Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
After Colorado gave up a half-dozen touchdown passes by Matt Barkley for the second consecutive year, a few Buffaloes were more fed up with their teammates than Southern California’s prolific quarterback.
Barkley threw for 298 yards and six touchdowns while establishing USC’s new career mark for touchdown passes, and Robert Woods set a pair of school records himself in the 11th-ranked Trojans’ 50-6 victory over Colorado on Saturday.
Jordan Webb passed for 210 yards for the Buffaloes (1-6, 1-3 Pac-12), who couldn’t stay with the Trojans during their third consecutive blowout loss in what’s shaping up to be a nightmare season. Colorado trailed 19-0 in the first six minutes and 33-6 midway through the second quarter before Barkley equaled the USC-record six touchdown passes he threw in a Boulder blowout last season.
But Barkley and Woods are just the latest duo to torment the Buffaloes’ defense, which has yielded 246 points in the last five games. Its veteran leaders are getting angry: Safeties Parker Orms and Ray Polk criticized several unidentified teammates after the game, saying they aren’t studying and preparing well enough.
“We go over the game plan, and if guys aren’t getting in the playbooks deeply enough, it will show,” Orms said. “It’s embarrassing, but we’ve just got to keep fighting, even if we’re getting blown out. Captains try to get on those guys (who don’t prepare) all the time. ... We have to see who’s willing to compete in this conference.”
Orms suggested the coaches should check the software on the players’ iPads to see who isn’t watching film on Colorado’s opponents.
The Trojans took the lead 50 seconds in on Marqise Lee’s 55-yard touchdown catch and eventually carved up Colorado’s defense for 313 yards and 33 points on just 27 plays in the first half.
“We’ve got to keep putting the heat on guys to watch film and understand what the game plan is,” Polk said. “We’ve got to execute more, and we didn’t do that at all. ... I don’t know even how I’m going to sleep (Saturday night).”
Colorado hasn’t beaten a ranked team on the road in 19 tries over the last decade – and that streak isn’t likely to end next week in Eugene, Ore.
“We’ve got to see what’s wrong and get it fixed,” coach Jon Embree said. “We’re young, but we’re going to have to grow up and compete. The one thing you can’t say about this team is, ‘They don’t compete.’”
Embree also could be considering a quarterback change after Webb went 18-for-35 with three interceptions. Sophomore backup Connor Wood got significant playing time.
“You’ve got to give them credit, but there were definitely some unforced errors that we’ve got to fix,” Webb said. “I’m older, and you just kind of get tired of it.”
Barkley and Woods connected on scoring throws of 39, 29, 17 and 3 yards in the first 35 minutes for USC (6-1, 4-1 Pac-12), which finally showcased its offensive might after a season of mostly unintimidating performances. The two stars who stuck with the Trojans through heavy NCAA sanctions have been rewarded with lofty spots atop USC’s record book, and they savored the moment.
“It’s definitely an honor to have my name with guys like that,” said Barkley, who surpassed Matt Leinart’s USC and conference records for career touchdown passes. “It’s special to be able to celebrate it with Robert and the guys.”
Woods set a single-game school record for touchdown catches, and he passed Dwayne Jarrett on USC’s career receptions list with his 217th career catch on his third scoring grab.
“I grew up watching all those receivers, ever since I understood what USC football was,” Woods said. “It’s fun to follow in their footsteps, to be one of those great receivers.”
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 touchdown passes while going 19-for-20 to break Rick Neuheisel’s conference record for completion percentage in a game with at least 20 passes.
Woods finished with eight catches for 132 yards.