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USC vs. Utah 2012: Matt Barkley, defense lead Trojans to victory

Barkley finishes 23-of-30 for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns

George Frey - Getty Images

The USC Trojans topped the Utah Utes, 38-28, on Thursday night and improved to 4-1 on the season. The victory was the byproduct of USC's defense, quarterback Matt Barkley and the resiliency of the team to forge a comeback on the road in a hostile environment, according to Trevor Wong of SB Nation's USC blog, Conquest Chronicles.

"It could have been easy for USC to lay down, especially after that first play," Wong wrote. "And then to be down two touchdowns less than three minutes into the game, it certainly wasn't looking pretty early. The crowd was a factor all night long (numerous false starts throughout the game), but the Trojans hung in there, fought back and stayed the course."

The Trojans' defense was stout against the Utes and only allowed seven points after taking into account the two offensive turnovers that led to touchdowns for Utah and the last-ditch score with 38 seconds left to play. Cornerback Nickell Robey sealed the win for USC with a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and defensive end Morgan Breslin was a constant presence in Utah's backfield. Barkley, meanwhile, finished 23-of-30 for 303 yards and three touchdowns. It was the senior quarterback's 12th career 300-yard game.

College Football Week 6 Power Rankings (via sbnation)