Matt Barkley threw for a school record six touchdowns Friday night, leading the visiting USC Trojans to a 42-17 win over the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field in Boulder. It was the first-ever Pac-12 Conference meeting between the two schools.
USC is 6-0 all-time against Colorado.
Barkley completed 26 of 40 passes for 326 passes and one interception in addition to his six touchdowns. He broke his own school record for touchdown throws in a game, which he shared with Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, Rodney Peete, and Mark Sanchez.
Unsurprisingly, Barkley's favorite targets on Friday were his favorite targets all season, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. Each caught two touchdowns, with Woods catching nine passes for 132 yards along with Lee's 10 catches for 129 yards.
In just nine games this season, Woods has 90 catches, 1,123 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns. The 90 catches are the fourth-most catches in a single season in USC school history.
Colorado (1-9, 0-6) started the game off strong, driving 69 yards on just six plays, culminating in a 37-yard touchdown pass by Tyler Hansen to wide receiver Toney Clemons on a slant route up the middle for a 7-0 Buffaloes' lead. It was the first lead for Colorado in over a month, since October 1 against the Washington St. Cougars.
For a Trojans' defensive unit missing linebacker Dion Bailey with a concussion and safety T.J. McDonald to a first half suspension, it looked like it may have been a long night. However, with three freshmen linebackers — Hayes Pullard plus two new starters Tre Madden and Lamar Dawson — and two new starters at safety — junior Drew McAllister and senior Marshall Jones in place of McDonald and Jawanza Starling — the defensive unit began to improve.
USC allowed just 103 yards in 29 plays on the next seven drives for the Buffaloes and the Trojans were able to build a 28-10 halftime lead.
Curtis McNeal started his first game at tailback this season, and the Trojans' rushing leader had 86 yards on 10 carries. Freshman tailback Amir Carlisle impressed in his first extended playing time of the season. Carlisle rushed for 88 yards on 10 carries and caught two passes for 31 yards, including a 19-yard screen pass that became Barkley's record-setting sixth touchdown throw.
The Trojans return home next Saturday to host the Washington Huskies.
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