LOS ANGELES — Matt Barkley passed for 324 yards and five touchdowns to five receivers, and Southern California’s slumbering offense came alive after two mediocre outings in the Trojans’ 38-17 victory over previously unbeaten Syracuse on Saturday night.
Barkley completed 26 of 39 passes, with no interceptions, and the five TDs tied a school record. The junior threw for five touchdowns twice last season and is one of five players to accomplish the feat at USC. He has thrown nine TD passes while being picked off just once this season.
USC’s offensive explosion snapped a string of six straight games in which the Trojans had scored fewer than 30 points. The Trojans entered the game ranked 90th in scoring among the country’s 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools, averaging 21 points.
Robert Woods caught eight passes for 82 yards and a touchdown for the Trojans (3-0), giving him 33 receptions this season, the most in any three-game span by a USC player in school history. Keyshawn Johnson caught 32 passes in the final three games of the 1995 season.
Ryan Nassib completed his first 11 passes for 74 yards and finished 25 of 37 for 230 yards for the outmanned Orange (2-1).
USC had scored only one offensive second-half touchdown in its first two games, but Barkley threw a 44-yard scoring pass to wide-open freshman Randall Telfer on the fourth play of the third quarter, giving the Trojans a 24-3 lead.
■ UNR 17, San Jose State 14 — At San Jose, Calif., Mike Ball ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and Duke Williams intercepted a potential go-ahead pass in the end zone with 1:10 remaining to seal the Wolf Pack’s win over the Spartans.
UNR (1-1) was in control for most of the game before backup quarterback Matt Faulkner entered late in the third quarter to spark the Spartans (0-3).
Faulkner led San Jose State on a touchdown drive that cut UNR’s lead to 17-14 midway through the fourth quarter, then drove the Spartans to the 15 in the closing minutes. But on third-and-9, Williams intercepted a pass in the end zone.