USC 38, Syracuse 17: Matt Barkley And Trojan Passing Attack Torches Orange In Rout

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Syracuse Football Vs. USC: Facts, Tidbits And Opinions

The Syracuse University football program had a hard time stopping the University of Southern California's passing attack Saturday night, and those struggles led to a 38-17 non-conference loss at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Junior quarterback Matt Barkley tossed for 326 yards and five touchdowns, all to different receivers, for the Trojans, who dropped the Orange to 2-1.

Next Saturday at noon, Syracuse hosts the University of Toledo at the Carrier Dome. However, before SU's Week 4 contest let's look at some fact, tidbits and give some opinions on the Orange's loss to the Trojans.

Facts

  • Syracuse's opening drive, which led to a 23-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Ross Krautman, senior quarterback Ryan Nassib was a perfect 8-for-8 passing with 55 yards. Thirty-four of those yards went to senior running back Antwon Bailey, who caught four passes, including a 20-yarder that moved SU to USC's 28-yard line.
  • On the Trojans' first possession of the game, SU had USC backed up to its own 25-yard line and facing a 2nd-and-19, however, a screen pass that was short of the markers turned into 15 yards and a first down after junior defensive end Brandon Sharpe was called for a personal foul late-hit penalty on USC's sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods. From there, the Trojans finished a 12-play, 66 yard drive to take 7-3 lead.
  • After two possession, SU was 4-for-5 on third downs. Syracuse entered the half 4-of-8 and finished the game 8-of-15 (53.3).
  • After two SU possession, Nassib was 11-of-12 passing for 74 yards (four passes converted third down conversions). Nassib finished the game 25-of-37 (67.6 percent) with 230 yards and a TD.
  • Syracuse defense, which entered the game allowing opponents to convert 36.3 percent of its third downs, was again horrible in this situation. At halftime, USC had converted 4-of-6 (66.6) third downs and ended the game 10-of-14 (71.4).
  • On the Orange's third possession of the game, SU faced a 3-and-7 from its own 28-yard line. From the shotgun, Nassib was able to move away from pressure and fire a strike to senior wide receiver Alec Lemon, who dropped the attended passes. USC scored on its next possession and took a 14-3 lead.
  • SU players who left the field because of injury: senior defensive tackle Deon Goggins (left under own power, returned), sophomore saftey Shamarko Thomas (left hamstring injury, did not return) and sophomore corner back Keon Lyn (cramps, did not see him return).

Tidbits

Opinions:

  • If we're being honest, more positives came out of this loss than did the two previous victories over the University of Wake Forest and University of Rhode Island. Despite only scoring 17 points, the offense started off steady with a field-goal drive on its first possession and at times moved the ball very well. SU fans are also seeing Nassib morphing into a stud. Come Big East play, this offense is going to be very good and Nassib will be battling University of West Virginia's quarterback Geno Smith for Quarterback Of The Year honors.
  • As expected, the USC passing attack shredded SU's secondary (326-passing yards and five TDs). However, I was impressed how well the defensive line and line backers just flew to the ball. Senior defensive tackle Deon Goggins was seen on a few nice plays, while senior defensive end Mikhail Marinovich collected a deflective pass on a nice third-down stop late in the third quarter. There were a lot of big hits and near forced fumbles. Unfortunately, none of them led to the big play which SU needed to pull of the upset.
  • All-in-all, the loss to Southern Cal. was what we all thought it was going to be. If the Orange didn't make any big plays on the defensive end or special teams then it was going to be very difficult for SU to keep up with the more talented Trojans, especially on the road. Next week, it's back to the East Coast were the Syracuse football schedule features the University of Toledo, a much better match up for the Orange.
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Final Score: USC 38, Syracuse 17

Junior quarterback Matt Barkley tossed for a game-best 324-passing yard with five touchdowns to help the University of Southern California defeat Syracuse University, 38-17, in a non-conference game at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Barkley completed 26-of-39passes and found five different receivers for a TD to help the Trojans improve to 3-0 on the season. The USC offense totaled 501 totals yards.

Syracuse led 3-0 early in the first quarter after sophomore kicker Ross Krautman nailed a 23-yard field goal at the end of the Orange's first drive of the game. However, the Trojans scored 24-unanswered points to take control. Earlier in the fourth quarter, USC led 38-10, but a late SU touchdown helped close the margin.

SU's senior quarterback Ryan Nassib started out strong completing 11 of his first 12 passes, but finished the with just 230-passing yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Antwon Bailey carried the ball 11 times for 47 yards, while senior wide receivers Alec Lemon and Van Chew each caught TD passes.

The Syracuse football schedule features the Orange hosting the University of Toledo next Saturday at noon.




SB Nation New York blogged live during Saturday night's non-conference contest featuring Syracuse vs. USC. Check back to SBN NY for in-game updates, post-game reactions and the most up-to-date news on the Orange. Also, follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY and Jared_E_Smith.

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USC 31, Syracuse 10: End Of Third Quarter

A 45-yard touchdown reception by freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee from junior quarterback Matt Barkley has helped the University of Southern California take a commanding 31-10 lead at the end of the third quarter over Syracuse University in a non-conference game at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Lee's first collegiate TD capped a eight-play, 80-yard drive, which took just 4:44. So far, Barkley has 309-passing yards and four TDs.

The Orange (2-0), who trailed 24-3 after USC scored on its first possession of the second half, had cut the Trojan advantage to 24-10 with a trick play that featured two senior wide receivers -- Alec Lemon to Van Chew -- connecting on a 28-yard TD pass.

At one points, SU seemed to gained some momentum after forcing USC to a three-and-out on its next possession, but the Orange's following offensive drive stall inside Trojans' territory when quarterback Ryan Nassib was sacked on third down.

SB Nation New York is blogging live during Saturday night's non-conference contest featuring Syracuse vs. USC. Check back to SBN NY for in-game updates, post-game reactions and the most up-to-date news on the Orange. Also, follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY and Jared_E_Smith.

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Halftime Score: USC 17, Syracuse 3

Junior quarterback Matt Barkley and sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods hooked up on a 31-yard touchdown and freshman kicker Andre Heidari nailed a 26-yard field goal to help the University of Southern California take a 17-3 halftime lead over Syracuse University in a non-conference contest at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Woods' fourth TD reception of the season capped a six-play, 58-yard drive by USC, while Heidari's kick ended a 12-play, 45-yard march.

Heidari had a chance to give the Trojans a 17-3 lead, but he missed a 46-yard field goal as time expired.

The Orange had their second drive the of the second quarter travel inside USC territory, but it stalled when it couldn't convert on a fourth down. After converting 4-of-5 third downs in the first quarter, Syracuse converted just two first downs in the second quarter.

Here are some halftime stats:

  • Syracuse total yards: 133.
  • USC total yards: 203.
  • Ryan Nassib (SU): 12-of-21 for 86 yards.
  • Matt Barkley (USC): 16-of-25 for 175 yards and two TDs.
  • SU leading rusher: Antwon Bailey, eight carries for 36 yards.
  • USC leading receiver: Robert Woods, six catches for 70 yards and a TD.
  • SU third downs: 4-of-9 (44.4 percent).
  • USC third downs: 4-of-6 (66.6).

SB Nation New York is blogging live during Saturday night's non-conference contest featuring Syracuse vs. USC. Check back to SBN NY for in-game updates, post-game reactions and the most up-to-date news on the Orange. Also, follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY and Jared_E_Smith.

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USC 7, Syracuse 3: End Of First Quarter

A five-yard touchdown reception by senior tight end Rhett Ellison from junior quarterback Matt Barkley has helped the University of Southern California finish the first quarter with a 7-3 lead over Syracuse University in a non-conference game at the L.A. Coliseum. Ellison's TD, his first of the season, capped a 12-play, 66-yard drive by USC (2-0).

The Orange (2-0) opened the game with a 12-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Ross Krautman. During the drive senior quarterback Ryan Nassib was a perfect 8-for-8 with 55-passing yards. Senior running back Antwon Bailey caught four of those passes for 34 yards, including a 20-yard catch and run that converted a 3-and-2 and got SU to USC's 28-yard line.

SB Nation New York is blogging live during Saturday afternoon's non-conference contest featuring Syracuse vs. USC. Check back to SBN NY for in-game updates, post-game reactions and the most up-to-date news on the Orange. Also, follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY and Jared_E_Smith.

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Syracuse Vs. USC: Scouting The Trojans

After escaping with two narrow victories during the first two weeks of the season, the Syracuse University football program faces its biggest test yet. On Saturday at 8 p.m. on FX, the Orange visit Los Angeles to take on the University of Southern California, a Pac-12 program that's a 15-point favorite.

A victory over the Trojans would improve Syracuse to 3-0 for the first time since 1991 and help the program become relevant again. However, beating USC is easier said than done. Here's a brief scouting reported on the talented Trojans.

Opponent: University of Southern California Trojans.

Last season: The Trojans finished with a 8-5 overall record and 5-4 in the Pacific-10 Conference. USC finished in a tie for third with the University of Washington in the PAC-10 standings, while the University of Oregon (9-0) finished first and the University of Standford (8-1) was second.

Head coach: Lane Kiffin

As a coach who inherited a program that was ruled ineligible for post-season play because of an NCAA penalty for violations dating to the previous coaching staff, Kiffin was deemed a success in his first season in SoCal. Before returning to USC, Kiffin, who was an assistant coach under former head coach Pete Carroll from 2001-2006, was the head coach for the Oakland Raiders and the University of Tennessee. Though, those previous stints didn't end well -- Oakland owner Al Davis ran him out of town, while Kiffin bolted Tennessee after just one season -- Kiffin seems to have USC headed in the right direction. By next year, when the program is finally eligible for post-season play, the Trojans should be ready to contend for a Pac-12 and National Title.

Offense: Highly touted pro prospect, junior quarterback Matt Barkley, is and has been USC's signal caller for three seasons. Last season, Barkley tossed for 2,791 yards and 26 TDs to earn All-Pac 10 Honorable Mention honors. This season, Barkley is averaging 284-passing yards and two TDs per game, while completing 70.1 percent of his passes. Currently, Barkley is No. 3 on Mel Kiper's NFL Draft Board.

Senior Marc Tyler (5-foot-7, 180-pounds), who was suspended for the Trojans first game of the season, is the main tailback for USC. Last week, Tyler ran for 113 yards and a TD in a slim 23-17 victory over Utah. The Trojans will also use freshman D.J. Morgan (5-10, 190), who ran for 70 yards in a 19-17 victory over Minnesota in Week 1, and junior Curtis McNeal (5-7, 180).

Currently, sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods (6-1, 180) is the nation's second-leading receiver with 12.5 catches per game. In Week 1, Woods caught a school record 17 passes. Last season, Woods made the Freshman All-American Team and was named the Pac-10's Freshman Offensive Player Of The Year.

The Trojan's offensive line is led by All-American candidates, juniors Matt Kalil (6-7, 295), left tackle, and Khaled Holmes (6-4, 310), center.

Defense: So far, this season, junior defensive end Nick Perry (6-3, 250) has been the Trojans play maker on D. In the first two games, Perry has averaged five tackles per game, while forcing a fumble and collecting a sack. This has been good news for USC fans who were worried on who would replace defensive tackle Jurrell Casy, who was a Pac-10 All-First Teamer last season.

At linebacker, freshman Hayes Pullard has compiled a team-best eight tackles in each of USC's first two victories. Meanwhile, the secondary features senior safety T.J. McDonald, who was a Pac-10 All-Second Teamer in '10.

Conclusion: For the past two weeks, SU's defense has been shredded by an opponent's passing attack and don't look for things to change against the USC Trojans, who feature a top notch quarterback and wide receiver. On paper, the Trojans are by far the more talented team and for the Orange to pull off the upset they will need a lot of things to go their way.

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