Los Angeles • Marqise Lee showed up in coach Lane Kiffin's office 45 minutes before kickoff with swollen cheeks and irritated eyes from an allergic reaction.
Between the star receiver's overinflated face and last week's underinflated footballs, Southern California desperately needed a pressure-releasing victory.
With Lee's brilliance and a pumped-up defensive performance, the Trojans got it.
Lee caught 10 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown, Curtis McNeal rushed for 163 yards and two more scores, and No. 21 USC bounced back from consecutive losses with a 38-17 victory over skidding Arizona State on Saturday.
Matt Barkley threw for 222 yards and three TDs while becoming the leading passer in conference history for the Trojans (7-3, 5-3 Pac-12), who overcame a slow start and five turnovers with 24 consecutive points in the second half. USC hasn't lost three straight since 2001, former coach Pete Carroll's first season.
"We knew we needed that," said Barkley, who passed Carson Palmer for his latest record despite also throwing three interceptions. "The defense was playing well, and after we made some adjustments, we shut them down. That's really what we needed."
USC yielded a school-record 730 yards to No. 2 Oregon in a 62-51 loss last Saturday and endured a midweek distraction when a student manager was fired for underinflating footballs on the Ducks' sideline. The Trojans needed to clear the air and get a boost of confidence before finishing the regular season against No. 17 UCLA and No. 4 Notre Dame.
Kiffin emphasized the bright side of the Trojans' woes this week: With two more Pac-12 wins, they could earn the South division crown and a spot in the title game. After rallying past Arizona State, only the crosstown Bruins are in their way.
"We did make sure that everybody knew where we were at, what was at stake," Kiffin said. "Really, we were in a two-game playoff for the Pac-12 South. We know what our standards are, so we understood what we had to do."
Arizona 56, Colorado 31 • Ka'Deem Carey ran for a Pac-12 record 366 yards and scored five touchdowns, powering Arizona to a 56-31 rout of Colorado in Tucson, Ariz.
Carey, who carried 25 times, broke the record of 357 rushing yards set by Washington State's Rueben Mayes at Oregon on Oct. 27, 1984. The sophomore's five rushing TDs of 10, 13, 30, 8 and 3 yards tied a conference record. Carey, whose longest gain of the day was 71 yards, smashed the school record of 288 yards.
With Pac-12 leading passer Matt Scott out with a concussion, junior college transfer B.J. Denker completed 12 of 14 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns in his first start for Arizona (6-4, 3-4).