Matt Barkley finally looks like he's back on the right track. It was a rough start--he started the day 1 of 7, but then turned on the jets and completed 14 of his final 18 passes. However, Barkley didn't break through until facing the second team defense, and another score in the second half came against second and third-string defenders.
Barkley threw five touchdowns on the day, perhaps his best performance of the offseason. He found Robert Woods for a 22 yard score, then hooked up with him again on the subsequent drive for a 42 yard score down the right sideline, then perhaps made the prettiest score of all of them on a three yard touchdown according to eyewitness reports. Not exactly sure what the throw was, but I'd have to guess Woods faked to the slant then came back to the corner, or faked to the fade only to come back inside, or he hopped over multiple defenders and somersaulted while making the catch. Woods had five catches for 120 yards, including the three touchdowns; Barkley was 15 for 25 for 261 yards.
Barkley also threw touchdowns to H-back Rhett Ellison (set up by another long bomb to Woods, this one for 35 yards), and backup wide receiver Kyle Prater. His one interception came at the end of the half to Drew McAllister.
Freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee continues to show signs that he can crack the starting rotation, grabbing seven balls for 165 yards and one touchdown.
Reports courtesy of Dan Greenspan of SC Playbook, Michael Lev of the Orange County Register, Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, Ryan Abraham of USC Football, and the USC Athletics official Twitter. For more on USC football, Conquest Chronicles is your spot.