Robert Woods on Breaking ‘SC Reception Record: “At the Friday night meeting Coach Kiffin let me know the record would be broken.”September 8, 2011 – 9:00 am by Steven Cuce
Saturday afternoon was a historic day out in sunny Southern California as Robert Woods and Matt Barkley made history against the Minnesota Gophers. Woods hauled in 17 passes , breaking the USC single-game mark of 15 set by Johnnie Morton in 1993. He also totaled 177 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. As for Barkley? The quarterback completed 34 passes, breaking the USC record of 33 held by Todd Marinovich in 1989. Although it was all smiles on the Trojans sidelines throughout the contest they just barely clipped the Golden Gophers at the Coliseum, 19-17.
Woods explained to KLAC in Los Angeles that he knew it would be a special game for him last Saturday after Lane Kiffin told him on Friday night that the single game reception mark would be broken. Hard to imagine a young man making something like that up, which I suppose means that Kiffin deserves quite a bit of credit either as a psychic or a master motivator. I’m leaning towards the latter, as Kiffin has plenty of experience getting his Trojans ready to play even though they are ineligible for a bowl game.
Robert Woods joined KLAC in Los Angeles with Petros and Money to discuss his record breaking receiving performance during ‘SC’s win over Minnesota last Saturday, how Lane Kiffin told him that he would set the record during a Friday night team meeting seeing a difference in Matt Barkley’s play already after one game this season, the mood of the USC Trojans locker-room after the victory over Minnesota, taking the energy from his record breaking performance last Saturday and bringing it to the game against Utah, and USC not being able to play in a bowl game this season even if they finish undefeated.
How soon did you know last Saturday’s game was going to be a special day for you?
“At the Friday night meeting Coach Kiffin let me know that the record would be broken on Saturday. I had been feeling good ever since that meeting and went to sleep well. I woke up and got ready for the game.”
Have you seen a difference in Matt Barkley this season?
“The ball is definitely flying out a lot faster and getting there with some velocity on it. The timing is there and the confidence is definitely there with Matt Barkley throwing the deep balls and the short ones.”
There’s no question you had a good game, but afterwards it feel like you didn’t win with the comments coming out of the coaching staff. What was the mood amongst your teammates after the victory last Saturday?
“Throughout the game it felt like the score was totally different like we were blowing them out, but it stayed 19-3 for awhile and once they scored it was like ‘oh we are in a game?’ After the game it was like it shouldn’t have been that close. We had to squeeze out a few hairs with the game saving interception, but the moods were down and I felt like we should have done better. The score should have been totally different.”
How do you take the performance from last week’s game into next week against Utah?
“It is onto the next one. We need to totally change the game. Last game was kind of similar to last year’s performance, so we need to do a lot better and separate the score a lot more. Utah is coming in playing smash mouth football and they are going to hit you in the mouth, so you just gotta be ready and be physical right with them.”
What does it do to the team emotionally knowing there is no chance of a bowl game at the end of the season?
“Last year was kind of the big thing because it was new for us, but this year there’s no talk about the bowl ban or anything like that. Now we just need to win our games. Coach [John] Baxter said that he has it on our schedule with the Pac-12 Championship and we need to get there, but we obviously can’t. We just play like we are going to get there and leave no doubt. If we play well then the opponents know we need to be in that game.”