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Colorado vs. USC 2012: Offense and defense were stellar, penalties still an issue

Much of the talk from USC's 50-6 victory over Colorado will settle on the record setting performances by quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods.

Barkley became the first quarterback in USC and Pac-12 history to reach 100 career touchdown passes. Woods set a new record for career receptions for USC lore and also set the school's record for most touchdown receptions in a game with four.

As Conquest Chronicles writes, it was encouraging to see Barkley hook up with Woods, and to do it so often and so well. Barkley threw six touchdown passes and did it on a remarkable 19-for-20 attempts (a new Pac-12 record in completion percentage). Most importantly, Kiffin knew he was dealing with a questionable secondary and attacked it often and early.

Of maybe even greater note, Lane Kiffin opened up the playbook a little bit more and made it a point to just attack Colorado's secondary from the opening play. That's a good sign considering how many people were starting to really question Kiffin's decisions.

The defense, although it gave up 351 total yards of offense, still did a great job of keeping the Buffalos in check. USC forced six turnovers (three fumbles and three interceptions), which quickly killed any offensive momentum Colorado was able to muster. Conquest Chronicles writes that the USC defense has been underrated all year, and the victory over Colorado shows how strong the defensive unit is.

It wasn't all good though. The Trojans continued to struggle with penalties, committing 10 to a tune of 90 yards. The Trojans are ranked dead last in the nation in penalties, and it isn't a good sign to see so many at home against a worse team.

Against much better teams, you can't expect to commit so many mistakes and still find a way to win. The fact that they committed that many penalties against a subpar team at home is a little concerning. It'll be interesting to watch how this plays out going forward. If the Trojans don't find a way to clean up their play, it could end up costing them a game or two.

Leonard Williams' ejection before halftime also could prove to be a big blow to a team that is already short on the defensive front. As Conquest Chronicle writes, there isn't much of an excuse to throw a punch in a game already over (even if someone supposedly spits on you). Williams' ejection might lead to further ramifications.