6-Points: USC 19, Minnesota 17

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USC wins the opener, but Lane Kiffin calls the second half offense "a debacle" and aims for improvement before Utah next week.

Click the link to watch the post-game press conference with Kiffin and here for Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and Torin Harris.

  • Sophomore WR Robert Woods set a new USC single-game record with 17 catches (breaking Johnnie Morton's mark of 15).  He accounted for all three touchdowns, including a spectacular grab behind his head for a 43-yard score.  "That was something I've never seen before," Matt Barkley said about the second TD hook-up.  "He is a smart, cerebral player who has mastered the playbook...and his athleticism on top of that helps."
  • Traveler-Home.jpgBarkley was not too shabby himself.  After a near perfect 18 for 20 in the first half, he finished with a school record-setting 34 completions (45 attempts) for 304 yards with 3 TDs and no interceptions.  "I'm pleased with the quarterback," Lane Kiffin said.  The head coach wanted to see more accuracy from his QB this season and he got it.  "He's staring at 80, 85 or 90%," Kiffin bemoaned the eight drops.
  • If you can remember a year ago, failed two-point conversions were a big story after the Hawaii game.  John Baxter's unorthodox style confuses fans, but the players are taught to go for it if they get an "advantage" look.  "If they give it to us, we take it," Kiffin explained that they missed a block on the first attempt.  However, Kiffin understands the fans frustration.  "I know.  I agree," he said when pressed on just taking the point. 
  • Two-minute defense was the primary focus of the offseason since the Trojans lost so many gut-wrenching games in 2010.  With a fourth down decision to make, Kiffin elected to punt and trust his defense.  Torin Harris rewarded the coach's faith with a game-clinching interception.  "I really was just reading the receiver," Harris explained.  "I looked back and saw the ball was there and I had to make a play." 
  • The pass rush was expected to be the strength of the defense, and they came through with three sacks.  "The sky's the limit, but we've got to do it," DE Devon Kennard said about the potential of his unit.  "I think we left some out there."  Senior DT DaJohn Harris is the least celebrated starting defensive lineman, but he produced two tackles for loss and six total tackles.
  • The defense needed Chris Galippo so much today that he never came out.  Playing in between redshirt freshmen Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard, the linebackers needed an experienced voice.  "The series of events called for a little more veteran leadership," Galippo said about playing every snap.  "My job as the 'Mike' linebacker is the most difficult on the defense without a doubt.  There were times when I had to get guys lined up."  He also managed to make six tackles (2.5 for loss), a sack and broke up a pass.
Two-point conversion (how fitting!)...

  • We'll do a feature on the running back group tomorrow, but keep in mind the -34 yards on the wild snap gets taken out of the rushing total (officially 67 yards).  D.J. Morgan and Curtis McNeal combined for 103 yards rushing on 24 carries.
  • Lane Kiffin told Robert Woods about the single-game catch record at a meeting last night.  "It's time to break it," the head coach said to his star receiver.  "So yeah, I guess we did expect it."
Here is Robert Woods on his record day...

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