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.