Saturday, September 8, 2012
Instant analysis: USC 42, Syracuse 29
By Garry Paskwietz
Game ball goes to: Robert Woods. Marqise Lee grabbed the spotlight last week, but in this game it was Woods who reminded everyone of how good he can be when healthy. Woods -- who missed offseason workouts while rehabbing from ankle surgery -- was back to his playmaking self with 10 catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns, a 76-yard run from scrimmage and a 31-yard punt return.
Stat of the Game: Six touchdown passes for Matt Barkley. It wasn’t the most explosive night for Barkley -- he only passed for 187 yards -- but he made the most of those completions by tying his own USC record for most touchdown passes in a game.
It was over when: The Syracuse onside kick failed in the fourth quarter. The Orange had just scored a touchdown to pull within 35-22 and there was plenty of time left for a potential comeback. Ryan Nassib was in rhythm, so if Syracuse had recovered things could have gotten interesting, but Marquis Simmons made the play for the Trojans.
What we learned about USC: The Trojans are 2-0. Lane Kiffin said his goal for the week was to win the game and get on a plane back home. Mission accomplished. The Trojans suffered through penalties in the first half which prevented any kind of offensive flow, but eventually the big-play abilities of Woods helped get things going and helped lead the 42-point effort.
What we learned about Syracuse: The Orange are as good as any 0-2 team in college football. They started slow but stayed in the game early and played physical football with the Trojans in the first half. Syracuse was able to get the passing game going more in the second half and they eventually outgained the Trojans in overall yardage -- 455 to 445.