Gameday Liveblog: USC Trojans vs. University of Hawai’i Warriors

Tonight’s game kicks off at 8:00 on the West Coast and 5:00 Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST).  All updates will be timestamped using local time. Be sure to check out our Twitter feed for instant info at

8:40-(49-30 USC)- TOUCHDOWN USC! After a series in which backup quarterback Mitch Mustain engineered a dismal drive followed by a Warrior score, Barkley came back in the game and it paid off immediately. He handed the ball off to tailback Marc Tyler, who zig and zagged through the defense for a 44-yard touchdown run. This game is over.

8:18– (42-23 USC)- USC takes over at its own 44-yard line after a Hawaiian drive that went up and back thanks to some big plays on both sides of the ball. Lane Kiffin is pulling his starters and the second string unit is out there, with quarterback Mitch Mustain leading the way. Barkley finishes the game 18-23 for 257 yards and 5 touchdowns. If there were any doubts, he put those away today. The kid is here.

8:01- (42-23 USC)- TOUCHDOWN USC- end of 3rd quarter! And just like that the Trojans scored with a 4-play, 79-yard drive that took just 1:27. The Hawaiian defense has got to be demoralized. Barkley completed a 3 yard pass to Johnson for the score. That gives Barkley 5 touchdowns on the day, which ties a school record held by 4 other people. Johnson isn’t having a shabby day himself, as his 3 touchdown catches ties a school record held by a lot of other people. And that doesn’t take into account his punt return for a touchdown. Seems like the only outcome in doubt is whether the Trojans will cover the 21.5 point spread.

7:55- (34-23 USC)- TOUCHDOWN Hawaii. Quarterback Bryant Moniz gets the lights knocked out of him on a 13 yard run to the five yard line by linebacker Michael Morgan, but backup Brent Rausch comes in and executes a two-play drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Alex Green. But the Trojan offense is back on the field and Barkley just completed a 15 yard pass to Ronald Johnson when he rolled out to the right. He followed that by a 49 yard pass down the right sideline to fullback Stanley Havili. The Trojans are once again responding to a Hawaiian score with a quick, efficient drive.

7:34– (34-16 USC)- TOUCHDOWN USC! Just when it looked like Hawaii might threaten to score, Ronald Johnson returns a punt 89 yards for a touchdown. The punt was short and high and it looked like most of the Hawaiian team expected him to fair catch it. Only he didn’t and proceeded to break a few tackles and outsprint the rest of the coverage down the sideline for his third touchdown of the game (2 receiving, one punt return). This most likely seals the deal for USC tonight. The offense has looked too sharp and disciplined and the defense has proved it can play really well at times.

7:30– (27-16 USC)- The third quarter has started and Marc Tyler was a shoestring tackle away from scoring a 70+ yard touchdown. He’s at 98 yards right now and poised to go over 100 yards for the first time in his career at USC. The Trojans were forced to punt and now Hawaii is threatening after a 47-yard pass on 3rd and 25 from the 8-yard line (it was a free play thanks to a defensive lineman jumping offsides and Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz just heaved it up there and Salas caught it near midfield).

7:00- (27-16 USC)- HALFTIME. The Warriors almost closed the half with a touchdown but receiver Greg Salas was down at the one and the call stood after an official review. Hawai’i closed the half with a field goal.

The Trojans are looking good on offense, especially Barkley who’s having a heck of a game.  Barkley lost 10 pounds in the offseason and it shows, as he’s scrambled multiple times to complete long passes. Overall, he’s 15-for-19 for 190 yards and 4 touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns were to senior receiver Ronald Johnson, who was almost forgotten about in the preseason. Marc Tyler is shredding the defense as well, rushing 11 times for 70 yards.

On the defensive side, the Trojans are showing the effects of not having tackled anyone for weeks. Hawaiian receiver Greg Salas has caught numerous balls over the middle and simply out-run or breezed past multiple defenders. Missed tackles are the story thus far but the defense has held Hawaii to just 16 points, although it could be more. The biggest surprise of this game is the relative emptiness of the stadium. It gets loud but it’s only about 75 percent filled up.

6:43- (27-13 USC)- We’re back! Thanks to a super cool TimeWarner guy we now have internet again. Since we left you, Barkley has thrown 2 more touchdowns, one to Rhett Ellison and one to Ronald Johnson and he now is 15-19 for 190 yards and 4 touchdowns. The offense is moving the ball with little opposition but the defense still is having trouble tackling.

Update: The Internet is currently down at Aloha Stadium. We’ll begin posting as soon as we can. We’re able to update our Twitter feed more reliably —

5:43– (14-3 USC)- TOUCHDOWN USC! After a solid drive down the field that included 32 yards rushing for Marc Tyler on just four carries, Matt Barkley found senior receiver Ronald Johnson for a one-yard touchdown and then again for the two-point conversion. Defense has got to tackle now.

5:37- (6-3 USC) Hey guys, we are finally up and running after a few technical difficulties but it’s all good because we’re in Hawaii. Anyhow, great start for the offense to the first quarter. Opening drive Barkley throw a 10 yard out route to David Ausberry who was isolated on the right side, broke a tackle and sprinted the rest of the way to the end zone for a 46 yard touchdown (missed XP) . On Hawaii’s next drive, they drove to the 3 yard line before USC’s defnese stopped the Warriors three straight times.