Barkley became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Trojans, and a conservative game plan with a strong emphasis on running allowed the former Mater Dei star to focus on high-efficiency passing. For the day, he completed 15 out of 19 passes for 233 yards.
With as much anticipated as there was, Barkley can say that he has some experience (though on certainly a far smaller scale). He started as a freshman at Mater Dei just four years ago.
While Joe McKnight and Stafon Johnson both rushed for two touchdowns and Allen Bradford added another to built a 35-3 lead in the third quarter. Barkley, who completed passes to eight different receivers, found junior tight end Rhett Ellison for a four-yard touchdown with 8:21 remaining in the third quarter.
Barkley played until early in the fourth quarter before giving way to former Orange Lutheran star Aaron Corp. After splitting time with Mitch Mustain as Mark Sanchez's backup in 2008, Corp showed plenty of ability in his opportunity to play. Twice he completed passes to fellow ex-Lancer Blake Ayles for 22 yards, while also connecting with former Servite standout D.J. Shoemate for 23 yards, 13 of those coming on a dumpoff pass on fourth down for the game's final score (and Corp's first career TD pass with the Trojans).
Looking at other county products suited up in Cardinal and Gold, it was walk-on Ahmed Mokhtar from Mater Dei (by way of Orange Coast College and Oregon State) who got in a pair of carries for four yards near the end of the game.
Defensively, it was Servite's Chris Galippo who led USC in tackles with nine on the day (three of which were tackles for losses) from his middle linebacker position. Shoemate also added a tackle on special teams.
The Trojans are certain to move up to No. 3 in the college football polls after Oklahoma's 14-13 loss to BYU. The whole season could be in the balance Saturday in Columbus against Ohio State. While the Buckeyes may be looking to avenge last year's 35-3 drubbing at the Coliseum, they just barely escaped an upset bid by Navy 31-27. The eyes of the college football world will be on The Horseshoe at 5 p.m. PST on ESPN.
Up in Pasadena, the UCLA Bruins had a solid debut with a 33-14 win over San Diego State in the Rose Bowl. Mission Viejo's Chane Moline is the Bruins' starting fullback as a senior, while Derrick Coleman of Troy was UCLA's leading ground gainer, with 69 yards on just four carries. His 29-yard touchdown put the Bruins in the lead for good, and he also had a 31-yard run in the game. Moline caught one pass for 13 yards, while Newport Harbor's Trevor Theriot also had one catch for nine yards.