USC-Colorado . . . Noteworthy

Cody Kessler talks about what it means to set the USC single game TD passing record as we take a look at all the names, numbers and notes and quotes from USC's 56-28 win over Colorado.

It was just one of those days. OK, it wasn't really. But it was the answer for those who think Cody Kessler doesn't have what it takes, can't throw the ball down the field or whatever it is his critics say about him.

"Not at all," Kessler said this week of any pressure to prove himself after losing 14 points on his QBR numbers the last two games -- numbers that will be looking up this week with a USC-record seven TD passes Saturday in just three quarters.

The only thing Cody said he was trying to do was to give his receivers a fair shot to make a play. The TD passes "weren't my focus," Kessler said.

"Someone made a joke about it [the record] but I cut them off before he could say anything. I didn't want it to be about that . . . it was a combination of things . . . the receivers were doing it . . . the O-line was doing it . . . it was a combination of everything . . . like Coach said, 'Trust our guys more, the reason they are here is that we trust them to make the play."

On what the record means to him, Kessler said "It's a team thing and we're already moving on to next week . . . but it's awesome. I think the most meaningful thing was to watch the guy before me set the record and see Matt [Barkley] do it. He taught me so much when he was here. He was like a big brother to me. It's an honor for me to break his record. At the end of the day he set the bar so high with everything he did. But overall it's a team effort and I couldn't do it without the rest of the guys."

But according to USC coach Steve Sarkisian, it is about Kessler. "He's running our offense really well," Sark said of Kessler's 19 of 26 pssing for 319 yards and the seven TDs. "We have a lot of plays in our system where he has dual reads and pass play options.

"He handles everything really well. He takes our coaching really well. Coach Helton and I are not buddy-buddies with him during the week. We coach this guy harder than any other guy on the team. He accepts it and comes to work every day with the mindset to get better."

Saturday he got really better.

BY THE NUMBERS


7-7

It's the Pac-12 so you have to look at the penalty tally which in this game had the numbers equal -- seven apiece for USC and Colorado but the Trojans made the most of theirs totalling 85 yards to Colorado's mere 61 on the same numbers.

9-0

USC has yet to lose to the Buffs in nine games.

53

The number of originally recruited scholarship players USC suited up for the Colorado game, up three from last week at Arizona.

95-61, 4.2-8.7

The edge in plays goes to the Buffs 95-61 but the per-play average was more than double CU's average per play -- 8.7 yards to 4.2.

4

Number of touchbacks on Alex Wood's kickoffs including two out of the back of the end zone.

2-100 plus

For the first time since 2012, USC had two receivers with more than 100 yards receiving in the same games as Nelson Agholor had 128 yards on six catches with three TDs while Juju Smith had four for 104 yards. The last time it happened, Agholor was a part of it as well as a freshman against Oregon when he had 162 yards to go with Marqise Lee's 157.

87-13

After running up a 28-0 edge in the first quarter against Colorado, USC now holds an 87-13 first quarter advantage in seven games this season.

5/5, 12/12, 25 of 28

USC scored on all five Red Zone possessions and has now scored on its last 12 straight trips into the Red Zone (10 TDs, 2 FGs) and is 25 of 28 this season (.893).

12, 9, 9, 8

The leading tacklers were Anthony Sarao, with his second 12-tackle game as a Trojan (also last year against Stanford) with Pullard and Chris Hawkins with nine each and freshman John Plattenburg, in his first start, with eight.
4.0, 7.0 USC had four sacks and 7.0 tackles for losses with Greg Townsend Jr.'s 2.0 TFLs including one sack leading the way while J.R. Tavai added 1.5 sacks.

Injury report:

Adoree Jackson hurt his hip flexor again on that opening kickoff hurdle when the tackler just got a piece of his foot. He said he'd be in the trainer's room today and get it worked on but wasn't saying yet he'd be ready for Utah Saturday . . . Hayes Pullard took a helmet directly below his right knee, he said, and it went numb and that was what scared him but when he got to the sideline the trainers had him jump on it and the feeling came back as did Hayes who missed just a couple of plays before finishing with nine tackles and not all that much worse for the wear . . . Gerald Bowman said the X-rays on his foot were negative and Sark's statement that he had a sprained foot might not be exactly the right diagnosis although he wasn't sure what it was. Said he should be back for the Utah game.

Quotables


SU'A CRAVENS On Cody's record-breaking performance: "He's my roommate, I probably won't hear the end of this until Monday."

HAYES PULLARD On his injury and quick return: "God took care of me," he said of the helmet hit right below his knee that caused his leg to go numb for a few minutes. "It was a direct hit. But they said I could go back in once the feeling came back "

LEONARD WILLIAMS On Cody's play: "Cody did pretty good . . . I think he broke the record. But we gave them too many yards on the ground."

STEVE SARKISIAN On Saturday's game at Utah: "We know it's going to be a hostile environment . . . 8 p.m. kickoff. . . blackout and all that . . . We are going to run our offense . . . part of our offense depends on what they are going to give us . . . that's the critical part of Cody's decision-making, throwing the ball to the right guys at the right time based on what they are giving us."

COLORADO WR NELSON SPRUCE On how this went: "We made too many mistakes. . . obviously they're a good team and they capitalized on them."

COLORADO COACH MIKE MCINTYRE On the game: "USC played a good game to say the least and we gave them too many opportunities in the first half . . . and they made some plays and Cody Kessler made some plays on busted coverage . . . he made some good throws."

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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