LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- USC quarterback Matt Barkley looked to the scoreboard and he couldn’t help but to let a smile as wide as the Coliseum spread across his face. He soaked in the moment before raising a hand to signal “Fight On.”
The message on the board read, “Congratulations Matt Barkley.”
Barkley took over as the Pac-12’s leader for career touchdown passes as he made the 100th touchdown pass of his career, finding receiver Robert Woods for a 29-yard score in the second quarter.
“It’s special,” he said after the game. “It’s definitely an honor to be among names like that.”
Woods found himself the leader of a different group of elite names in that same quarter, when he became USC’s all-time career receptions leader after his 217th catch as a Trojan.
“I grew up watching those receivers, ever since I understood USC football and growing up seeing them play,” Woods said of the players who set the marks before him. “I don’t see myself above them but a part of an elite group.”
For the second time in as many minutes the scoreboard lit up, this time reading “Congratulations Robert Woods.” From the sideline Woods looked to the sky and pointed to an “O” on his wrist tape.
He dedicated his record-breaking feat to his late sister, Olivia, who died of cancer. “I was living what she told me as her last words,” he said after the game. “I was doing my assignment. I felt like this was a breakthrough, like I made it.”
Woods finished his historic day with eight receptions for 132 yards. He caught four touchdowns on the Trojans way to defeating Colorado 50-6.
“Really good team win today,” Coach Lane Kiffin said following the game. “I’m really proud of our guys.”
The Trojans’ amassed 458 yards on offense, largely in part to Barkley’s near perfect outing. He completed 19-of-20 pass attempts for 298 yards, the only incompletion coming on a dropped pass by Curtis McNeal.
It was the explosive offensive performance fans and players expected coming into the season. “I think we have a better feeling in our stomachs after this win,” Barkley said. “But there’s always something to correct. We put points on the board early and moved the ball.”
During the week of preparation for Colorado, Barkley was asked if he was having fun this season. “That’s not the goal,” he said, before continuing to say that the goal for the rest of the season was to “win out.”
On this record breaking Saturday, he and the Trojans started to do both.