LOS ANGELES - When Matt Barkley makes his first million in the NFL, a small donation to the University of Colorado might be a nice gesture. It's the least he could do after all the Buffaloes have done for him during their brief stay in the Pac-12 Conference.
On Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Barkley, Southern California's gifted senior quarterback, virtually repeated his 2011 passing performance against CU in guiding the No. 11 Trojans to a 50-6 beat-down of the Buffs.
Barkley returned for his senior year for afternoons like Saturday. Before being pulled with 7:43 remaining in the third quarter, he completed 19 of 20 passes for 298 yards and six touchdowns - tying the school record he set in Boulder last season in USC's 42-17 rout.
In two games against the Buffs, Barkley has thrown for 12 TDs and 616 yards. His six TD passes Saturday gave him the Pac-12 and USC career records (103) and Saturday's 95 percent completion ratio also set single-game school and conference marks, as did his passing efficiency rating of 319.16.
"There's a reason why he's going to go high in the draft," CU coach Jon Embree said. "Great player, glad he's done, glad I don't have to see him in person anymore."
"He's a great quarterback," CU defensive end Will Pericak said. "He's got the whole package around him - the line protects, he's got the great receivers to throw to. It's just what he does. He picks up his receivers when they're open and he's a playmaker."
Robert Woods, a 6-1 junior, also entered the USC record books for career receptions and TDs in a single game. He caught eight passes Saturday for 132 yards and four scores. Teammate Marqise Lee made six receptions for 103 yards and one TD.
By comparison with Barkley, CU quarterback Jordan Webb finished 18-for-35 for 210 yards with three interceptions. He was replaced by Connor Wood in the final quarter.
Suffering its third consecutive blowout loss, CU fell to 1-6 overall and 1-3 in the Pac-12 while USC went to 6-1, 4-1 with its seventh consecutive win (7-0) against CU. In losses over the past three weeks, CU has allowed 1,498 yards and 143 points.
The Buffs, who travel to No. 2 Oregon next Saturday, now have lost nine straight meetings with ranked teams and 19 consecutive road games against ranked opponents. CU had won its past two Pac-12 road games - at Utah to close out 2011 and at Washington State to open 2012 conference play.
But Saturday, entering the Coliseum as a 41-point underdog, would be vastly different. After one half of The Barkley Show, the Buffs trailed 33-6 after spotting the Trojans a 19-0 lead less than 6 minutes into the first quarter.
USC got its first touchdown only two plays into the game on a 55-yard Barkley-to-Lee pass, then capitalized on back-to-back CU turnovers - a Webb interception and a lost Christian Powell fumble - for another quick pair of scores. The Buffs lost six turnovers - three picks, three fumbles - that the Trojans converted into 29 points.
The first two USC scores after CU miscues, of course, came on Barkley passes. The first was a 39-yarder to Woods, the second nine yards to tight end Xavier Grimble. CU appeared to have answered that score on a 15-yard Webb-to-Gerald Thomas pass, but Thomas was ruled to have been out of bounds at the back of the end zone and the TD was negated.
On fourth down, Will Oliver kicked a 27-yard field and CU crept to within 19-3.
On the ensuing series, Pericak forced a Barkley fumble and linebacker Jon Major recovered, giving CU possession at the USC 42. Five plays got the Buffs as far as the Trojans' 19, where on fourth down Oliver booted a 37-yard field goal.
CU had pulled to 19-6, but from there USC steadily pulled away. And the Buffs' scoring was done.
On the next series, Barkley threw his fourth TD pass of the half, this one caught again by Woods and covering 29 yards. It was the 100th TD pass of Barkley's career, giving him the school and Pac-12 record and sending the Trojans up 26-6.
But the Barkley-Woods tandem wasn't finished. They teamed again on USC's next series for a 17-yard scoring play, with Woods again outrunning CU freshman corner Kenneth Crawley to push the Trojans ahead 33-6 with 6:52 left before intermission.
Woods' reception was the 217th of his career, giving him the USC career record and touching off another round of celebrity congratulations on the Coliseum's massive video board. USC obviously was expecting a record day Saturday or at some point very soon; luminaries congratulating Barkley and Woods on their records included NBA stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, former USC coach Pete Carroll and a host of other former Trojans.
Barkley ended the first half 16-of-17 for 269 yards and five TDs, while Woods caught six of those throws for 106 yards and three TDs - tying the school record. USC's shortest scoring drive of the opening half was 29 seconds, its longest was 2:58. The Trojans punched up 316 yards of total offense in the first half to the Buffs' 162.
The only question for the second half was how many more points USC might score and how many more records Barkley, Wood & Co. might set.
CU turned the ball over on its first second-half possession when linebacker Tony Burnett appeared to take the ball out of receiver Nelson Spruce's hands. The play was ruled an interception, but whatever, Burnett returned it 54 yards to set up another Barkley-to-Woods TD.
Another catch, another couple of records . . . the pitch-and-catch covered three yards and gave Woods the USC school mark for TD receptions in a game. It also gave Barkley his sixth TD pass, tying the single-game record he set last season.
Redshirt freshman Max Wittek replaced Barkley not quite midway through the third quarter and threw his first career TD pass - a 24-yarder to sophomore tailback D.J. Morgan. That scoring pass, coupled with Barkley's half a dozen, set a USC single-game record (seven) and a record for TD passes thrown against CU.
It pushed the score to 47-6, and Andre Heidari's 37-yard field goal with 5:34 to play gave the Trojans their highest point total of the season (50) and the Buffs their second-worst loss of the season, behind only the 69-14 flogging at Fresno State.
BUFF BITS: CU's injury toll continued to mount. Starting right tackle Jack Harris was left at home with concussion symptoms. Linebacker Brady Daigh, who has not fully recovered from a neck injury suffered in the loss to Arizona State, did not make the trip. Also, punter Darragh O'Neill's status was not determined until warm-ups; he was nursing a foot injury but punted once in the first half . . . . But a couple of players returned to the world of the healthy. Safety Ray Polk played for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in the opening quarter of the season opener and Powell was back at tailback after missing last week's game with a deep thigh bruise . . . . Former CU coach Bill McCartney traveled with the Buffs to LA, marking his first road trip with the team in more than a decade . . . . A special guest on the CU sidelines was Philip Bailey, lead singer of Earth, Wind and Fire.