The USC Trojans didn't quite get off to the start they were hoping for against the unranked Syracuse Orange, but Southern California weathered the orange storm and defeated the New Yorkers 42-29 Saturday afternoon behind star quarterback Matt Barkley's 6 touchdowns.
The Trojans began the game with a quick three-and-out and were unable to get anything going offensively until the second quarter. The team entered halftime with a 14-3 lead with the intent of putting the game out of reach. However, the Orange wouldn't go down easily.
After throwing an interception in their very first drive of the second half, the Orange worked well on both sides of the ball were able to close out the third quarter with a mere five-point deficit.
It wasn't enough, though, as the Orange defense allowed three more touchdowns in the final quarter. There was no shortage of effort from Syracuse, especially quarterback Ryan Nassib. The 22-year-old senior threw the ball well, but it just wasn't enough this Saturday.
Box Score Hero: As aforementioned, quarterback Matt Barkley threw for 6 touchdown passes, which tied his career-high in a given game as well as the school's record. Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib had himself quite a day as well, throwing for 327 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Rankings Ramifications: Even with the victory, USC could drop in the polls ever so slightly because of the team's inability to put away an unranked opponent. It would be marginal at best, though, but there are very high expectations of a team ranked as highly as No. 2 Southern California.
But Did They Cover? The spread originally opened at 25.5 points, meaning the Trojans would have to win by more 26 points or more in order to cover; the Orange would need to lose by a margin less than 25. With the Trojans winning by 13, they were unable to cover the spread, meaning the Orange successfully did.
For More On This Game: For more on Trojans football, visit USC blog Conquest Chronicles, plus Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on Cuse football, visit Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, plus SB Nation New York. And Big East Coast Bias, for the time being.
Next Week's Schedule: The Trojans will now look to remain undefeated on Sept 15 as they take on the Stanford Cardinal in Stanford Stadium. Meanwhile, the Orange will travel back home in search for their first win on the season as the team takes on the Stony Brook Seawolves.