No. 10 Trojans Dominate Bruins 50-0
Nov. 27, 2011
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Matt Barkley passed for 423 yards and six touchdowns in his possible Coliseum farewell, Robert Woods set the conference's single-season receptions record while catching 12 passes for 113 yards and two TDs, and No. 10 Southern California finished its resurgent season with a 50-0 demolition of Pac-12 title game-bound UCLA on Saturday night.
Marqise Lee had 13 catches for 224 yards and two TDs during a showcase of offensive brilliance by the Trojans (10-2, 7-2), jumped to a 29-point halftime lead before posting its largest victory in the city championship game since 1930, the rivalry's second year.
USC won seven of its final eight games capped by this utter obliteration of the crosstown Bruins (6-6, 5-4), who will represent the division at Oregon next week despite finishing two games behind USC in the South standings.
Kevin Prince passed for 261 yards for UCLA, which had won three of four heading into the city championship game. The Bruins flouted rivalry tradition and unveiled an all-white look in a game usually played in both clubs' colored home uniforms, but the Trojans left them with nothing but grass stains on the backs of those slick new jerseys.
Earlier this week, UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said he felt the Bruins had "closed the gap more" with the Trojans, who won 10 games for the eighth time in the past decade. Despite the Bruins' Pac-12 title game berth, Neuheisel's job is thought to be in jeopardy after his fourth inconsistent season.
With the Coliseum crowd repeatedly chanting "One more year!" Barkley was brilliant in what might have been the junior's final game at USC. He went 35 for 42 and set a Pac-12 record with his 39th touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, hitting Woods from 41 yards out to surpass Matt Leinart's mark. Barkley also surpassed his own school record set earlier this year with 35 completions.
Barkley and left tackle Matt Kalil are near-certain first-round NFL draft picks, but they claim they haven't decided whether to return for their senior seasons and a shot at a national title with a team that's likely to be among the nation's most talented next year.
Woods broke Keyshawn Johnson's 1995 record with his 103rd catch during the first half, while Lee joined Woods as a 1,000-yard receiver. Rhett Ellison and Randall Telfer also caught TD passes from Barkley, who had 29 scoring passes and just four interceptions in his last eight games.
Curtis McNeal added a 73-yard TD run as USC beat UCLA for the 12th time in the last 13 meetings.
Trojans coach Lane Kiffin had no mercy on his rival while claiming the Victory Bell. USC went for a 2-point conversion after its third touchdown, and Barkley attempted 50-yard passes in his first two plays after halftime, hitting Lee for a 52-yard score with the second throw to take a 36-0 lead.
The Bruins failed to score on three drives inside the USC 25 in the first half, with Prince throwing an end-zone interception to T.J. McDonald. USC's defense preserved its first shutout since Nov. 1, 2008, by stopping the Bruins on fourth down at the 7 with 2:48 to play.
USC hadn't shut out UCLA since 2001, the only other time since 1947.
After Kiffin hugged each of his seniors at the mouth of the Coliseum tunnel, the Trojans' offense needed just four plays to assert its superiority. After Woods made two early catches, Lee slipped unguarded down the middle for a 42-yard TD reception just 1:45 in.
Barkley drove the Trojans 92 yards early in the second quarter, throwing a 1-yard TD pass to Telfer - and the Trojans converted a 2-point conversion pass to Xavier Grimble out of special teams coordinator John Baxter's unorthodox formation. USC then gathered on its sideline, leaping and jumping in unison.
UCLA stopped the Trojans at the 3 on their next drive in the second quarter, but the Trojans faked a field goal and simply snapped it to Barkley, who hung in the pocket until finding Ellison with another TD pass. The Bruins reached the USC 24 late in the half, but mismanaged the clock and ran out of time.