Instant analysis: USC 49, Hawaii 36

September, 3, 2010
9/03/10
3:10
AM ET
USC's 49-36 win at Hawaii probably wasn't terribly comforting for USC fans. The offense looked great. The defense? Spineless.

Lane Kiffin and his offense get an "A." Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron and their defense get an "F."

How the game was won: The Warriors couldn't stop the Trojans offense.

Turning point: It never really seemed like USC was in real danger, but the Trojans' effortless four-play, 79-yard drive to go up 42-23 late in the third quarter made it clear that no matter how many points the Warriors scored, the Trojans would end up with more.

Turning point II: When Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz was knocked out of the game near the USC goal line in the third quarter, the Warriors' chances seemed as if they were severely damaged. But the Warriors kept rolling up yards and points even with their backups.

Second-guessing: Let's make something clear: USC linebacker Michael Morgan's hit that knocked out Moniz in the third was clean. It wasn't a head shot, and that was clear from replays. It shouldn't have been a penalty. Morgan delivered a blow with his chest and INSIDE of his arms. Just want to make sure everyone understands what happened.

Stat of the game: The Warriors outgained USC 588 to 525.

In case that wasn't clear: 588!

Notable number: USC made a bunch of stupid penalties, mostly on defense. The final tally -- 11 for 100 -- included three offsides penalties, as well as a fourth that was declined, in large part because the Warriors converted on a third-and-26 from their 7-yard line.

Player of the game: Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley was brilliant. He threw five touchdown passes, completing 18 of 23 throws for 257 yards.

Player of the game II: USC receiver Ronald Johnson caught three of Barkley's TD passes. He also returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown.

Player who deserves note: Moniz is a heck of a player. Sort of reminded me of a guy we used to see in the Pac-10 last year who's moved to Mississippi. He had the Trojans D completely out of sync, both running and throwing.

What it means: Some -- who, me? -- thought USC would come out and stomp the Warriors. You know: Send a message. The foundation of that predicted stomping -- and it feels absurd now -- was expected to be the Trojans defense, particularly the defensive line. But the defensive line was terrible. They, however, looked good compared to the secondary, which couldn't cover or tackle worth a lick. There are some positives to take away for USC, but they are entirely on offense. Other Pac-10 offensive coordinators who stayed up late to watch this one -- it ended around 3 a.m. EST -- are probably grinning.

Ted Miller | email

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