6-Points: USC 50, UCLA 0


A perfect night at the Coliseum as the Trojans pound UCLA into submission and take home city and Pac-12 South championships.

Click here for the full recap and official stats.

Six thoughts on a record-setting season finale...

  • Barkley-UCLA.jpgHeisman Moment... To steal a line from Bob Costas, if that is the last game Matt Barkley plays for USC, how magnificent was it?  With six touchdown passes, Barkley now stands alone atop the Trojan record books with 39 TD passes in a season despite not having a bowl game.  He finished 35/42 (also a single game completions record) for 423 yards and no interceptions.  "He'll be busy here going to New York pretty soon I'm sure," Kiffin referred to the Heisman ceremony.  At some point, the junior will need to make a decision about his future.  "He's every bit ready to go to the NFL," said Kiffin.  "It's just going to be a decision does he want to do something that's really unique.  He might be the kid to do that.  90% of kids would not." (Photo by Wally Skalij/LA Times)
  • The Tandem... Sophomore WR Robert Woods shattered the USC and Pac-12 record for catches in a season (111 without a bowl game). "It's an honor, a privilege, a blessing," said Woods.  "I'm very happy to break Keyshawn [Johnson's] record, one of the greatest USC receivers." Somehow, Woods was matched step-for-step by freshman WR Marqise Lee (13 recs. for 224 yards and 2 TDs).  Both receivers topped 1,000 yards on the season, which means Lee bested Woods' freshman campaign.  "We haven't talked about it yet, but tomorrow we will," Lee said.  "We'll always have that little competition.  It's just a motivation thing."  (Photo of Lee by Wally Skalij/LA Times)
  • Shutout... The 50 will get all the publicity, but the zero is even more impressive.  The 2010 defense was one of the worst in school history, but this unit has turned that into a distant memory after a pair of rough games against the Arizona schools.  "Since then, we have played some championship defense here," Kiffin said.  Junior safety T.J. McDonald intercepted a pass in the end zone to go with a game-high 10 tackles.  "For us to finish that way, it was big for us," he said.  "Just to make that scoreboard have a zero next to it, that was just a pride thing." 
  • Lee-UCLA-Wally-Skalij.jpg2002... The comparisons between Pete Carroll and Lane Kiffin's second seasons at Troy are striking.  Both teams finished the season with two losses, but by the end of the year, they looked as good as anyone in the country.  Could this USC team hang with LSU or Alabama?  "The way we are playing right now, yeah," Barkley said.  "It is something special that I have never been a part of."  The 2002 team lost Heisman winner Carson Palmer, but won the national championship the following season.  Can the 2012 team repeat the 2003 trick?  "This program is the best program in America," said a confident Kiffin.  "It is not about one person."
  • The Gap... Earlier this week, UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said the Bruins had "closed the gap" with the Trojans.  The Coliseum scoreboard begged to differ Saturday night.  "They took it very personally," Kiffin said about his players.  "That's a pretty strong statement to make.  It was talked about by the players because I think they really felt disrespected."  The USC players and coaches wore Pac-12 South champions t-shirts in the post-game locker room despite UCLA claiming the crown yesterday thanks to the Trojans' sanctions.
  • The Seniors... The USC senior class is not loaded with All-Americans or first round draft picks.  In fact, the Trojans will only lose three senior starters from today's game.  But, they will miss the leadership from this group, which persevered through the dark clouds of NCAA probation to lead USC back into the national sunshine of a top 10 season.  "This group of seniors was unlike any other that we have had in the past, just the leadership that they've had," Barkley said.  "For them to go out 5-0 or 4-0 against UCLA, I'm happy that happened."
Two-point conversion...

  • The 50-0 score was the third largest margin of defeat in the Crosstown Showdown.  USC set the bar high by demolishing UCLA 76-0 in the first ever game between the two rivals in 1929.
  • The bowl ban is officially over!  The next time the Trojans hit an opponent in anger will be the start of a season without a ceiling.  "That's going to be amazing," Lee said.  "Just imagine next year, we know we're going to a bowl game, so that's going to make us play even harder."
Here is Matt Barkley on what could be his last night in a USC uniform...


Congratulations to everyone. Matt has a legitimate claim to the Heisman; Lane has a legitimate claim to the Coach of the year honors. Woods for best receiver and Lee for best freshman. The defense has really come together into a fine unit. The offensive line has done an incredible job to say the least given 4 out of 5 players are first time starters at their respective positions.

I want to make a special note to a relatively unsung hero - Curtis McNeal. He not only came from an unlikely position in the depth chart to be the leading rusher, but also crossed the 1,000 yard barrier. What a job this year. He has one of the highest yards-per-carry averages in USC history for any rusher crossing 1,000 yards in a season. I believe the highest outside of only one of Reggie's years in the past two decades.

Great job Curtis and thank you all for a season truly to remember in what was supposed to be a time of despair. Job well done!!!

How come no one has mentioned that Curtis McNeal broke the 1000 yard mark? He has officially 1005 on the season according to the SID stats.

Leave a comment