USC Vs. Cal: Trojans' Defense Defeats Bears At AT&T, 30-9

The Trojans will be playing for their first road win of the year and a 5-1 record overall when they visit Cal on Thursday.

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Matt Barkley Struggles Even As USC Wins

The USC Trojans might have pulled off a 30-9 victory over the California Golden Bears, but Matt Barkley is still not playing the football he believes he's capable of playing. Barkley's numbers aren't bad--he threw for nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns--but his completion rate didn't even hit 55%. This allowed Cal to hang around even when Zach Maynard struggled to make plays.

USC's inability to run the football with any consistency forced Barkley to throw the ball a lot, particularly into bracketed coverage. Barkley could not nail down his receivers, and simply missed Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, Brandon Carswell and all his other targets with surprising regularity. Barkley's deep ball has proven to be inconsistent, which probably means he still has some developing to do before he's ready to be a complete NFL pro-style quarterback.

The 20 points USC got off turnovers proved to be enough to give Barkley the cushion he needed to be comfortable for victory. But he'll need to improve for USC to keep on winning.

For more on the Trojans, head to Conquest Chronicles. For more on the Golden Bears, head to the California Golden Blogs.

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USC Football Injury Report: Marqise Lee (Sprained AC Joint), Anthony Brown (Broken Ankle)

The USC Trojans got banged up in their 30-9 victory over the California Golden Bears. Not only did Marc Tyler dislocate his shoulder, but they also lost two more starters during the course of the game.

Marqise Lee caught USC's first touchdown when he streaked down the sideline just past Cal cornerback Stefan McClure, but Lee stumbled into the end zone and sprained his AC joint. Lee should be ready for next week's game against Notre Dame. Scott Wolf has more.

"I wanted to keep playing but I could barely move my arm," Lee said. "I landed on it twice. The first play of the game and on the touchdown.

"I'm OK now. I'm pretty sure I'll be ready for Notre Dame."

If Lee can't go, Brice Butler and Brandon Carswell are the next two main options for Matt Barkley in the passing game. It leaves USC with even less options to deal with as they ready themselves for their trip to South Bend.

USC suffered a serious injury on the defensive side of the ball. Anthony Brown, the cornerback who had moved into replace Torin Harris, broke his ankle in coverage. Isiah Wiley will likely take his place if Brown doesn't return this season, but the Trojans secondary is running low on bodies.

For more on USC football, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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Marc Tyler Injury Report: Dislocated Shoulder, Doubtful For USC Vs. Notre Dame

Marc Tyler of the USC Trojans has been the team's starting running back this season because of his ability to run the football and pass protect, but Tyler has been underwhelming this season.

And now he might have to sit out more time. Tyler was tackled by Aaron Tipoti in the backfield and separated his shoulder. It was popped back into place on the sidelines, but the starting running back is now likely to be out for an extended period of play due to a separated shoulder, reports Pedro Moura of ESPN Los Angeles.

Curtis McNeal did replace him as the main ballcarrier and performed quite well, piling up 86 yards on 17 carries and helping USC move the ball for most of the second half. McNeal will probably be the starter going up against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. McNeal will need to be steady for a running attack that refuses to settle into place and assist Matt Barkley and the passing game.

For more on USC football, head over to Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Cal: Trojans, Defense Defeat Bears At AT&T, 30-9

The USC Trojans returned from its bye week on the road against the California Golden Bears at AT&T Park in San Fransisco, Calif. and win the game with a dominating defensive performance as they defeat the Bears, 30-9, and improve their overall record to 5-1.

It was the first game this season USC didn’t out gain their opponent on offense as the Trojans accumulated 313 yards to the Bear’s 329, but the Trojans did take advantage of Cal’s miscues with five takeaways, doubling that stat by tonight’s game alone.

USC linebacker Dion Bailey recorded eight tackles, two interceptions, and a forced fumble, carrying USC’s defense past the Bear’s sloppy mistakes by quarterback Zach Maynard, who threw three interceptions, with one in the red zone.

With the game seemingly put away by USC leading the Bears 23-3 in the third quarter, the Bears bounced back with Maynard using his star receivers, Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones, shedding through the USC secondary and scoring on a touchdown late in the third quarter on a Maynard rush for three yards.

The touchdown gave the Bears momentum on offense as Maynard began clicking after a rough start. Barkley couldn’t respond as they punted the ball on three straight drives after the Cal touchdown, but key plays by the USC defense prevented any damage from the Bears, including Bailey’s second interception.

The Trojans converted the turnover on a rushing touchdown by Curtis “Moody” McNeal, who led the Trojans in rushing with 86 yards on 17 carries.

It wasn’t all well for the Trojans as they lost freshman receiver Marqise Lee and running back Marc Tyler on shoulder injuries, with Tyler’s dislocated. Both did not return to the game.

Cornerback Anthony Brown also left the game with a foot injury that was quickly wrapped up.

Barkley was held under 200 yards passing for the first time this year with completing 19 of 35 passes for 195 yards. He did have two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Trojans will head to South Bend, Ind. as they face rivals Notre Dame, who have scheduled bye-week this week.

For more information on tonight’s game, as well news and information regarding the USC Trojans, visit Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Cal: First Half Update, Trojans Lead Golden Bears 20-0

After a sluggish offensive start by USC, the Trojans rebound from the first quarter by scoring 17 points in the second quarter leading the California Golden Bears 20-0.

Entering the second quarter with USC leading Cal 3-0 from a field goal by Andre Heidari in the first, USC quarterback Matt Barkley tossed a 39-yard touchdown to wide receiver Marqise Lee. It was the second time Barkley threw a reception to Lee for 30-or-more yards. For the game, Barkley is 13 of 22 with two touchdowns and no interception. Lee is leading all receivers with 81 yards receving.

On the following drive by Cal, quarterback Zach Maynard threw an interception to Chris Galippo, his first of the year, and put USC in great field position. Barkley struggled as he couldn’t connect with his receivers and USC settled for a field goal, leading the Bears 13-0.

Cal’s offense finally had momentum in their last drive with Maynard throwing to his star receivers Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones, who have 61 yards and 41 yards, respectively. With a golden opportunity to score on first and goal, Maynard threw an interception to Dion Bailey, his first of the year.

The Golden Bears have four turnovers in the first half, losing two fumbles and Maynard throwing two interceptions.

Both teams have struggled on offense with USC accumulating 187 yards of offense in the first half to Cal’s 132, but it is the defensive side of the ball that has the Trojans looking to prepare for next week’s showdown against Notre Dame with the second half left to go in the game.

USC cornerback Anthony Brown left the game with a foot injury in the second quarter and is now wearing a cast. Lee was sent to the sidelines after injuring his shoulder on the touchdown pass from Barkley, no details on his return.

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USC Vs. Cal: First Quarter Update

As expected, USC burned George Farmer’s red shirt by playing him on kicking coverage to commence the game.

The Trojan offense has not flowed well to begin the game, but the defense has allowed two turnovers against Cal, by recovering two fumbles.

During Cal’s opening drive, wide receiver Keenan Allen fumbled the ball recovered by the USC defense. On USC’s opening drive, Matt Barkley completed a 30-yard pass to Marqise Lee. That set up a 1st and goal for the Trojans, however couldn’t convert on any points.

USC did score on a 39-yard field goal by Andre Heidari.

On 4th and down, USC head coach Lane Kiffin ran a trick play for Rhett Ellison to run the ball, however, Ellison fumbled the ball and Cal recovered.

Both offenses begin the game on shaky ground, with virtually no positive runs for both teams (USC, with 1 yard rushing and Cal with 12 yards rushing).

Farmer did show a glimpse of his speed after a bubble screen play good for five yards, he also had a tackle on special teams during punt coverage.

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USC vs. Cal: Trojans Look to Pick Apart Cal Secondary, Again

The California Golden Bears are looking for some redemption from the USC Trojans for the epic 48-14 blowout they placed on them last year, while Lane Kiffen and his boys are out for a repeat performance at AT&T Park in San Francisco. USC will have a similar game plan this time around, looking to take advantage of Cal's defense early and often.

In last year's meeting Matt Barkley had five touchdown throws before the end of the first half, making the Cal secondary look like a pop warner squad while making every throw look easy. The game was in the bag long before the final whistle blew, though I wouldn't suspect the Golden Bears to just roll over again this season. Cal has some injuries in the secondary this week that will leave them a bit depleted, which is why I suspect a lot of high flying action on the shores of McCovey Cove un in San Francisco, the location of the Trojans 2009 Emerald Bowl victory.

Here's a little video to get all you Trojan fans out there hyped up for tonight, just make sure to turn off the sound. 

USC vs. Cal 2010 (via CaliforniasGold)

For more on the Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles

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USC Vs. Cal: Time, TV, Radio And Online Information

Here's all the basic info you need for Thursday night's game between the USC Trojans and the California Golden Bears.

Time: 6:02 PM PT, 9:02 PM ET

Venue: AT&T Park, San Francisco

TV: ESPN. Will also be available on ESPN 3D if you have the right television. Announcers are Rece Davis, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Jenn Brown on the sidelines.

Radio: 710 ESPN Radio, with a crew including Pete Arbogast, Paul McDonald, John Jackson, Steve Mason, Colin Cowherd, Jeff Bigs, Brandon Hancock, Darrell Rideaux, Harvey Hyde, Garry Paskwietz, Mark Williard and Keyshawn Johnson. Five other stations: 1510 AM (Ontario/Sen Bernardino/Inland Empire), 1010 AM (Palm Springs), 1450 AM Ventura, 1230 AM (Barstow), 1340 & 1400 AM (Visalia/Fresno).

Online streamESPN3 will be streaming the game, as is customary of almost any sporting event televised on the ESPN family of networks. Click here for a list of cable/satellite companies that provide ESPN3 access.

Play-by-play and live stats: Go to the CBS Sports Gametracker for any updates in-game.

Last meeting: USC obliterated Cal with six first half touchdowns, including five TD throws by Matt Barkley. The Trojans defense shut down the Golden Bears offense until long after the game was out of reach.

To discuss the Trojans, head to Conquest Chronicles. To discuss the Golden Bears, head to the California Golden Blogs.

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USC Vs. Cal Football: Trojans Have Beaten Bears Seven Straight Times

The USC Trojans battle the California Golden Bears on Thursday night, a team they haven't lost to since 2003. That 2003 contest was an epic battle, won by the Bears 34-31 in triple overtime at home, a wild game that featured fumbles, blocked kicks, and acrobatic touchdowns all in the fourth quarter and overtime periods. The Trojans dropped from No. 3 to No. 10 after the loss, but would go on to win their next 34 games.

The 2004 battle at the Coliseum was a battle for conference supremacy as the No. 1 Trojans hosted the No. 7 Bears. Cal junior quarterback completed an NCAA record 23 straight passes at one point during the game, but with USC leading 23-17 in the final two minutes, Rodgers threw three incompletions and was sacked after the Bears had a first-and-goal opportunity.

Here is a look at the last 10 games between USC and Cal, which include nine wins by the Trojans:

  • 2010: at USC 48, Cal 14
  • 2009: No. 7 USC 30, at No. 24 Cal 3
  • 2008: at No. 7 USC 17, No. 23 Cal 3
  • 2007: No. 12 USC 24, at No. 24 Cal 17
  • 2006: at No. 4 USC 23, No. 17 Cal 9
  • 2005: No. 1 USC 35, at Cal 10
  • 2004: at No. 1 USC 23, No. 7 Cal 17
  • 2003: at Cal 34, No. 3 USC 31 (3 OT)
  • 2002: at No. 20 USC 30, Cal 28
  • 2001: USC 55, at Cal 14

In their seven straight wins over Cal, USC has won by an average score of 29-10.

To discuss the Trojans, head to Conquest Chronicles.

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USC Vs. Cal Football: Matt Barkley & Robert Woods Having Record-Setting Years

The USC Trojans look for their first road win of the season on Thursday night, facing the California Golden Bears at AT&T Park in San Francisco in a nationally televised game on ESPN. Quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods look to continue setting records for the Trojans.

Barkley and the Trojans played their finest game of last season against Cal at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC was up 42-0 at halftime and cruised to a 48-14 win. Barkley threw for 352 yards and a school record-tying five touchdowns, and he came out of the game after only playing two series in the third quarter. That was one of three games for Barkley in his career with five touchdowns and no interceptions, including once this season against Syracuse.

So far this season, Barkley has set USC single-game records for pass completions in a game with 34 against Minnesota, and for passing yards with 468 yards against Arizona on October 1. On the season, Barkley has completed 70.7% of his passes for 1,587 yards, with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Barkley is on pace for 3,809 passing yards this season, which would be second only to Carson Palmer's 3,942 yards in his Heisman Trophy campaign of 2002. However, Palmer played 13 games that year, averaging 303 yards per game. The postseason-ineligible Trojans have just 12 contests on their schedule this year, and Barkley has averaged 317 yards per game so far.

Barkley is also on pace for 34 touchdowns in 12 games. The only Trojans to ever pass for 30 touchdowns in a season have all come in the past decade: Matt Leinart threw 38 scores in 2003 and 33 in 2004, Mark Sanchez threw 34 touchdowns in 2008, and Palmer threw 33 touchdowns in 2002.

If Barkley continues his pace, he will have 319 completions this season, which would break Palmer's record of 309, set in 2002. It helps to have Robert Woods around, who is averaging a whopping 11 catches and 149 yards per game so far this season. Through just five games, the 55 catches for Woods ties him for 23rd on the all-time single-season USC receptions list. Keyshawn Johnson caught a school-record 102 passes in 1995 for the Trojans.

Woods caught a school-record 17 passes against Minnesota, for 177 yards, and he grabbed 14 passes for 255 yards against Arizona last week. R. Jay Soward holds the USC record for receiving yards in a game, with 260 against UCLA in 1996.

The only Trojans receivers to average at least 100 yards per game in a single season were Johnson in both 1994 and 1995, Johnnie Morton in 1993 (with a school-record 1,520 yards receiving), and Mike Williams in 2003.

Barkley and Woods hooked up seven times for 116 yards and two touchdowns in last season's win over Cal.

For more news and information on Matt Barkley, Robert Woods, and USC football, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.

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USC vs. Cal: Matt Barkley Has Experience At AT&T Park

 

The USC Trojans (4-1) and Cal Golden Bears (3-2) will play on Thursday night in a Pac-12 showdown. Both teams will look to capture some momentum heading into the season's second half, but the game won't be held at Cal's usual venue, Memorial Stadium.

Memorial Stadium is currently under renovation and the two teams will instead play at AT&T Park, best known as the home site of the San Francisco Giants. The venue is no new thing for these Trojans: some of them played there back in December of 2009.

The setting was the Emerald Bowl, and the Trojans faced Boston College. Matt Barkley threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns while adding on a rushing touchdown as well to lead the Trojans to a 23-13 victory. That game marked the team's last bowl game.

The memory may sting for these Trojans, who cannot make a bowl game this season, but Barkley's familiarity with the venue should prove helpful. The then-freshman quarterback posted solid numbers the last time around, and he should be even more confident on Thursday with another full year of football under his belt.

A road win in this game would set the Trojans up nicely and give them some confidence heading into match-ups with Notre Dame and No. 7 Stanford. Before they can look ahead, though, USC needs to focus on Cal, a team that is hungry for a win in the wake of back-to-back losses to Washington and No. 9 Oregon.

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USC vs. Cal Injury Update: WR's Kyle Prater, Marqise Lee Probable For Trojans

As the USC Trojans get ready to take on their Pac-12 rivals Cal, their offense will be getting a few weapons back off the proverbial injury shelf as wide receivers Kyle Prater and Marqise Lee are probable to play this week. 

Prater has been dealing with a recurring foot injury that has kept him off the field for most of the season thus far.  He is back at practice and participating fully after sitting out last week, and hopefully will be good to go come Thursday.  The redshirt freshman has not caught a single pass this season for the Trojans. 

As for Lee, his hand he injured against Arizona has been healing up nicely and should be ready to go this week.  The freshman headed to the locker room during the fourth quarter of the Arizona game for x-rays that came back negative as Lee came back to finish the game. This frosh has been impressive so far with 21 catches for 323 yards and 3 TD's on the season.

For more on the Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles to get in on the action. 

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USC vs. Cal: Trojans Looking To Balance Offense, May Rush Heavily Against Bears

There is no denying Matt Barkley is a good quarterback capable of moving the football down the field with his arm. Robert Woods is a dynamic playmaker and it would be foolish for Lane Kiffin and the coaching staff to not take advantage of his incredible blend of speed and strength. And while the team already knows what works for it offensively, the Trojans will be looking to run the ball much more effectively the rest of the season. 

That means the team could look to establish the run early against the Cal Bears on Thursday evening.

"We want to be an offense that starts with running the football," Kiffin said. "So far this season we've been up and down in our run game, very inconsistent with all the new players up front. We haven't seen the same type of explosive plays in the run game that we have in the passing game. We can't do that all year, or we will get exposed."

[...]

"We've made some strides week in and week out," center Khaled Holmes said. "It's been a good thing having the same five on the O-line for a few weeks now. We just need to polish up some of the little things. Once we clean those up it will be the difference between a 4-yard gain and a big play."

As far as inconsistencies go, the Trojans have been hampered this season with injuries and suspensions to their tailbacks and offensive linemen. That being said, if USC truly hopes to take the next step offensively this season, a solid rushing attack week in and week out will be required if they hope to knock off the conference's elite teams.

Will a change in offensive philosophy come this week against Cal? Probably. Lane Kiffin sounds like a determined man and definitely wants to make his offense less one-dimensional. Do not be surprised to see starting running back Marc Tyler hear his named called much more often than usual this week.

For more on USC football, Conquest Chronicles is the place to check out.

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USC Vs. Cal Odds: Trojans Favored By Just Over Three Points

The USC Trojans take on the Cal Golden Bears on Thursday in an ESPN night game with two teams looking to get back on track. The Trojans are looking to come out of their bye week with a strong showing while the Golden Bears search for a win after two straight losses to Washington and Oregon. The Trojans currently stand as three-and-a-half point favorites in this contest.

Both teams are comfortable scoring the ball: the Trojans score 30.0 points per game while the Golden Bears score 34.6 points per game. The two squads are also mediocore defensively: the Trojans surrender 26.4 points per game while the Golden Bears give up 28.0 pints per game.

The difference in this game could come down to mentality: the Trojans are coming off of a bye week and will have fresh legs. Cal, meanwhile, has played tough road games in back-to-back weeks and may have its hands full with the Matt Barkley-Robert Woods duo that has wrecked havoc on the Pac-12 this year.

The week off gives the Trojans an edge and should allow them to cover the spread. The game should be close, though, with both teams determined to get a win and determined to create some positive momentum.

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USC Vs. Cal: Trojans Looking For First Road Win Of The Season

The Trojans will be playing for their first road win of the year and a 5-1 record overall when they visit Cal on Thursday.

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