Could the LSU Tigers move up after their thorough beatdown of the Washington Huskies in Baton Rouge? LSU did their best to prove they should get a bump in the rankings by stifling Washington's offense to under 200 yards. LSU compiled over 400 yards on their own, and methodically grinded Washington's defense into pulp.
The team above them won handily, but not without their own struggles. The USC Trojans allowed the Syracuse Orange to hang around for much of the game, and it could be debated that Ryan Nassib played just as well as Matt Barkley by throwing for 322 yards and two touchdowns (Barkley threw for only 187 yards, but also had six touchdowns). If you had to look at the two teams, LSU's win over a top conference opponent like Washington looks far more impressive than either of USC's first two wins.
There might not be too much movement in the AP Top Ten other than Arkansas falling out of it after their upset to Louisiana-Monroe, but LSU makes a decent case after their dominance in Baton Rouge that they're more worthy of being the second-ranked team as opposed to USC. Could it very well be Alabama and LSU at the top of the polls once again this Sunday afternoon?
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.
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.
USC Trojans starting center Khaled Holmes suffered an injury to what appeared to be his right ankle or foot during today's matinee against the Syracuse Orange. Holmes, one of USC's four captains, suffered the injury with 6:08 remaining in the fourth quarter. In his place, the Trojans freshman Cyrus Hobbi to take over as the team's center.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, the injury appeared to be a serious one as the 22-year-old center was unable to walk off the field under his own power, instead needing to be carted off. Holmes was seen being examined by trainers, whose focus appeared to be on the foot.
The potential loss of Holmes could be a crushing blow for the Trojans football program. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound senior is an All-American candidate at center. In addition, Holmes is a candidate for the Rimington Trophy, an award given to the top center in the country, as well as the Outland Trophy, an award given to the top offensive lineman in the country.
For more news and notes on the USC Trojans, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.
Matt Barkley led the Trojans to a halftime lead, going 13-17 for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with both of his star receivers, Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, for scores in the second quarter. Another pic: