USC-Utah grades

SALT LAKE CITY -- The No. 13 USC Trojans overcame a rough start to top the Utah Utes 38-28 in another crazy Thursday night game. Here's a report card for the Trojans:


When USC was able to pass the ball, it went exceedingly well. Matt Barkley had his best performance of the year, making good decisions all game. Robert Woods and Marqise Lee were dynamic after the catch, as usual. Tight end Randall Telfer had an incredible touchdown grab.


If there was any question at all that Lane Kiffin was right to recruit Silas Redd away from the Penn State Nittany Lions this summer, it was answered Thursday night. Redd saved USC's offense after the early-game fiascos and did a remarkable job considering the Trojans' poor offensive line effort.


USC's defensive line didn't produce anywhere near as many sacks as it did against Cal, but the pressure was there all game. Morgan Breslin is really a force. On offense, the Trojans' line still has a lot of work to do. An "A" and a "C," respectively, equals a "B."


Hey, 14 of Utah's points were basically gifted by the USC offense. So the Trojans' D did just fine to limit the Utes to 14 more. Monte Kiffin's unit has quietly been impressive this year and has actually been more consistent than the offense through five games.


Andre Heidari could have really hurt the Trojans with his two missed field goals -- and one more he was lucky to get to retake. Should he even have been kicking? Kyle Negrete's one punt did go for a 47-yard net, so that helped.


Lane Kiffin & Co. did a good job calming their players down after the nightmarish start. But play-calling needed some work, especially early on. And couldn't they have been a little bit more cautious with Woods after he fell to the field in the first half?