The No. 14-ranked Southern California Trojans shook off a pesky University of Hawaii football team to secure a 49-36 victory last night before 41,777 at Aloha Stadium.
USC (1-0) sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley threw five touchdown passes, including three to wideout Ronald Johnson, and answered every challenge the Hawaii (0-1) offense could muster in this high-scoring affair that saw Warriors signal-caller Bryant Moniz knocked out of the game in the third quarter by linebacker Michael Morgan.
USC broke out to a 20-3 advantage early in the second quarter on three touchdown passes by Barkley.
Hawaii responded with 10 unanswered points on a field goal by Scott Enos and a 56-yard touchdown pass from Moniz to Kealoha Pilares, but the Trojans bounced back with a 13-yard scoring strike from Barkley to Johnson to make it 27-13 with 1:06 left in the half.
The Warriors responded with a nice march of their own and appeared to score a touchdown on a 9-yard pass from Moniz to Greg Salas, but the officials ruled him down on the 1. The replay upheld the call. Hawaii eventually settled for an 18-yard field goal to trail 27-16 at the half.
USC quickly established itself in the third quarter on an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown by Johnson, who tied a school record with three scoring receptions. Barkley also tied a school mark with five touchdown tosses, including his final one to Johnson from 3 yards out.
Third-string quarterback Shane Austin came in and made things interesting with a 65-yard scoring strike to Pilares, his second TD grab of the night. But USC quickly responded with a 44-yard touchdown run to close out the scoring for the Trojans.