Barkley Breaks School Record in 42-17 Victory Over Colorado
Nov. 4, 2011
BOULDER, Colo. (AP)-- Matt Barkley threw for a school-record six touchdowns and saved another with a tackle following his sole interception as No. 21 Southern California bounced back from its heartbreaking triple-overtime loss to Stanford with a 42-17 win over Colorado on Friday night.
After orchestrating the win, he even went into the stands to direct the Trojans marching band.
"No, I've done it twice before, so it's not an indicator of anything," he said. "One of the band directors grabbed me coming off the field and asked me to go up there. I wasn't charging up there on my own."
When he was done, the sizable sections of Trojans fans chanted, "One more year! One more year!" imploring the junior quarterback not to leave them after this season.
"It could be one more year," Barkley shrugged.
Colorado coach Jon Embree shudders at the thought.
"He's a heck of a player. Thought he was very accurate. He did a good job on the scramble, hitting a touchdown. I know he had some drops that probably hurt his numbers," Embree said. "That's why he needs to leave next year. That's why he needs to go."
Curtis McNeal rushed for 87 yards on 10 carries in his first career start for the Trojans (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12).
"We knew our receiving corps was much better than their secondary and it definitely showed tonight," said Barkley, who completed 25 of 39 passes for 318 yards. "We were a little off on a couple of throws but I mean, we were throwing the ball all over the place. Thank you, Coach Kiffin for the calls."
Woods caught nine passes for 130 yards and Lee had nine receptions for 124 yards.
Colorado had its first lead since Oct. 3 against Washington, a span of 244 minutes, 10 seconds of game time.
It didn't last long.
Barkley led the Trojans 80 yards in seven plays to tie it, lofting a high-arcing pass over cornerback D.D. Goodson, a converted tailback, and into Lee's hands from 33 yards out. It was one of four touchdown throws he would have against Colorado's depleted secondary before halftime.
Barkley put USC ahead 14-7 with a 5-yard toss to tight end Xavier Grimble, capping an 85-yard drive.
Colorado receiver/returner Logan Gray committed two personal fouls, one of which was declined, and then fielded a punt at his 5-yard line. That led to great field position for the Trojans after a three-and-out and Barkley found Woods in the left corner of the end zone for a 15-yard TD that made it 21-7.
After Rhett Ellison blocked Will Oliver's 31-yard field goal attempt, Lee atoned for dropping a 50-yard touchdown pass by blowing past Goodson again two plays later and hauling in a 25-yarder from Barkley to make it 28-7.
Oliver was good from 30 yards out with one second left in the first half following Jason Espinoza's interception with 36 seconds remaining, pulling the Buffs to 28-10.
Espinoza had his sights on the end zone when he was tackled by Barkley at the 8.
"I'm kind of mad I didn't score," Espinoza said at halftime. "But that was only my second play of the game. My legs were a little cold."
Barkley was excited by the play.
"I think it kind of did fire me up a little more for the second half," he said.
And, at least he made the tackle.
"Yeah, it's never good when you're making tackles," Barkley said. "But, sometimes you have to."
Woods' 96-yard touchdown return of the second half kickoff was negated by a holding call. After a punt, Hansen's 35-yard scramble set up the Buffaloes inside Trojans 20, but they stalled after a 13-play drive and the Trojans blocked a second field goal.
This time, Randall Telfer knocked down Oliver's 37-yard attempt.
Barkley then drove the Trojans to midfield, where he scrambled around and found Woods among three defenders in the end zone for a 45-yard score that made it 35-10.
After Hansen's 10-yard touchdown throw to Clemons, Oliver was replaced by Justin Castor, whose first career extra point made it 35-17 with 11:19 remaining.
Barkley broke the school record with his sixth touchdown toss when he hit tailback Amir Carlisle over the middle and he took the short pass and bulled his way into the end zone for a 19-yard score that made it 42-17.
"It was awesome," Barkley said. "We knew their ends were rushing upfield petty fast and it was just a quick screen to him. He made some nice maneuvers and got in."
Twice before, Barkley had thrown for five touchdowns, tying the school mark also held by Rodney Peete, Carson Palmer, Leinart and Sanchez.
"It means a lot," Barkley said. "We had five quite a bit now and to finally get six is a pretty cool feeling."
With the Buffaloes decked out in black helmets for only the second time ever and the first time since 1998, their night got off to an inauspicious start as two handlers of their buffalo mascot "Ralphie" lost their grip on the reins during their pregame romp around the field and one of them was nearly trampled by the beast. Nobody was hurt, however.
The Buffaloes received a boost on offense with receiver Paul Richardson (four games) and tailback Rodney Stewart (two games) returning from knee injuries. Stewart accounted for 155 yards of offense on 21 carries and six catches.
The banged-up Buffaloes' defense lost two more starters to injuries as linebacker Brady Daigh (wrist) and strong safety Kyle Washington (concussion) both went down in the first half.