RECAP: Hawaii vs. USC

No. 1 USC opened their season Saturday afternoon in front of a capacity crowd at the Coliseum. The Trojans proved Hawaii was no match for their high powered offense.

USC quarterback Matt Barkley fired to receiver Marqise Lee, then 14 seconds and 75 yards later, the scoreboard read USC six and Hawaii zero… and it was only the Trojans first play on offense.

It was that kind of afternoon for the Trojans, who opened their season at the Coliseum in front of a sold-out crowd of 93,607.

"It was kind of just to get the ball rolling to tell you the truth," said Barkley after the game. "(It was) just an easy out."

Later in the first quarter, it was Barkley connecting to the third part of what could amount to be the deadliest offensive trio in college football, when he found receiver Robert Woods for a 20-yard touchdown to put the Trojans up 14-0.

And it wasn't just USC's offense that put points on the board.

Redshirt sophomore Hayes Pullard, who moved inside to get the start at middle linebacker in place of the injured Lamar Dawson, also got in the scoring action. Pullard pulled in his first career interception when he picked off Hawaii quarterback Sean Schroeder and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown, to put USC up 20-0 before the end of the first quarter.

"It felt really good," said Pullard, later admitting it wasn't even his play to make, since he was supposed to be in the backfield blitzing. "Just being able to run to the ball at the right time and actually catching an interception and running in for the touchdown."

Earlier in the week, Kiffin said the best thing he did over the summer was sign Silas Redd. The Penn State transfer made his Trojan debut Saturday, but it wasn't without a flaw, as the tailback fumbled the ball after a short pass from Barkley, "The fumble was disappointing," Kiffin said after the game. His fumble was, however, short lived as Redd found redemption on a 31-yard touchdown run, his first as a Trojan, minutes into the second quarter to put USC up 26-0.

The first half was all USC, as Barkley connected with Woods for a two-yard touchdown and the 32-0 lead. Woods finished with 6 catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns.

"We didn't have negative plays for the most part which was good," Kiffin said of his offense. "But Matt made some plays that he shouldn't have to make there with pressure. So like I said, we've got a lot of work to do."

The Trojans took a 35-0 lead into the half and never looked back.

On USC's first possession of the third quarter, Lee broke for a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He is only the second Trojan in history, behind Anthony Davis, to ever do so. Lee finished with two touchdowns and 10 catches for 197 yards.

Asked if Lee's performance validated comments Kiffin has made about the receiver during fall camp, notably saying Lee dominating college football at the end of last season, the head coach said, "He didn't with the two drops. Those were critical plays and a 2-point conversion, deep V route there, should have been a big play. But obviously he made some spectacular plays starting with the first play of the game but as you know, our expectations are higher than the way he played today."

Barkley finished 23 for 28 for 372 yards and four touchdowns.

Though the final score showed a USC win by 39 points, Kiffin says the Trojans have a long way a to go before they get to where they want to be. "We can't do what we did today versus some other teams that are on our schedule," he said. "We need to be more balanced, we need to be more efficient in the run game, and the numbers show that."

The 49-10 win over Hawaii moves USC to 1-0 on the season. They will now travel across the country to take on Syracuse next Saturday in New Jersey at the Meadowlands.

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