Sun Sentinel
Football Bowl Subdivision
NCAA Game Summary - San Jose State at Southern California

(Saturday, September 5th)

Final Score: (4) Southern California 56, San Jose State 3

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Joe McKnight scored a pair of touchdowns, rushing for 145 yards on 14 carries, and freshman quarterback Matt Barkley completed 15-of-19 passes for 233 yards and a score, as fourth-ranked Southern California annihilated San Jose State, 56-3, in the season-opener at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The Trojans, who finished last year with an 11-1 mark and a win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl, ran all over SJSU. Stafon Johnson rushed for a pair of touchdowns, while Marc Tyler and Allen Bradford rushed for a touchdown each in the victory.

"The offensive line made holes up field for us, and all we had to do was run. Matt came into the huddle calm and collected. He gave us a pep talk when we started slow, and it all took off from there," McKnight said.

Damian Williams caught three passes for 67 yards for Southern California, which has now won its last 12 season openers. Anthony McCoy brought in three passes for 64 yards. Rhett Ellison and D.J. Shoemate had one receiving TD apiece in the win.

Barkley became the first true freshman in USC history to start a season at quarterback. Aaron Corp played the fourth period and completed 4-of-4 passes for 45 yards and a score for the Trojans, who played their 92nd consecutive game as a ranked team.

"I was not nervous at all. I got goosebumps during the Trojan walk, but I came out early and threw and really got settled. The only thing different than practice was that there were fans in the stands. You could really feel the energy," Barkley said.

Patrick Perry carried the ball 14 times for 48 yards for the Spartans, who finished last year with a 6-6 mark and were denied a bowl bid. Kyle Reed connected on 9-of-17 passes for 66 yards. Kevin Jurovich caught five balls for 64 yards in defeat.

"For a while, it looked like we could compete. Obviously, it was an illusion. In the final analysis, they were much better and much better coached than we were. Coach Carroll has another good football team. I've seen them do that to too many good teams. I've watched a lot of tape when the game was close and then suddenly it was a blowout," Spartans coach Dick Tomey said.

San Jose State made things interesting early by scoring the only points of the first quarter, thanks to some help from its defense. On the Spartans' second possession of the contest, Reed lost a fumble, which set up USC at the SJSU 32. However, McKnight fumbled on the Trojans' first play, giving the ball right back to San Jose State.

The Spartans couldn't capitalize following the fumble, but Tyler Cope's 41- yard field goal with 3:36 left in the period gave SJSU a 3-0 edge. San Jose State forced a fumble on Southern California's ensuing drive, but went three- and-out on offense.

USC fired back with a huge second stanza, putting 28 points on the board in the frame to take control of the tilt. Johnson got the Trojans started with a four-yard TD scamper with 10:47 remaining until half. A little over five minutes later, Johnson rushed in from two yards out to put Southern Cal ahead 14-3.

The Trojans kept the ball on the ground, as Bradford broke a 43-yard touchdown run with 2:28 left until the half. McKnight's five-yard TD run with less than 30 seconds left gave USC a commanding 28-3 lead heading into the locker room.

USC continued the onslaught in the third quarter, putting 14 more points on the board. McKnight brought the crowd to their feet when he danced his way through the SJSU defense for a 54-yard score early in the period.

Barkley's first collegiate touchdown pass came with 8:21 to go in the third, when he connected with Ellison on a five-yard pass for a 42-3 margin.

Tyler's one-yard TD run and Corp's 10-yard touchdown pass to Shoemate in the fourth capped the scoring in the game.

Game Notes

USC wide receiver Ronald Johnson, who grabbed 33 passes for 570 and eight scores a year ago, will miss the first six weeks with a broken collarbone...USC rushed for a total of 342 yards...Tyler rushed for 72 yards on five carries.

09/05 23:24:19 ET