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Saturday, September 3, 2011
Robert Woods, Matt Barkley set marks

By Pedro Moura
ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- USC Trojans receiver Robert Woods broke the school's single-game receiving record with 17 catches and quarterback Matt Barkley set a new record for most completions in the Trojans' 2011 season opener against Minnesota on Saturday.

Johnnie Morton had the receiving record with 15 catches in a 1993 game against Houston. Todd Marinovich set the completion record with 33 in a 1989 game against Notre Dame, which Barkley upped by one Saturday, completing 34 of 45 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns.

"We knew they had that ability together," Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said after the game. "We told Robert (Friday) night what the receptions record was and it had been around for too long and that it was time for him to break it."

Woods, a sophomore, also tied the scoring record with three receiving touchdowns. He broke the record on a 5-yard out from Barkley early in the fourth quarter of the Trojans 19-17 win and then added to it with another short reception later in the quarter.

"Robert is a special player," Barkley said. "I have a trust with him that he will be there every time. He runs smart routes with great athleticism. He knows where to be, and I know we can count on him."

Woods had five catches in the first quarter, including one touchdown, and then six more in the second, with two more touchdowns. He added four grabs in the third quarter and finished with 177 yards.

"They gave me some room to start, and Matt did the rest," Woods said. "He's giving me a chance out there, and having a full year of experience to grow together really makes a big difference.

"The game has slowed down a bit, so that helped a lot."

Woods previous career high was 12 catches. He set that in a 37-35 loss to Stanford last October in Palo Alto.

Barkley's previous career high for completions was 28, also set in the Stanford game.

Pedro Moura covers USC for ESPNLosAngeles.com.