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October 20, 2012LOS ANGELES - Matt Barkley threw for 298 yards and six touchdowns while setting Southern California's career record for TD passes, and Robert Woods set a pair of school marks himself in the 11th-ranked Trojans' 50-6 victory over Colorado on Saturday.
Barkley and Woods climbed atop the Trojans' record books during the most prolific day of their three-year partnership at USC (6-1, 4-1 Pac-12), connecting on scoring throws of 39, 29, 17 and 3 yards in the first 35 minutes against hapless Colorado (1-6, 1-3).
That gave Woods a school record for TD receptions in a single game.
Barkley hit Woods with his 100th career touchdown pass in the second quarter to surpass Matt Leinart's USC and conference records. Woods passed Dwayne Jarrett on USC's career receptions list a few minutes later with his 217th career catch, going 17 yards for another TD.
USC has won four straight since its only loss, at Stanford, and the Trojans' second home game in seven weeks turned into the preseason No. 1 team's most lopsided of the season. And though Barkley's Heisman Trophy candidacy has all but vanished during the Trojans' recent streak of grind-it-out games, he put up some awfully gaudy numbers against Colorado.
Barkley tied his own single-game USC mark for TD passes while going 19 for 20 to break Rick Neuheisel's conference record for completion percentage in a game with at least 20 passes. Barkley also hit Marqise Lee and Xavier Grimble for scores, and his only incompletion was a drop by Curtis McNeal.
Woods finished with eight catches for 132 yards, and the All-American blew past Jarrett's record midway through his junior year. Lee, who might threaten Woods' marks next year, had six catches for 103 yards.
Jordan Webb passed for 210 yards for Colorado, which hasn't beaten a ranked team on the road in 19 tries over the past decade. The Buffaloes' defense has yielded 246 points in the past five games.
"We had some opportunities to try to get some points and make some plays and the turnovers kill you," Buffs head coach Jon Embree said during his post-game interview on KKZN radio. "We were able to run the ball fairly well. We had a few sacks in there where we have to get rid of the football. But I thought the offensive line played fairly well and they are starting to gel.
"I was pleased with our offense moving the ball, [the issue was] just not protecting it and defensively giving up big plays. We are not talented enough to play anybody if we turn the ball over or give up big plays. Hats off to USC, obviously a very talented team."
The entire afternoon was a celebration for the Trojans, who carved up Colorado's defense for 313 yards and 33 points on just 27 plays in the first half.
USC needed only 50 seconds to take the lead, with Lee scampering 55 yards for a score on the Trojans' second snap. After USC safety Drew McAllister made an impressive leaping interception in the end zone, Woods scored on USC's ensuing possession, easily shedding two tacklers on a 39-yard romp down the sideline.
After McAllister recovered a Colorado fumble, Barkley tied Leinart's mark on a short TD throw to Grimble just 41 seconds later. The Buffaloes managed two field goals before Barkley hit a streaking Woods in stride for the record TD.
USC was prepared for Barkley and Woods moving into history: After Barkley set the mark, he was greeted with a standing ovation and a video tribute on the Coliseum scoreboard featuring congratulations from Leinart, Carson Palmer, former USC coach Pete Carroll and several Los Angeles sports luminaries, including Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Barkley didn't play in the fourth quarter, and backup Max Wittek threw another scoring pass to D.J. Morgan as USC set the school record for TD passes in a game.
Not everything was as perfect as the Trojans' passing game: USC committed five penalties and fumbled twice in the first half, and promising freshman defensive tackle Leonard Williams was ejected in the second quarter for throwing a punch at a Colorado player while they were on the ground.
USC led 33-6 at halftime, but coach Lane Kiffin gathered his team on the sideline for a demonstrative tongue-lashing before the Trojans ran to the locker room.
USC lost starting left tackle Aundrey Walker to an undisclosed injury early in the third quarter, with the sophomore walking gingerly to a cart.
"We are going in to play a team next week [in Oregon] that is maybe playing for the national title and we've got to make sure our mindset is what it's been, which is compete and fight for four quarters," Embree said. "We'll start Monday and start preparing. Obviously our defense has a tremendous challenge. They are the best offense in the country."