USC receiver Robert Woods picks up yardage in the Syracuse secondary during… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
USC 42, Syracuse 29 (final)
Ryan Nassib finished off his big day by directing a 74-yard scoring drive and capping it with a one-yard dive for the touchdown in the final minute.
But it wouldn't be enough as the Trojans recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
Matt Barkley completed 23 of 30 passes for 186 yards and six touchdowns for the second-ranked Trojans in a game that featured a 1 hour 10 minute weather delay.
Barkley connected with Marqise Lee for three touchdowns, Robert Woods for two and tight end Xavier Grimble for another to tie his own school record for touchdown passes in a game.
Lee had 11 receptions for 93 yards and three touchdowns. Silas Redd rushed for 107 yards in 15 carries.
Linebacker Dion Bailey intercepted two passes for the Trojans.
Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib, who passed for 482 yards last week against Northwestern, was 30 of 46 for 327 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
USC 42, Syracuse 22 (5:45 left in fourth quarter)
With a little help from Syracuse and a lot from Silas Redd, USC has pulled away again.
Down 13 points and with time slipping away, Syracuse tried an onside kick -- and USC recovered.
Redd then ripped off a 40-yard run on the next play, and the Trojans were back in business.
Redd added five more yards with two more carries, then turned things over to Matt Barkley, who connected with Marqise Lee on yet another scoring pass.
This one covered three yards. Lee has been on the receiving end of half of Barkley’s six touchdown passes.
Redd has 107 yards in 15 carries.
USC 35, Syracuse 22 (7:36 remaining in fourth quarter)
Anyone watching Syracuse go 79 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown would doubt that USC is the No. 2 team in the nation.
Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib connected with Marcus Sales on a 17-yard touchdown and USC Coach Lane Kiffin is now pacing the sidelines with a look of concern.
Or maybe that’s anger.
At least the Orange’s two-point conversion pass failed.
Nassib has completed 25 of 40 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns – both to Sales, who has seven catches for 92 yards.
USC 35, Syracuse 16 (11:38 left in fourth quarter)
Didn’t we just say Robert Woods was doing a little bit of everything?
Well, he hadn’t carried the ball from scrimmage yet, so Coach Lane Kiffin decided to try that.
And Woods took off on a bobbing, weaving 76-yard run to set up yet another Trojans touchdown.
The scoring pass covered four yards, from Matt Barkley to Marqise Lee. And for the first time today, USC has a little breathing room.
Barkley has thrown for five touchdowns -- for the second year in a row against Syracuse. He has completed 22 of 29 passes for 189 yards.
Lee and Woods each have 10 receptions and two touchdowns.
USC 28, Syracuse 16 (14:26 left in fourth quarter)
Robert Woods is doing a little bit of everything for USC today.
His 31-yard punt return to set up a touchdown is the latest example.
Woods’ return gave USC the ball at the Syracuse 22-yard line, and after two incomplete passes, Matt Barkley connected with Xavier Grimble on a scoring pass.
Barkley took care of the first 12 yards, hitting Grimble in the numbers at about the 10-yard line.
Grimble did the rest, shedding four defenders and bulling his way into the end zone.
As for Woods, he has 10 catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Barkley has completed 21 of 28 passes for 179 yards and four touchdowns.
USC 21, Syracuse 16 (end of third quarter)
Syracuse has the ball to start the fourth quarter with a chance to go ahead.
USC's last two drives of the third quarter ended with an interception and a punt that put the ball in the hands of a senior who has completed 17 of 27 passes for 176 yards and touchdown, with one interception.
Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley is 20 of 25 for 158 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.
USC 21, Syracuse 16 (3:42 left in the third quarter)
Matt Barkley had a pass intercepted for the first time this season -- and it cost the Trojans.
Safety Shamarko Thomas picked off a throw intended for Robert Woods, putting the ball back in the hands of Orange quarter Ryan Nassib.
Syracuse started at the 50-yard line and drove to the end zone in six plays. Prince-Tyson Gulley made the score 21-16 with a two-yard touchdown run. Nassib attempted a bootleg for the two-point conversion but he was tackled.
Nassib has completed 16 of 26 passes for 173 yards.
USC 21, Syracuse 10 (5:51 left in the third quarter)
Ryan Nassib is showing scouts there is more than one NFL prospect on the field.
Nassib directed the Orange on 12-play, 78-yard scoring drive that he capped with a two-yard touchdown pass to receiver Marcus Sales.
Nassib, a three-year starter, is 14 of 24 for 155 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions.
Matt Barkley has completed 15 of 19 passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns. But he just had a pass intercepted by safety Shamarko Thomas.
USC 21, Syracuse 3 (10:24 left in the third quarter)