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USC 42, Colorado 17 (final)

November 4, 2011 |  9:30 pm


A record-setting night in Boulder, Colo., for USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

Good news or bad news for the Trojans?

Barkley passed for a school single-game record six touchdowns -- and probably took a few more steps toward leaving USC after this season for the NFL.

So the Trojans should enjoy this one while they can.

Barkley completed 25 of 39 passes for 318 yards as USC improved to 7-2 overall, 4-2 in Pacific 12 Conference play.

Colorado, in its first season in the Pac-12, fell to 1-9, 0-6.

USC had 561 yards in total offense with receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee both having huge games and the Trojans spreading the ball around between three tailbacks.

Woods had nine catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Lee had nine receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

Freshman Amir Carlisle led the USC rushing attack with 90 yards in 10 carries. He also caught two passes for 31 yards and a touchdown.

Starter Curtis McNeal had 87 yards in 10 carries and seldom-used D.J. Morgan chipped in 56 yards in nine carries.

Tyler Hansen completed 26 of 40 passes for 326 yards to lead Colorado. He threw for two touchdowns -- both to Toney Clemons, who had five catches for 112 yards.

USC blocked two field goals, one by Rhett Ellison and the other by Randall Telfer.


USC vs. Colorado photos

USC 42, Colorado 17 (7:06 left in fourth quarter)

Several USC quarterbacks had thrown for five touchdowns in a game.

But only one has passed for six -- Matt Barkley.

The junior from Newport Beach established a USC single-game record with a 19-yard scoring pass midway through the fourth quarter.

The pass wasn't special -- it was a short middle screen to freshman running back Amir Carlisle, who did most of the work, slicing between several defenders and diving over the goal line as he was being tackled.

Barkley has completed 26 of 40 passes for 326 yards.

USC 35, Colorado 17 (11:19 left in fourth quarter)

A couple of USC receivers are having huge nights, but so is a guy from Colorado.

Toney Clemons has five catches for 111 yards, and he just pulled in his second touchdown pass -- a 10-yard floater from Tyler Hansen over USC defender Tony Burnett.

Clemons also beat Burnett on his first scoring reception.

Hansen, a senior from Murrieta Chaparral High, has passed for 229 yards, completing 15 of 34 passes.

Rodney Stewart is up to 80 yards rushing in 20 carries for the Buffaloes. He had 31 yards in five carries on the 11-play, 83-yard scoring drive.

USC 35, Colorado 10 (2:23 left in third quarter)

Matt Barkley somehow had thrown four touchdown passes without being super impressive.

But that fifth one was sweet.

Having just been sacked to force a third-and-12 situation, Barkley showed some nifty footwork to avoid being dropped again. Then, with a fairly open field in front of him, he made the right decision not to run.

Instead, he heaved a pass to Robert Woods, who got behind three Colorado defenders to pull in a 45-yard scoring pass -- his second touchdown of the night.

Barkley has thrown for a school record-tying five touchdowns in a game four times -- twice this year and twice last season.

He has completed 22 of 34 passes tonight for 288 yards.

Woods has eight catches for 130 yards and Marqise Lee has nine receptions for 124 yards. The receivers, former Gardena Serra High teammates, have caught four of Barkley's five touchdown passes.

USC 28, Colorado 10 (7:25 left in third quarter)

USC tight ends have two catches ... and two blocked field goals.

Randall Telfer just stuck a hand in the way of a 37-yard field-goal attempt by Colorado's Will Oliver after the Buffaloes drove from their own three-yard line deep into Trojans' territory.

USC has blocked six field goals this season -- the first four by 6-foot-7 lineman Matt Kalil.

USC 28, Colorado 10 (Halftime)

Matt Barkley had a great first half, with 195 yards passing and four touchdowns, but his only big mistake allowed Colorado to reach double figures.

Barkley threw a pass right to Colorado's Jason Espinoza at the USC 35-yard line and the 5-foot-8 senior returned it all the way to the eight.

Which is where the USC defense kicked it into high gear, forcing the field goal.

First play: Rodney Stewart was dropped for a loss of two on a run. Next play: quarterback Tyler Hansen's rushed heave fell incomplete at the back of the end zone. Next: Nick Perry sacked Hansen for a three-yard loss.

That brought on Will Oliver, who kicked a 30-yard field goal.

USC has a 294-191 advantage in total yardage.

Hansen has completed nine of 20 passes for 157 yards, but Colorado has run for only 34 yards in 14 carries.

Curtis McNeal has 70 yards in nine carries for USC, which has 99 yards rushing.

Barkley has completed 17 of 27 passes. Marqis Lee has seven catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Robert Woods has five receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. 

USC 28, Colorado 7 (2:22 left in  second quarter)

Marqis Lee didn't make the same mistake twice.

The freshman receiver from Gardena Serra High dropped a sure 50-yard scoring pass from Matt Barkley. But given a second chance, he latched on tight to a 25-yard touchdown pass to complete an eventful seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive.

It started when Rhett Ellison blocked a 32-yard field-goal attempt by Colorado's Will Oliver.

During the ensuing drive, Curtis McNeal, starting at tailback in place of injured Marc Tyler, limped off the field after taking a shot to the hip at the end of a nifty seven-yard run.

That gave redshirt freshman D.J. Morgan a rare opportunity to play. Morgan and freshman Amir Carlise are the only healthy USC running backs other than McNeal.

Then came Lee's drop, on a play he was five yards clear of the cornerback trying to cover him.

Then Ellison, a tight end, hobbled off after making a catch.

Then Barkley looked for Lee, again finding him clear of the secondary.

Barkley has passed for 192 yards and four touchdowns. Lee has six catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

USC 21, Colorado (7:02 left in second quarter)

USC is a little short in the secondary tonight, but not as short as Colorado.

And Matt Barkley is exploiting the weakness.

Colorado has a patchwork secondary because of injuries and two suspensions.

And even though the Buffaloes stave off Trojans receivers occasionally, they aren't doing it consistently.

For example, Barkley missed connecting with Marqis Lee on a lob into the right side of the end zone. So the next play he went to Robert Woods on a similar play to the left side.

Woods beat Travis Sandersfeld, who tried to bump-and-run Woods at the line of scrimmage but simply couldn't run with him.

The touchdown play went for 15 yards. The drive was 52 yards in seven plays.

Barkley has passed for 148 yards.

USC 14, Colorado 7 (14:51 left in second quarter)

Matt Barkley looks like he might have a huge night. USC's junior quarterback has already passed for 116 yards and two touchdowns, completing 10 of 13 passes.

He just found Xavier Grimble in the back of the end zone to give USC the lead.

The Trojans covered 85 yards in six plays with the help of two Colorado penalties -- a late hit on Robert Woods by Terrel Smith and a pass interference call on Greg Henderson, who pushed Marqis Lee out of bounds to save a touchdown.

Well, saved for one more play. Barkley found Grimble after the next snap.

USC 7, Colorado 7 (9:26 left in first quarter)

There have been 13 plays from scrimmage and 14 points scored.

Like Colorado, USC struck for a touchdown on its first possession when Matt Barkley connected with Marqis Lee on a 33-yard strike down the right sideline.

Lee got a step on Colorado cornerback D.D. Goodson and Barkley put his pass right on target, hitting Lee in stride.

Colorado 7, USC 0 (12 minutes left in first quarter)

Maybe Colorado should have tried black helmets nine games ago.

The Buffaloes (1-8), wearing all black for the first time, took all of six plays in three minutes to score their second first-quarter touchdown all season.

This is the first time Colorado has led in a game since Oct. 1 against Washington State.

The touchdown came on a 37-yard pass from Tyler Hansen to Toney Clemons, who weaved his way through the Trojans' secondary into the end zone, first beating cornerback Tony Burnett and then fill-in safety Marshall Jones.

--Mike Hiserman


USC safety T.J. McDonald cannot play in the first half against Colorado because of a Pacific 12 Conference suspension for an illegal hit against Stanford.

When the Trojans came onto the field for pregame warmups, McDonald was not in uniform.

Apparently, he will dress in the second quarter, warm-up at halftime and play in the second half.

Folsom Field holds 53,613 but it looks like the Friday night game, which might be good for television, is not a popular draw.

Of course, Colorado is 1-8.

--Gary Klein

Photo: Trojans receiver Marqise Lee makes a diving catch behind Buffaloes defensive back Greg Henderson for a touchdown in the second quarter Friday night in Boulder, Colo. Credit:Justin Edmonds / Getty Images