Trojans Come Back At Utah After Dismal Start, Win 38-28
Barkley was the de facto player of the game despite his slow start, finishing with 303 passing yards, three touchdowns and a 77 percent completion rate. His best passes of the night included a perfectly placed TD pass that Randall Telfer snagged with one hand and an 83-yard TD bomb to a speedy Marqise Lee – that’s right, Barkley actually threw the ball down the field.
The Trojans went down 14-0 quickly after Barkley and senior captain Khaled Holmes miscommunicated on two snaps in a row, leading to two Barkley lost fumbles; the first was wrestled away from the Trojan captain by Nate Fakahafua, who then ran for a touchdown, and the second led to a Utah passing TD from by QB Jon Hays to WR Kenneth Scott.
After that, the Trojans flipped the switch, going on a 38-7 stretch run at one point, to close out the Utes.
Sophomore wideout Lee was USC’s leading receiver once again, leading the way with 12 receptions and 192 receiving yards. It was his 83-yard touchdown reception early on in the fourth quarter that energized a lax Trojan offense and cemented a USC victory.
The next USC drive was topped off by another Woods reception, this one a sneaky route on the goal line that ended up in a Trojan touchdown in the back of the end zone, and a lead that USC would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
The Trojan defense was stellar once again tonight, keeping the clamps down on a testy Utah offense that provided lots of pressure in the first half. After the break, USC outgained the Utes in yards, 230-66. The Trojan D settled the score and put the game out of reach midway through the fourth when Nickell Robey picked off a lobbed desperation pass from John Hays, and took it 38 yards to the end zone. Utah ran one touchdown in during garbage time, but that was well after the game was out of reach.
With the win, the Trojans improve their record to 4-1 (2-1); they will play next at Washington (3-1, 1-0) on Oct. 13. The Utes fall to 2-3 (0-2) and will play at UCLA (4-1, 1-1) next week.
Numbers to Know:
2:45 – Time it took for Utah to grab a 14-0 lead
27 – Combined penalties committed
222 – Combined penalty yards conceded
1/3 – Andre Heidari’s night kicking field goals, his worst ever as a Trojan
95 – Years since USC’s last victory in Salt Lake City