Best Player: Quarterback Matt Barkley
Barkley did what he wanted when he wanted against the UCLA defense, completing 35 of 42 passes for 423 yards and six touchdowns. He connected on 19 of his first 20 passes and had a streak of 13 consecutive completions. If this does prove to be Barkley’s final game in cardinal and gold, he couldn’t have finished his USC career on a much more positive note.
Record Breakers: Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods
Barkley set USC and Pac-12 single-season records for passing touchdowns in a season, as his six against the Bruins pushed his season total to 39, breaking Matt Leinart’s record. His 35 completions also established a new USC record for completions in a game. Robert Woods rewrote some history of his own, as he finished with 12 receptions, giving him 111 on the season and surpassing Keyshawn Johnson’s USC and Pac-12 record of 102.
Turning Point: USC’s early goal-line stand
The Trojans made a statement by taking the opening kickoff and marching for a touchdown in four plays, but the USC defense came up big on the ensuing possession when faced with a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Jawanza Starling and Dion Bailey combined for the tackle, and the rout was on.
Key Stat: Catches for Woods and wide receiver Marqise Lee
For the first time in USC history, two players recorded double-digit receptions in the same game. Lee finished with 13 grabs while Woods had 12, and the young duo combined for 337 receiving yards and four touchdowns. The UCLA secondary was no match, and the USC offense clicked immediately as both were involved early and often.
What USC learned in this game: This might be the start of something special
This was not a dynamic UCLA team, but the Trojans imposed their will in every facet of the game and ended the season by proving they are one of the country’s dominant teams. USC was clearly the class of the Pac-12 South this season, and with so much youth on this roster, the Trojans could be poised for a special season in 2012.