|USC WR Marqise Lee caught 12 passes for 192 yards in the Trojans 38-28 win over Utah on Thursday. (US Presswire)|
Things looked ugly for USC early, but thanks to 303 yards and three touchdown passes from quarterback Matt Barkley, the Trojans fought back from an early 14-0 deficit to beat Utah 38-28 on Thursday night in Salt Lake City.
How ugly were things for USC in the early going? Through the first three minutes of the game, Utah (2-3, 0-2 Pac-12) was on pace to score 270 points.
In the game's first 2:45, USC (4-1, 2-1) had two possessions, ran four plays, turned the ball over twice and watched Utah score two touchdowns.
The first Ute TD came in the opening 60 seconds when Nate Fakahafua stripped Barkley on the Trojans' second play from scrimmage and sprinted 8 yards into the end zone to put Utah up 7-0. The Ute defense wasn't done though. On USC's next possession, a bad snap by Trojan center Khaled Holmes turned into a fumble, which was recovered by Utah DT Star Lotulelei. Two plays later, the Utes turned Lotulelei's fumble recovery into another touchdown when QB Jon Hays hit Kenneth Scott from 11 yards out to put Utah up 14-0.
Utah would push the lead to 21-10, but after that, it was all Trojans.
Barkley threw touchdown passes of 6, 23 and 83 yards as USC ran away with the game in the fourth quarter. Barkley's 83-yard TD pass to Marqise Lee early in the fourth quarter was the longest of his career. Randall Telfer and Robert Woods also caught touchdown passes for the Trojans.
Amazing Lee: WR Marqise Lee has been a favorite target of Barkley this season and that was again the case Thursday. Lee caught 12 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown. The 12 receptions were the second-highest total in Lee's career, trailing only the 13 he tallied in USC's 50-0 win over UCLA in last year's season finale. Lee's 83-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter was his career long.
Heidari with rare misses: Trojan kicker Andre Heidari went into Thursday's game with Utah having only missed two field goals in his entire career. Against the Utes, however, Heidari doubled his career-miss total with two wayward kicks. The sophomore missed a 40-yard field goal in the third quarter and followed that up with a 44-yard miss in the fourth quarter. USC was clinging to a 24-21 lead at the time of both misses. Heidari did hit a 32-yarder in the first half.
Iceman: Despite the 303-yard, three-touchdown effort from Barkley, the Trojans weren't able to put the game away until the fourth quarter. USC CB Nickell Robey iced the game with just over nine minutes left when he picked off Hays and took the ball 38 yards to the house, giving USC a 38-21 lead.
(For more on the game, check out CBSSports.com's Eye on College Football blog here)