FB : LIT UP: Barkley torches SU secondary with dominant aerial attack

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjr LOS ANGELES — Randall Telfer sprinted down the center of the field with no one in sight. He could have walked into the end zone if he pleased after the Syracuse pass coverage leaked.It was on that play — just the fourth play of the second half — that the Syracuse defense lapsed. Safety Shamarko Thomas left with an injury two plays earlier, and Telfer, the USC tight end, reached the cardinal-and-gold painted grass with a 44-yard score.In doing so, he re-established the same steadfast tone for the final two quarters that was set in the first half. The Orange couldn’t stop USC quarterback Matt Barkley and the Trojans passing game.‘A miscommunication,’ SU cornerback Kevyn Scott said. ‘You got one of the guys that was backing Shamarko up came in, just a miscommunication between us.’Miscommunications and mismatches did in the Orange on Saturday, as Barkley tied a USC single-game record with five touchdown passes against Syracuse (2-1, 0-0 Big East) in a 38-17 USC victory. Barkley threw for 324 yards and found a different receiver on each of his touchdown passes. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum crowd of 65,873 was treated to a flurry of big pass plays from its star quarterback, as he exploited an inexperienced SU secondary damaged by injuries.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textUSC (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) handed Syracuse its first loss of the season, denying the Orange a chance to start 3-0 for the first time since 1991.‘It all depends how you want to look at it,’ SU head coach Doug Marrone said. ‘I mean, they’re a good football team, but we also made some mistakes early on this game, and it goes back to me. I’ve got to do a better job to get this team ready and put them in better position.’Syracuse began the game in strong position, taking the opening possession 70 yards down the field on 12 plays before settling for a field goal. But once Barkley and the USC offense took the field, SU’s momentum was sapped.The junior quarterback completed 6-of-8 passes for 60 yards on the Trojans’ first drive. Two of those were key third down conversions — plays that dejected the Syracuse defense throughout Saturday’s game.On third-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Barkley’s play-action fake fooled the Orange pass rush to look to the right while he looked left. He delivered a pass to tight end Rhett Ellison, who dove into the end zone to put USC on top.From there, the Trojans would be on top for good.‘We had them in perfect positions on numerous occasions, and somehow they got the ball out, and their guys made plays for first downs,’ Orange defensive end Mikhail Marinovich said. ‘After a while it became frustrating, and we had to go back and try to make adjustments.’But Barkley was only getting started for the Trojans. Syracuse struggled to find a consistent defense for his No. 1 target — and perhaps the No. 1 target in college football — Robert Woods.With the Trojans up 7-3 in the second quarter, Barkley threw one of his first deep balls of the game, looking for Woods down the left sideline. Scott tried taking an angle to keep up with the receiver, but he bumped into Woods to warrant a 15-yard pass interference penalty.Five plays later, Barkley went looking for Woods deep again, this time down the right sideline against starting cornerback Keon Lyn. Woods created separation and made a catch, ducking into the end zone for a 31-yard score that put USC up 14-3.Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin said moving the ball through the air was by design.‘They are a strong team against the run, so I didn’t want to get caught up in another game where we were running the ball just for the sake of running it,’ Kiffin said.Even while staked to a double-digit lead in the second half, the Trojans kept chucking it. And after Syracuse had clawed back within 24-10, it was one huge pass from Barkley that shut the door for good.True freshman Brandon Reddish entered the game for an injured Lyn, and a few feet in front of Reddish went the game.Barkley dropped back to pass from the SU 43-yard line. Wide receiver Marqise Lee was in one-on-one coverage with Reddish. The USC quarterback heaved up a prayer, and Lee coasted under it in the end zone ahead of Reddish to put the Trojans up 31-10.Every time Syracuse got its hopes up for a comeback, Barkley annulled them.‘Credit to him,’ Scott said. ‘He’s a good football player, and he has some good receivers to compliment him. ‘… I can’t say that we gave them a lot of things, probably one coverage we blew, but other than that they earned a lot of plays.’[email protected]center_img Commentslast_img

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