LOS ANGELES – Shortly after Matt Barkley found Ronald Johnson in the end zone for their second touchdown in 35 seconds, Southern California sprinted up the Coliseum tunnel amid raucous cheers to enjoy the most relaxing halftime break imaginable.
With a 42-0 lead after a near-perfect half of football, no last-second field goal was likely to ruin the Trojans’ third straight Saturday.
Barkley passed for 352 yards and a school record-tying five touchdowns, and USC emphatically snapped its first losing streak in nine years with a 48-14 victory over California.
Johnson and Robert Woods caught two scoring passes apiece for the Trojans (5-2, 2-2 Pac-10), who lost their last two games to Washington and Stanford on field goals at the final gun. Instead of losing their mental edge, the Trojans finally gained the sharpness they’ve been trying to get all season.
USC overwhelmed the Golden Bears (3-3, 1-2) from the opening drive, with Barkley picking apart an elite defense while the Trojans racked up 372 of their 589 total yards in the first half. The Trojans’ defense, much maligned during the past month, held Cal scoreless until late in the third quarter.
David Ausberry also caught a TD pass for USC, which hadn’t lost back-to-back games since early in 2001, former coach Pete Carroll’s first season. The Trojans’ dominant performance brightened a gloomy, gray day at the Coliseum, where USC had lost three of its last five games after a 47-1 stretch.
USC—Woods 16 pass from Barkley (Houston kick), 11:10.
USC—Ausberry 22 pass from Barkley (Houston kick), 1:27.
USC—Tyler 11 run (Houston kick), 13:54.
USC—Woods 9 pass from Barkley (Houston kick), 8:08.
USC—Johnson 8 pass from Barkley (Houston kick), :43.
USC—Johnson 11 pass from Barkley (Houston kick), :08.
USC—FG Houston 27, 5:04.
Cal—Vereen 31 pass from Riley (Tavecchio kick), 2:59.
USC—FG Houston 27, 12:10.
Cal—Allen 8 pass from Riley (Tavecchio kick), 3:44.
|Time of Possession||23:53||36:07|
RUSHING—California, Vereen 10-53, Sofele 6-14, Allen 1-(minus 1), Team 1-(minus 1), Riley 2-(minus 13). Southern Cal, Tyler 7-79, Gable 13-72, Bradford 9-27, Woods 2-25, Ausberry 2-14, Johnson 1-(minus 1), Barkley 2-(minus 5).
PASSING—California, Riley 15-29-2-193. Southern Cal, Barkley 25-37-0-352, Mustain 5-7-0-39.
RECEIVING—California, Allen 4-61, Vereen 3-45, Jones 3-20, Ross 2-33, Calvin 1-26, Miller 1-7, Sofele 1-1. Southern Cal, Woods 7-116, Johnson 7-45, Havili 5-36, Ausberry 4-53, Butler 2-18, Ayles 1-54, Carswell 1-33, Tyler 1-24, Bradford 1-8, Ellison 1-4.