If the University of Southern California offense was waiting for the right time to showcase its offense before heading away from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it sure picked the right time to do it Saturday against the visiting Syracuse Orange.
While it began with the Orange taking a quick 3-0 lead, the Trojan offense came right back, driving down field, as it did all evening, scoring 7 points en route to a 38-7 victory.
The much-anticipated, and unexpected offensive breakout began on the Trojans first drive, as it drove 66 yards downfield, capped by a 5-yard touchdown from Matt Barkley to Rhett Ellison.
That was just the start for Barkley, who went on to throw touchdowns to four other receivers, including Robert Woods (2nd quarter, 31 yards), Randall Telfer (3rd quarter, 44 yards), (3rd quarter, 43 yards) and Xavier Grimble (4th quarter, 9 yards), racking up 324 yards while completing 26 of his 39 pass attemtps and failing to throw an interception.
Different from the first two games, the Trojans, nor the Coliseum faithful, did not need to hold their breath or hide their eyes during the 4th quarter, as Southern California put the game away in the 3rd quarter with a three-possession lead.
While the passing game, along with the field goal unit, netted the offensive scores, the running game was still a key part to the Trojans offense.
In his first game back, Marc Tyler got the bulk of the 33 carries, taking 15 of those for 41 yards. Curtis McNeal needed only 5 touches to gain 79 yards. Dillon Baxter, who finally got on the field to showcase his talents, gaine 29 yards on 7 carries.
This was also the first time that Lane Kiffin did not press the issue early in the game, taking the extra point instead of going for two-point conversion, as the Trojans second-year coach did not attempt two points on any of the five extra point attempts.
But after three consecutive home games, and wins, to open the season, the Trojans now set their sights on Sun Devil Stadium Saturday afternoon, where they take on the Arizona State Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils, who come in at 2-1, average 314.7 yards passing and 142.3 yards rushing while scoring 33 points a game. The defense has allowed 14, 30 and 17 through the seasons first three games.
Saturday’s game is a 10:15 Eastern Time start, and the first Pac-12 matchup for the host Sun Devils.