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10/05/2012 2:06 AM EDT
Barkley rallies No. 13 USC past Utah 38-28
USC 38, UTAH 28

By LYNN DeBRUIN
AP Sports Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- All-American wide receiver Robert Woods
was face down on the giant red "U" in the middle of the field
Thursday night, dazed by a wicked shot.



The scene was indicative of the Trojans as a whole after
blunders left No. 13 Southern California down two touchdowns
early and Utah smelling upset.



Woods righted himself and so did the rest of the USC offense,
with quarterback Matt Barkley showing why he was a favorite to
win the Heisman Trophy before the season started.



Barkley led the Trojans to 28 straight points, passing for 303
yards and three touchdowns in a 38-28 victory.



"That was a real low point to give the other team 14 points to
start the game, but our team bounced back," said Barkley, who
finished 23 of 30. "We didn't let that ruin our night."



Instead the Trojans ruined one of the biggest games in Utah
history - it was USC's first trip to Salt Lake City in 95 years.



"We wanted to come out fast and we did that," said Utah wide
receiver Kenneth Scott, who caught an 11-yard touchdown pass
from Jon Hays and had a 44-yarder nullified by penalty in the
second quarter. "Now we just have to finish."



That the Trojans (4-1, 2-1) showed they know how to do, scoring
twice in a span of less than 3 minutes in the fourth quarter to
turn a 3-point game into another victory.



Leading 24-21, Barkley tossed an 83-yard TD pass to Marqise Lee
to bump USC's lead to 10 points. Less than 3 minutes later,
cornerback Nickell Robey intercepted a pass by Jon Hays and
returned it 38 yards for a touchdown.



"The D-line disrupted the play" Robey said of a pass Hays
overthrew. "I read it. I just broke on the ball and stepped in
and caught it."



Game over.



That may well have been what a frenzied crowd of 46,037 thought
when Utah (2-3, 0-2 Pac-12) forced turnovers 1:16 apart to open
the game, both involving Rimington Award candidate Khaled Holmes



Just 47 seconds in Nate Fakahafua scored from 8 yards out after
stripping the ball from Barkley after a bad snap by Holmes. On
the second play of USC's second series, reigning Pac-12
defensive lineman of the year Star Lotulelei bulldozed Holmes as
he snapped the ball and pounced on the fumble with 12:57 left in
the first. Hays; 11-yard TD pass to Kenneth Scott put Utah up
14-0.



Holmes apologized in front of the team before head coach Lane
Kiffin could even start his postgame chat. "He was a man to do
that and played great the rest of the game," Kiffin said.



Kiffin also was pleased with the way his staff hung in there.



"I felt we did a lot better job as a staff today handling
negative plays than we did the last time on the road," Kiffin
said, referring to a 21-14 loss to Stanford on Sept. 15.



"I think we did a very good job of that, not panicking, staying
with the run game even though we were down. Much like last year,
after our first bad road trip, we started playing a lot better,
so hopefully that's the case."



Before the season, Thursday's game was being touted as a
possible showdown for the Pac-12 South title. But then Stanford
upset then-No. 2-ranked USC and Utah lost by 30 to Arizona State
the following week.



While the Utes are headed to the South basement, the Trojans
continue to work their way back to the top of a league with six
Pac-12 teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.



It helps having Barkley, who stayed calm Thursday after the
rough start.



He drove the Trojans 75 yards in eight plays, capped by Silas
Redd's 3-yard run, to pull USC within 14-7 midway through the
first quarter.



After Hays' 18-yard TD pass to DeVonte Christopher bumped
Utah's lead to 21-10 with 8:54 left in the half, Barkley
countered a minute later with a three-play,74-yard TD drive,
passing 41 yards to Woods and capping it with a 23-yard strike
to tight end Randall Telfer that pulled USC within 21-17.



Barkley gave USC its first lead with 4:38 left in the half on a
6-yard TD pass to Woods on third-and-goal from the 6.



Lee finished with 12 catches for 192 yards, and Woods had six
catches for 69 yards.



"Those are unselfish guys," Kiffin said of Lee and Woods.



Lee spun himself silly going for extra yards after the catch.



Woods, meanwhile, was dazed from a block he made on a punt
return.



"I don't want Robert to hit like he did on the punt return,"
Kiffin said. "He could have just high-screened him, but he's so
competitive you can't slow him down in a situation like that.



"He came right back in that quick. Many guys are going to stay
out for a while but he's a dynamic competitor."

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