods, a junior, could leave for the NFL after this year).

Robert Woods also gets a congratulatory message on the Coliseum video board.
Robert Woods also gets a congratulatory message on the Coliseum video board.
"I grew up watching all those," Woods said of Jerrett and Kerry Colbert, who ranks third on USC's all-time list. "I don't see myself above them. I see myself as part of an elite group."

Perhaps Kiffin put it best: "We've been playing for 124 years here," said Kiffin, "and we watched the most touchdown passes in the history of the game, seven, and we watched the most touchdown passes in the history of a career."

Barkley ended the day with six touchdown passes, tying his USC single-game record. Such a blowout was the game that backup quarterback Max Wittek replaced Barkley midway through the third quarter, and threw his first career touchdown to tailback D.J. Morgan on the first drive of the fourth. The seven touchdown passes marked a USC single-game team record, just another mark set by the Trojans today.

Barkley hit Woods for 11 yards on the first play of the game. Then he found Marqise Lee over the middle for, after a couple of shifty moved by Lee, a 59 yard touchdown on the game's second play. Just like that, the rout was on.

Barkley to Woods from 39 yards capped a four play, 80 yard drive on the Trojan's next possesion. The it was Barkley to Grimlbe to tie the record, and Barkley to Woods to break it.

But Woods and Barkley were far from done. After Woods caught his third touchdown pass to break the reception record, Barkley found Woods for a fourth time near the start of the third quarter. Woods' fourth TD reception of the game broke the previous record of three, which was held by 14 others.

Lost amid all of the offensive festivities was another stellar game by the USC defense, who kept the Buffalo out of the endzone and forced six turnovers - three interceptions and three fumble recoveries - and had five sacks. The Trojans now have 22 takeaways on the season, eclipsing their total of 17 last year with five games yet to play.

The one negative of the game for USC was penalties. The Trojans entered the game as the nation's most penalized team, and did nothing to change that stigma on Saturday, with 10 penalties for 90 yards. Freshman defensive lineman Leonard Williams was ejected from the game in the second quarter for punching a Colorado player, and will likely be suspended for at least the first half of the Trojans next game against Arizona.

"I was gonna kick him out anyway," said Kiffin, who was visibly infuriated with Williams on the sideline after the play. "We looked really undisciplined. I felt bad for our fans, I felt bad for our former players. It was taking away from a really special day."

As special as the day was regardless of penalties, the Trojans must move on from the glory quickly. They travel to Arizona next week for their last true road test of the season and the return home to face the undefeated Oregon Ducks in two weeks.

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