USC WON: Matt Barkley threw a school-record-tying six touchdown passes as No. 2 USC overcame a sloppy first half to defeat Syracuse 42-29 at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The Trojans led just 14-3 at the half and 21-16 at the end of three quarters, but Barkley tossed three touchdown passes in the final quarter to help USC pull away. Wide receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee combined for 21 receptions and five touchdowns, with Woods tacking on a key fourth-quarter 76-yard jaunt off a reverse to set up Lee's second touchdown catch of the game. Ryan Nassib passed for 327 yards and two touchdowns for the Orange but he threw two costly interceptions to Trojan linebacker Dion Bailey. Wide receiver Marcus Sales added eight catches for 104 yards and two scores. Syracuse out-first-downed USC 27-17 and outgained the Trojans 461-442, but it wasn't enough.
WHY USC WON: The duo of Woods and Lee was just too much for Syracuse. Woods had 200 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns on 12 touches, and Lee tied the school record with three receiving touchdowns. Whenever the Trojans needed a play, it was Woods or Lee who answered the call, bringing a somewhat sloppy offense to life at just the right times.
WHEN USC WON: The Trojans put the game away when Barkley found Lee in the end zone from four yards out with 5:45 to play, tying his own school record with six touchdown passes.
WHAT USC WON: Some positive exposure on the East Coast. The talented trio of Barkley, Woods and Lee showed the assembled New York-based media why they should be considered for postseason honors like the Heisman and Biletnikoff trophies, while some pollsters got a close-up view of the No. 2 team in the country.
WHAT SYRACUSE LOST: A chance to pull of an amazing upset. The Orange were down just five points heading into the fourth quarter and seemed poised to take USC down to the wire. Instead, Syracuse is 0-2 with both losses coming by a combined 14 points.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Barkley is off to a hot start with 10 touchdown passes in his first two games. All but two of them have gone to Woods and Lee.