Well, that didn't take long. USC began its pursuit of a national title with a full-throated howl, a 75-yard statement of purpose from the very first play from scrimmage.
The Trojans opened their year as 42-point favorites against Hawaii, and it took only seconds to see why. Matt Barkley hooked up with Marqise Lee for the first play in more than two years that actually means something, from a non-probationary standpoint. It marked the first score in a 49-10 throttling of Hawaii.
"We're just excited to play football again," Barkley said in a press conference afterward. "There's so much talk, especially this year with all the rankings and the hype. This was just a good way to kick off the season, and really find that rhythm and that flow."
Barkley passed up a chance at the NFL draft to return for a shot at a national championship and a Heisman, and he's already on his way to both. He racked up 372 yards and four touchdowns. Robert Woods saw Lee's debut and raised him 42 yards and two TDs, while Penn State transfer Silas Redd fared far better than his old squad, totaling 57 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
It's a long season, but it couldn't have started any better for USC.