2018 NFL Draft

Matt Barkley, QB

School: Southern California  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Newport Beach, CA
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 227 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
04/25/2013 - ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 18. Matt Barkley, QB, Southern Cal: Barkley wasn't dynamic at his March 27 Pro Day but in completing 55 of 62 passes, he answered any concerns about the health of his shoulder and might have eased doubts about his arm talent, overall. The USC quarterback might lack eye-popping measureables but he possesses the best combination of the three traits I've found to be the greatest indicator future success in the NFL -- accuracy, awareness and anticipation. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/25/2013 - DANE BRUGLER'S FINAL 2013 DRAFT BOARD: 47. QB Matt Barkley, USC (6-3, 227, 4SR)...Although his size, athleticism and arm strength are average at best, Barkley has NFL-level skills between his ears that will carry him further than his physical skill set. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

04/24/2013 - 2013 NFL DRAFT RANG'S GANG: QB: Matt Barkley, Southern Cal, 6-3, 227, 4.93...I have long argued that the two most overrated elements to quarterback play in the NFL are height and arm strength. Barkley does not possess ideal grades in either of these traits. He does, however, possess the best combination of any quarterback in the 2013 class in the Three A's - accuracy, anticipation and awareness - which I believe to be more important indicators of future success in the NFL. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/21/2013 - 2013 NFL DRAFT: FIVE BOLD PREDICTIONS: 1. Matt Barkley will be drafted in the first round...Most will use the tired "value of the quarterback position" argument as the rationale as why Barkley, EJ Manuel or Ryan Nassib might join Geno Smith in the first round. But Barkley has earned it. Sure, his interception total rose in 2012 but revisionist historians fail to mention the same was true of Matt Ryan at Boston College.

Barkley was unfairly characterized as the No. 1 overall prospect entering the 2012 season when in reality he was never an elite talent. He is, however, a very functional West Coast offense passer who possesses the best combination of accuracy, anticipation and awareness of any quarterback in the 2013 draft. If Barkley isn't selected in the top 10, expect a club to trade back into the late portion of the first round to draft him. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/08/2013 - 2013 USC Pro Day: Matt Barkley was draw, but Robert Woods is star of USC Pro Day...Representatives from every NFL team were on hand for Southern California's pro day on Wednesday, where 15 players (plus seven others, including former USC tight end Dominique Byrd) worked out outdoors on FieldTurf. USC's pro day was highlighted by the highly anticipated on-campus workout of quarterback Matt Barkley.

Barkley stood on his height measurement from the NFL Scouting Combine (6-foot-2) and weighed 231 pounds at USC's pro day. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.89 and 4.92 seconds, and had a 4.58-second short shuttle time. In the quarterback drills, Barkley had a workout better than some had expected.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were well-represented in Los Angeles, with general manager David Caldwell, coach Gus Bradley and team owner Shad Khan???s son, Tony Khan (the team's senior vice president of football technology and analytics), in attendance. Also in attendance were Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery, Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead, and Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com

03/29/2013 - 2013 USC Pro Day: Putting Barkley's workout in perspective is critical to understanding what impact it might have on his landing spot on draft day. Scouts are as split on the quarterback rankings this year as any in the past 10 years. As such, Barkley's strong effort could lead to a significant jump up draft boards. Barkley wasn't dynamic. Several of his deeper passes wobbled and he forced wideouts to adjust their routes a few times on in-breaking routes. However, the first part of his passing workout was into a slight wind. He was very impressive during the "quick game" so critical to the West Coast offense, demonstrating the efficient set-up and delivery and impressive accuracy when rolling out. He was particularly accurate on the wheel and corner routes, two passes considered among the more difficult throws critical to this attack.

Barkley's workout wasn't as good as the one Andrew Luck had a year ago in Palo Alto, some of which was into a stiff breeze. He didn't show the elite combination of velocity and ball placement that Sam Bradford demonstrated inside the Oklahoma practice bubble in 2010. The Southern Cal passer, however, carried out quarterback guru Chris Weinke's scripted session with efficiency and impressive accuracy, overall. The workout was comparable to recent sessions by Jake Locker and Mark Sanchez, each of whom rode their showings to top-eight selections in their respective draft classes. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

03/29/2013 - 2013 USC Pro Day: For Matt Barkley, who surprised many with his decision to spurn the NFL and return to Southern Cal for his senior season in 2012, Wednesday's Pro Day was an acceptable culmination for his college career. Displaying the accuracy in drills showed during 47 career starts with the Trojans, Barkley solidified his first round stock with a strong workout in front of an estimated 60 NFL scouts and coaches. They included a strong contingent from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, who each may be looking for a quarterback in the 2013 draft. "Barkley had an outstanding career [at USC], making all the plays you needed to see to know that he can be successful at our level," Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator Norv Turner said following the workout. "He just confirmed today what anyone who had watched the tape already knew. He's a gifted young player who would be a tremendous addition to any organization."

Barkley completed his passes to fellow 2013 hopefuls Robert Woods and running back Curtis McNeal, as well as former USC wideout Travon Patterson and tight end Dominique Byrd. Only five of the 60-plus passes Barkley threw hit the ground, with two of those being perfectly thrown passes which slipped through the fingers of Woods and Byrd, respectively. "I was impressed by the number of passes [Barkley] threw today," said St. Louis general manager Les Snead. "Since he was injured to end his career, this was his recital. It was an overall very good day for him." - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

03/29/2013 - 2013 USC Pro Day: Snead was one of three general managers on hand. Chicago's Phil Emery and Jacksonville's David Caldwell also attended. Caldwell was one of several representatives from the Jaguars, including senior vice president Tony Khan, head coach Gus Bradley and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. While Jacksonville sent a large contingent to the workout, only one scout was on hand for the Arizona Cardinals. The Buffalo Bills, an organization that has been quite transparent in its plans to draft a quarterback, were conspicuous in their apparent absence from the workout.

Although they rate well below what is ascertained in game films, Pro Day workouts do have value. Unlike during a game in which there are multiple moving parts which can distract the eye, scouts are allowed to stand on the sideline and simply focus on the quarterback's throwing motion, gauge his velocity and read the expression on his face from snap to snap. Barkley's passing was the critical element to his day but he also boosted his cause by clocking between 4.92 and 4.97-seconds in the 40-yard dash at a solid 230 pounds. The 40-yard dash was the only measured drill Barkley participated in. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

03/13/2013 - The Buffalo Bills released starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as part of a salary cap purge Tuesday, making it all the more likely that the team will be using one of its first picks of the 2013 draft on a passer. General manager Buddy Nix stated in December his intention of finding a "good, young quarterback" and that "the time's now for [the Bills]" to go get one. Our mock draft experts tend to agree. The question now, of course, is which one will the Bills take.

Holding the rights to the No. 8 overall pick in the draft, the Bills would appear to be in good position to land the quarterback of their choice. After all, as you've no doubt heard or read by now, the 2013 class of quarterbacks isn't nearly as gifted as last year's crop.

So, the smart money is on the Bills to take Smith if he's there, right? Not so fast. It is interesting to note that under Marrone, Syracuse went 3-0 against Smith and West Virginia over the past three years. In those games, Smith completed 59 percent of his passes for 717 yards and five touchdowns against five interceptions.

While it's true that USC boasted significantly better overall talent than West Virginia, the fact that the Trojans were 2-0 against Marrone is worth mentioning; especially when you factor in that Barkley completed 71 percent of his passes for 511 yards and 11 touchdowns against just one interception in the two games. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

03/01/2013 - If Geno Smith is the top quarterback in this year's draft - and most people think he is - then who's number two? "Good question," said one NFC scout. "I wish I had an answer for you." So do I. Most people will tell you it's USC's Matt Barkley, and they may be right. But that's not so much because of what Barkley does as it is what others do not. The 2013 class of quarterbacks is underwhelming, and if you think I'm kidding you weren't paying attention when Kansas City agreed to that trade for Alex Smith. Essentially, the Chiefs told you they preferred Smith to any quarterback in the draft - including Geno Smith.

A year ago, Barkley looked like a slam dunk to be the number-one pick next month, but then he and USC floundered, Barkley hurt his shoulder and his stock plummeted so far that one scout I trust insisted he dropped him out of the first round. "He has all the tools," said former coach Brian Billick, now an analyst for NFL Network and Fox, "and may have the least holes in his game of any quarterback in this draft - which makes him a lot like Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez. So now go draft Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez again. I know that's not fair to Matt Barkley, but, hey, what can I say? Billick tickets Barkley as an early second-round choice, saying he's a quarterback who could make a club "a good, solid backup." - Clark Judge, CBSSports.com

03/01/2013 - 2013 NFL PRO DAY DATES TO REMEMBER: March 27 - USC, LSU...Once thought to be the No. 1 overall pick, USC quarterback Matt Barkley had an up-and-down senior season that ended in the UCLA game after he was sidelined with a shoulder injury. He still wasn't 100 percent healthy in time for the combine, and USC purposely moved the school's pro day to later in March to give Barkley more time to prepare. Barkley is a longshot to be the draft's top pick, but he still has time to prove to teams that he's the top quarterback prospect in this draft class and worthy of a first-round pick. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

02/28/2013 - Early last week, an NFL scout and a team executive anonymously blasted USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who announced he wouldn't be throwing at the combine because he was still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered 14 weeks before. "Here we go again. Another L.A. movie star quarterback who needs his own day to throw," a veteran scout told Yahoo's Jason Cole. "And you wonder why guys from Southern California [are bad]?" a veteran team executive added.

Barkley responded days later, telling Sports Illustrated's Peter King, "I really want to set the record straight on a few things. People look at me like I'm some Cali boy, but I'm not that way -- I don't even know how to surf. I'm a football junkie. I'm football, 24/7.''

And now Barkley's drawn the endorsement of his college coach Lane Kiffin. (This is akin to George W. Bush stumping for John McCain back in 2008 and expecting anything other than ridicule and disappointment.)

"I think he's going to be a great starting quarterback in the NFL, and the film shows it," Kiffin told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "The plays he makes, all the throws he's made here, the leadership qualities." - Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com

02/22/2013 - A day after Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray was noticeably nervous answering questions from the media, USC's Matt Barkley demonstrated the confidence in the spotlight expected following his four seasons as the starting quarterback in a Los Angeles market without an NFL team. Barkley, who measured in slightly taller than expected 6-2 (1/2) and 227 pounds and with 10 1/8" hands, confirmed that he would not be throwing in Indianapolis but said that he was "100% on track" to throw at his March 27 Pro Day at the USC campus.

Not surprisingly, Barkley disagreed when asked to comment on the opinion some have that he lacks the arm strength to succeed in the NFL. "I would disagree. Watch the tape. I can make every NFL throw that you need," Barkley said. I agree with him, which is one of the reasons why I project the former USC quarterback to be the first passer selected in the 2013 draft. Barkley, who started 47 games at USC in a pro-style offense, completed 64% of his passes for 12,327 yards and 116 touchdowns against 48 interceptions over his career.

The perception created by some in the media is that Barkley's stock slid considerably over the past year. Clearly, statistically-speaking, he wasn't as productive as a senior following "breakout" junior campaign in which he threw for a career high 3,528 yards and 39 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

02/21/2013 - Even though USC quarterback Matt Barkley said otherwise two weeks ago, he will not throw at the 2013 NFL combine. The official reason: he's still rehabbing an injury to his throwing shoulder -- except that ESPN's Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that Barkley's shoulder is "85-90 percent recovered" and he has already been cleared to throw at the Trojans' pro day on March 27. Given the dearth of elite quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft and the general perception that quarterbacks who don't throw at the combine are hiding something, it's not surprising that some personnel types are grousing about Barkley's decision.

"Here we go again. Another L.A. movie star quarterback who needs his own day to throw," a veteran scout told Yahoo.com's Jason Cole recently. "And you wonder why guys from Southern California [are bad]?" a veteran team executive added, referring to both the region and the school. "Everything is like they have to draw attention to themselves. ... I'm telling you, it's always [something] with guys from down there ... not just USC, the whole area. I don't know what it is." - Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com

02/20/2013 - 2013 NFL Combine, Medical watch: Widely believed to be No. 1 overall pick last summer, USC's Matt Barkley struggled to take his game to the next level in 2012 and had a disappointing senior season. But it went from bad to worse during the loss to UCLA, when Barkley injured his throwing shoulder and was sidelined for the remainder of the season, keeping him out of the Senior Bowl. He is expected to be at full health for the Combine and participate in drills, but the status of his shoulder will be crucial. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

02/20/2013 - Contrary to previous reports, USC quarterback Matt Barkley will not throw at the NFL Scouting Combine this week as he continues to rehab his throwing shoulder injury, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter. The combine begins Wednesday, with quarterbacks arriving Thursday and scheduled for their on-field workouts Sunday. While he won't throw, Barkley might still participate in the agility drills, such as the 40-yard dash, and is expected to impress teams throughout the interview process.

According to Schefter's sources, Barkley's shoulder is "85-90 percent recovered" and he has already been cleared to throw at the Trojans' pro day on March 27 in Southern California. He suffered the right-shoulder injury in late November when he was knocked out of the UCLA game on a sack by Anthony Barr. Barkley was forced to watch the regular-season finale against Notre Dame and the bowl game from the sidelines and wasn't able to participate in the Senior Bowl last month.

Scouts are well aware of Barkley's skill set and his passing talents, so while it's disappointing he won't be on the field throwing next to West Virginia's Geno Smith and others, NFL teams will be anxious to get him on the hot seat to test his between-the-ears ability. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

01/17/2013 - Southern Cal football coach Lane Kiffin disputed reports of a locker room brawl among Trojans players following the team's 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. "Contrary to media reports, there was not a brawl or altercation in our locker room after the Sun Bowl," Kiffin said in a statement. "There was a noisy verbal exchange among a couple players who were frustrated with the outcome of the game. "It lasted less than a minute and was nothing physical. It happens sometimes in football locker rooms after a disappointing loss."

The Los Angeles Daily News reported that a young player precipitated the incident involving 10-15 players when he questioned the team's senior leadership and also quarterback Matt Barkley for sitting out the Dec. 31 game because of a shoulder injury. "I would say tempers flared, yeah, but that's football," Barkley said ESPN's Colin Cowherd on Wednesday. "It's an emotional game and when you end your season on a negative note like that, emotions are going to be high. Guys were expressing their opinions, for better or worse, but we had it under control. It was nothing to be alarmed about."

One USC player told the Daily News that the scene was "chaotic." Barkley disputed that. "Obviously, in the locker room after that game, which was a loss, there's gonna be words exchanged," Barkley said. "People weren't in the best mood, but that wasn't to say we were fighting each other or there was an altercation." - The Sports Xchange

01/03/2013 - USC quarterback Matt Barkley has signed with CAA Sports, which features agents Tom Condon, Ben Dogra and Jimmy Sexton, a person familiar with the situation said. Barkley, a four-year starter for the Trojans, is regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Barkley suffered a sprained shoulder joint against UCLA on Nov. 17 and was sidelined for the Trojans' final regular-season game against Notre Dame and for the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech. Barkley has not practiced since he was injured and he said last week that his status for the Jan. 26 Senior Bowl was to be determined.

Barkley also is scheduled to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine in February and in USC's pro day workout this spring. Sexton has represented USC Coach Lane Kiffin. - Gary Klein, The LA Times

12/27/2012 - USC quarterback Matt Barkley will miss the Hyundai Sun Bowl because of a shoulder injury ending his collegiate football career. Through the Trojans' Twitter account, coach Lane Kiffin said Thursday that redshirt freshman Max Wittek will start against Georgia Tech in the New Year's Eve bowl. Barkley has been out since being hurt in a Nov. 17 loss to UCLA. - The Sports Xchange

12/03/2012 - University of Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley will likely play in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech on Dec. 1 in El Paso, Texas. Coach Lane Kiffin made the announcement on Monday. Barkley missed the regular season finale against Notre Dame on Nov. 24 because of a sprained shoulder. "He hasn't gone to a bowl game the last couple years, so it's a chance to go to one and finish off strong for him and for the senior class," Kiffin said. "It's a great opportunity for us."

The Trojans were ineligible for bowl games the past two years because of NCAA sanctions stemming from former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush receiving improper benefits. USC started off the season as the nation's top-ranked team but heads into the Sun Bowl at 7-5. Georgia Tech (6-7) is playing in the Sun Bowl for the second year in a row. - The Sports Xchange

11/30/2012 - 2012 ALL-PAC-12 HONORABLE MENTION: QB Matt Barkley, Sr.,...has been selected All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention for the 2012 college football season. - USC football

11/29/2012 - 2012 MANNING AWARD FINALIST: Matt Barkley (Southern California)...Barkley, who threw for 3,273 yards and 36 touchdowns in 11 games, was named one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award. AllState Sugar Bowl created the award in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. The winner is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 9. It is the only quarterback award that takes each candidates' bowl-game performances into consideration. Former USC quarterback Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005. - Manning Award

11/19/2012 - USC QB Barkley won't play against Notre Dame...This will be the second time that Barkley, a senior, will be sidelined for a Notre Dame game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He sat out the Trojans' 20-16 loss to the Irish in 2010 because of an ankle injury. "It's unfortunate for (Barkley's) career that he's not been around when Notre Dame has come into the Coliseum," Kiffin said. "He's been to South Bend twice and won twice, but he won't be able to play at home." The strong-armed, 6-foot-4 Wittek has played in six games, all in mop-up duty except for his few minutes of action against UCLA.

"We have great confidence in Max," Kiffin said. "I thought he did well (against UCLA) in a very difficult situation. ... Standing around in the rain and to go into that game is not easy to do. "Matt and Max are very similar physically, so I think that we would pretty much stick within our system." Redshirt freshman Cody Kessler will be the No. 2 quarterback against Notre Dame. - The Sports Xchange

11/19/2012 - USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who sprained his right shoulder in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 38-28 loss to UCLA, will not play in this week's home game against No. 1 Notre Dame, Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said Sunday night. Redshirt freshman Max Wittek will make his first start for the Trojans (7-4) on Saturday. He was 3-for-3 for 40 yards against the Bruins and is 8-for-9 for 95 yards and a touchdown for the season. On Saturday, he'll face an Irish team that ranks No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 10.1 points a game.

The Notre Dame game is USC's final regular-season game, and it's unclear whether Barkley will return for the Trojans' bowl game. Barkley left Saturday's game after he was sacked by UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr and landed on his right shoulder. "I feel very bad for him and his family," Kiffin said during a teleconference with reporters. "Obviously, this is not the way anybody pictured the team's season or his season going." - The Sports Xchange

11/18/2012 - QB Matt Barkley, who possibly could have been a top-five pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, said he has no regrets about coming back for his senior season. "There's nothing you can do now, why sit and pout about it?" he said. "It isn't how I expected it to turn out, but as of now, you have to be optimistic as to how we can finish this season on a good note." Barkley has been intercepted 15 times -- nine in the past four games -- which won't help his draft stock.

11/10/2012 - Curtis McNeal ran for 159 yards and scored three touchdowns as USC overcame quarterback Matt Barkley's three interceptions to beat Arizona State 38-17 before 80,154 at the Coliseum on Saturday. Barkley, a one-time Heisman Trophy front-runner, now has 13 interceptions, nearly twice as many as last season. But he really only mirrored the rest of the Trojans, who came out sluggish and trailed much of the first half. Perhaps it was a hangover from last week's thrilling loss to Oregon. But it was still a victory and meant USC can advance to the Pacific-12 Conference title game with a victory over UCLA next week. The Trojans finally overcame their sluggishness in the third quarter and led 28-17 after McNeal took a short pass and turned it into a 22-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left. It was the first comfortable lead of the day for the No. 19 Trojans, who did not even have a lead until McNeal's 5-yard touchdown run with 8:49 left in the third quarter put them up 21-17. - The Sports Xchange

11/07/2012 - PAC-12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 10: 3. QB Matt Barkley, 6-2, 220, USC: Why he has the third spot: Barkley took some heat this week for throwing two big interceptions against Oregon, but don't let that overshadow the game he played on Saturday. Barkley threw for 484 yards and five touchdowns in the 62-51 loss. Barkley doesn't play defense, so it's hard to completely pin a loss on a quarterback who led his team to 51 points. Season stats (nine games): 206 of 316, 2,750 yards, 30 touchdowns. Player ranking: Barkley is ranked 6th overall and is the 2nd-highest rated QB in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: USC won't be winning a national title this season, but they can still win the Pac-12 title. The Trojans control their own fate and if they can beat Arizona State this week and UCLA next week, they'll most likely be looking at a rematch with Oregon in the Pac-12 title game. - John Breech, CBSSports.com

11/07/2012 - Early in the first half of Saturday's game, former USC tailback Marc Tyler tweeted, "Barkley is not that good, sorry SC fans." Apparently, that created a Twitter-storm because Tyler later tweeted, "Get mad if you want, I speak the truth." He does? Imagine Tyler's take if, during an eventual 62-51 loss, Matt Barkley hadn't completed 65 percent of his passes and thrown for 484 yards and five touchdowns. It's amazing how nobody ever singles out the nose tackle or the free safety, even when a team is in the midst of the worst defensive performance in its history. If you're searching for a litany of reasons why USC is off to a frustrating 6-3 start, you would have to dissect the entire 75-man roster -- stopping just short of Marqise Lee -- to find someone less worthy of blame than Barkley. In the Trojans' last two losses, Barkley has thrown for 977 combined yards and eight touchdowns. Oh yeah, but what about the interceptions, two in each of USC's three losses? Making better decisions is something he's working on, but it's not as if Barkley's flinging the ball recklessly. On the first one Saturday, the defender practically mauled Lee before making an athletic catch at the back of the end zone. On the second one, Barkley was trying to avoid a sack. Of his 10 interceptions this season, seven were Barkley's fault, by the estimation of coach Lane Kiffin. Barkley's two main infractions in his four seasons at USC were playing at a time the program got pummeled by the NCAA and having to be compared to Andrew Luck. It's not exactly a fair backdrop. He's not perfect, but he's an elite quarterback who has lived up to everything other than the recruiting hype. How many high school phenoms do? - Mark Saxon, ESPN Los Angeles

10/25/2012 - PAC-12 NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 8: 1. QB Matt Barkley, 6-2, 220, USC: Why he has the top spot: Barkley made zero mistakes in the Trojans' 50-6 win over Colorado. Well, he did make one, the threw an incomplete pass in the second quarter, but other than that, the senior QB was perfect. Barkley went 19 of 20 for 298 yards. What is more impressive is the fact six of Barkley's 19 completions went for touchdowns. The record-setting QB now has 102 touchdown passes in his career, the most in Pac-12 history. Season stats (seven games): 140 of 213, 1,773 yards, 22 touchdowns. Player ranking: Barkley is ranked 4th overall and is the 2nd-highest rated QB in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Barkley might have wanted to save a few of those touchdown passes for Saturday's game against Arizona, which could turn into a shootout. The Wildcats' offense is as good as their defense is bad. Arizona has the second-highest scoring offense in the Pac-12 (39.1 ppg), but the Wildcats' defense surrenders the second-most points (30.4 ppg). - John Breech, CBSSports.com

10/22/2012 - Matt Barkley had no idea Southern California had planned something special for his record-breaking 100th touchdown pass. After connecting with Robert Woods for the school-record TD during the No. 10 Trojans' blowout of Colorado, Barkley watched the massive Coliseum scoreboard with an even bigger smile as Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, Pete Carroll, Blake Griffin, Landon Donovan and more Los Angeles sports luminaries offered taped congratulations. "It's something I did dream of as a kid - not the records, but to be able to be here for four years and live those dreams out as a senior," Barkley said. "I never thought (the records) would happen, but I'm trying to soak it up." Barkley came back for his senior season with the Trojans to make history, and he got another piece of it during a win that moved USC (6-1, 4-1 Pac-12) back into the top 10 after starting the season at No. 1. USC routed Colorado 50-6 for its fourth straight win, blasting the hapless Buffaloes on both sides of the ball. Barkley kept the ball from the TD pass that moved him past Leinart in USC and conference annals, but he's confident the Trojans are heading toward bigger achievements in January. To play in the national championship game or the Rose Bowl, the Trojans likely would need a perfect finish in the toughest part of their schedule, beginning Saturday at high-scoring Arizona (4-3, 1-3). - AP Sports

10/22/2012 - WEEK 8 PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: USC Quarterback Matt Barkley, a senior from Newport Beach, Calif., led USC to a 50-6 victory over Colorado as he threw for a USC single game record-tying six touchdown passes, including a school record-tying five in the first half, to become the Pac-12's career recordholder. He passed former Trojan Matt Leinart???s Pac-12 record of 99 career touchdown passes and now has 102 for his career. Barkley completed 95.0% of his passes (19-of-20) to set both the Pac-12 game mark for highest completion percentage (minimum 15 completions) and the Pac-12 game passing efficiency rating record (319.2). He threw for 298 yards overall with no interceptions and was 16-of-17 for 269 yards in the first half to earn College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Week and National Quarterback of the Week. Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were quarterback Marcus Mariota of OREGON, and running backs Ka'Deem Carey of ARIZONA, Storm Woods of OREGON STATE and Stepfan Taylor of STANFORD. - Pac-12 football

10/22/2012 - USC coach Lane Kiffin made sure he would not be criticized for a conservative offense against Colorado. Quarterback Matt Barkley threw six touchdown passes and wide receiver Robert Woods caught four to lead No. 11 USC to a 50-6 victory over the Buffaloes at the Coliseum before an announced crowd of 83,204. Barkley broke the USC and Pac-12 career records for touchdown passes while Woods broke the school and conference records for career receptions. Woods also set a USC single-game record with four touchdown catches. Barkley's six touchdowns tied his own school record -- he threw six against Colorado last year. He finished the game 19 of 20 passing for 298 yards. Woods caught a season-high eight passes for 132 yards while wide receiver Marqise Lee added six catches for 103 yards. It was an emphatic response following criticism during the week that the offense was too conservative in USC's 24-14 victory over Washington. Barkley threw only 20 passes in that game. Barkley also set a Pac-12 record for completion percentage (95.0) and came with .8 of the NCAA record set by current USC assistant and former Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin. - The Sports Xchange

10/10/2012 - PAC-12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 6: 2. QB Matt Barkley, 6-2, 230, USC: Why he has the second spot: The Trojans senior had been in a rut lately, throwing a combined four interceptions in USC wins over Stanford and Cal. However, Barkley broke out of the rut against Utah, playing his most efficient game of the season. Barkley threw for 303 yards and three touchdown passes in the 38-28 Trojans win. The senior QB also tied a season-high by completing 76.7 percent of his passes. Season stats (five games): 111 for 173, 1,308 yards, 15 TD passes, 5 INTs. Player ranking: Barkley is ranked 4th overall and is the 2nd-highest quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Barkley was the top QB prospect going into the 2012 season, but that title currently belongs to West Virginia QB Geno Smith. Up next: Things won't get any easier for Barkley on Saturday when USC travels to Washington. The Huskies only surrender 173.8 pass yards per game, a number that ranks second in the Pac-12 and 13th in the country. - John Breech, CBSSports.com

10/07/2012 - QB Matt Barkley answered some critics with his performance against Utah, completing 23 of 30 passes for 303 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Barkley, coming off two subpar performances for the former Heisman frontrunner, was especially impressive with an 83-yard touchdown pass to Marqise Lee in the fourth quarter, with the throw covering about 60 yards in the air. Lack of arm strength has been a criticism of Barkley.

10/05/2012 - If USC wants to move up in the national rankings, it might need to offer a complete performance. That was not the case Thursday night as the 13th-ranked Trojans escaped with a 38-28 victory over Utah before 46,037, the fourth-largest crowd in the history of Rice-Eccles Stadium. The play of the night was an 83-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Barkley to wide receiver Marqise Lee that broke open a tight game and gave USC a 31-21 advantage with 12:10 left in the game. "I think this showed the character of the team and the fight," Barkley said. "(This was my best performance) of the year, I think." It also deflated the boisterous crowd, which saw a plucky performance from a Utah team coming off a 37-7 loss to Arizona State. That was followed by cornerback Nickell Robey's first interception of the season and he went 38 yards for a touchdown to give USC a 38-21 lead with 9:30 remaining. Before those plays, the Utes were down by only three points and in contention for the upset. "We were two plays from winning that game," Utah tailback John White said. "That intercepted screen pass and 83-yard touchdown. We had a formula heading into the game and fought until the end, but it wasn't enough." Those two touchdowns took away the sting of an awful start by the Trojans (4-1, 2-1). Utah (2-3, 0-2) jumped out to a 14-0 lead following two bad snaps by USC center Khaled Holmes in the first three minutes. "It was kind of a low point and not how we wanted to start," Barkley said. "Our guys bounced back." - The Sports Xchange

10/04/2012 - The arrival of USC quarterback Matt Barkley usually isn't considered an ideal elixir for helping opponents get on track. That is, however, precisely the scenario the Utah Utes face as they try to regain control over an up-and-down season that has them 2-2 and 0-1 in the Pac-12 while getting ready for the nationally-ranked Trojans (3-1, 1-1). "We're going to be on a national stage, and we want to go out there and play our best football," quarterback Jon Hays told the Salt Lake Tribune. "It's still early, and all the teams in the South [division] top to bottom can beat anybody. This game is going to be huge in determining who is in the race again." That's what you want your senior signal-caller to say, but the Utes have to demonstrate more consistent football to harbor hopes of beating USC and Barkley, the Trojans' senior offensive leader. He has 92 career touchdown passes, plays behind a talented offensive line, is unfazed by any big-game atmosphere and has plenty of weapons at his disposal. "He is a great player and tough to sack," Whittingham told the Tribune. "He has a lot of quickness. You can be unblocked and he can still beat you with the throw, he is that quick." As difficult a matchup as the Trojans present, with potential NFL wide receivers in Marquise Lee (who leads the Pac-12 with 40 receptions for 457 yards and six touchdowns) and Robert Woods (25 receptions, 201 yards, eight TDs), the Utes have to worry about themselves first. - The Sports Xchange

10/04/2012 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: USC at Utah, Oct. 4 -- This originally might have been considered a battle for the top of the Pac-12 South, but the Utes have stumbled out of the gate, losing at Utah State and at Arizona State. Utah also lost starting QB Jordan Wynn to chronic shoulder problems, leaving Jon Hays in charge of the offense. Still, the favored team always has to be on guard on the road on a Thursday night. KEYS TO THE GAME: Corral Utah running back John White IV again. He was the second-leading rusher in the Pac-12 last season with 1,519 yards, but USC bottled him up, holding him to 56 yards on 20 carries. White is off to a slow start this season because of an ankle injury, but the extra rest in advance of this week should put him at full strength. Utah is struggling on offense (298.25 yards per game) and doesn't have many good options other than White. PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Matt Barkley - His decision-making and lack of stats have come under question in the past two games, in which he completed 42 of 75 passes with four interceptions. Nothing is physically wrong, and he has too many weapons to be quiet for long. - The Sports Xchange

10/04/2012 - A bye week should help USC recharge for what could be a thrilling race to the end of the season. Who knows how this will turn out? The 13th-ranked Trojans got knocked down with a loss at Stanford to open conference play, but there are plenty of games remaining, including marquee matchups that could elevate USC back into the national championship discussion. USC has opportunities at Washington (which beat Stanford in Seattle), vs. Oregon, at a surging UCLA program and vs. Notre Dame in the regular-season finale. Then could come a rematch with the Ducks in the Pac-12 title game. When it's all done, a 13-1 record with that strength of schedule would look pretty good. But first comes a Thursday night game at Utah. Coach Lane Kiffin said the bye week came at a good time. "I think they were just a little tired with all the buildup of camp and expectations of the season," said Kiffin, whose team was No. 1 in some circles. "It was just a good time to get away for a little bit." USC not only needed the bye week to recharge batteries and refocus on the rest of the season, but the coaches needed to find a way to optimize all the great talent they have on offense. Opposing defenses have been giving the Trojans all kinds of different looks in an attempt to slow down quarterback Matt Barkley, receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, and running backs Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal. Even Kiffin admitted that he did not call "a great game" at Stanford. He will have no excuses with the extra time to prepare for Utah, which has a super defensive front but has been disappointing overall this season. Full speed ahead for USC. "I feel like this is the best we've been as far as the players being fresh," Kiffin said. - The Sports Xchange

09/22/2012 - It was not exactly a dominating way to bounce back from a loss, but No. 13 USC did enough to earn a victory Saturday, and that ultimately was enough for a team reeling after last week's loss to Stanford. USC defeated California 27-9 before 83,421 at the Coliseum, but no one will confuse the Trojans' offense for the explosive group that was expected to dominate games this season. Quarterback Matt Barkley threw two more interceptions as the Trojans relied on the rushing game to win. Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal each went over 100 yards as the Trojans ran for 296. Perhaps the best news for USC was the return of kicker Andre Heidari, back after tearing his meniscus in the season opener against Hawaii. Heidari made a 41-yard field goal to give the Trojans a 20-9 advantage with 14:10 left. He also made a 40-yard field goal in the first half. Cal dominated the early part of the second half and, trailing 17-9, looked ready to tie the game as the Bears drove to the USC 14-yard line. But Zach Maynard scrambled and threw a pass directly at USC safety T.J. McDonald. Maynard threw two interceptions in the game. - AP Sports

09/17/2012 - USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin was puzzled by two "really poor decisions" made by Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley in the second quarter of USC's 21-14 road loss to Stanford on Saturday. And Kiffin went as far to call them some of the worst decisions he's ever seen Barkley make. On a third down with less than two minutes to play in the first half of Saturday's game, Barkley threw into traffic and was intercepted by the Cardinal's Jordan Richards. Then, after USC linebacker Dion Bailey picked off the ensuing throw from Stanford's Josh Nunes, Barkley forced a throw downfield and had his second straight pass intercepted. "(That was) really unusual by Matt," Kiffin said in his Sunday evening conference call with reporters. "Probably two of his worst decisions in our three years together on back-to-back plays." At the time, USC led 14-7. The Trojans didn't score again the rest of the game. Kiffin noted that Barkley had thrown just one interception in nine quarters of football until that point. He also said Barkley took a lot of shots from Stanford defenders throughout the game and indicated he was the victim of poor offensive line play. "He's pretty beat up, mentally and physically," Kiffin said of Barkley, who appeared on the verge of tears in a brief postgame press conference following the loss. - Pedro Moura, ESPN Los Angeles

09/17/2012 - 09/17/12 NFL DRAFT SCOUT FALLER: 1. Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California: Just like former Pac-12 quarterback Andrew Luck last year, Matt Barkley entered the 2012 season as the projected No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. And through two games (10 touchdowns, 0 interceptions), it was a smooth ride. His path to the NFL hit a large bump on Saturday night as Barkley and Southern Cal were upset by Stanford. It wasn't the loss so much as Barkley's performance in the game. He threw a pair of interceptions and finished 20-for-41 (48.8 percent), the first time he finished under 50 percent passing in a game since his freshman season in 2009. Barkley also snapped a 15-game streak with at least one touchdown toss and to say he was dejected after the loss would be an understatement. The upset not only ends a perfect season and puts his Heisman Trophy chances on life support, but the loss also puts some doubts in the minds of pro scouts as to his ability to perform in the clutch. To be fair, not all the blame can be put on Barkley as the offensive line struggled to handle Stanford's multiple pressures and the run game finished with just 26 rushing yards. But the fourth-year starting captain couldn't come up with the big play when his team needed it most as USC scored all 14 of their points in the first half. While everyone has bad days and most agree that his performance was uncharacteristic, losses like that create doubt in the minds of NFL teams and won't help his chances (which are still very, very good) of being one of the top picks next April. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

09/16/2012 - Matt Barkley surprised many with the decision to turn down a potential top five selection in the 2012 NFL draft to return to USC for his senior season. Many of the goals he'd set for himself and his Trojans are now in doubt after a stunning 21-14 loss to Stanford Saturday night. For USC, which entered the contest ranked No. 2 in the country, the loss significantly damages their chances at winning the Pac-12 and securing one of the BCS bowl invitations. And while there is certainly time for USC to get back into national title contention, don't think Saturday night's loss was simply due a sloppy play or five from the Trojans; USC was physically controlled at the line of scrimmage. Stanford ran for 202 yards in this contest. USC ran for just 26. For Barkley, who entered the game widely regarded as the Heisman favorite and the potential No. 1 overall pick of next April's draft, the loss could be just as damaging to his own stock. For the first time in 18 games Barkley did not throw a touchdown (Oregon State, 2010). He completed just 20 of 41 passes for 254 yards and threw interceptions on back to back throws in the second quarter. He also lost a fumble getting sacked earlier in the game. Consider that other than a failed fourth down pass attempt to freshman fullback Soma Vainuku halfway through the third quarter, USC never seriously threatened to score after halftime. The loss also makes Barkley 0-4 against Stanford for his career, a significant concern for NFL scouts because of the fact that the Cardinal are one of the few Pac-12 teams to play a lot of physical press coverage -- precisely the type of coverage Barkley (and his receivers) will be expected to be able to beat in the NFL. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

09/16/2012 - To Barkley's credit, the accuracy he'd shown throughout his spectacular career with the Trojans seemed to return on USC's final drive. While slightly behind on his first pass to Lee, Barkley returned with a couple of very nice throws, including one down the seam to freshman Nelson Agholor (which was dropped) and a very accurate ball down the left sideline to Lee on 4th down to extend the drive.Two plays later Barkley hit Agholor for 20 yards and USC appeared to be in business at the Stanford 46 yard-line with about a minute left and one timeout. A pair of sacks and two penalties on the offensive linemen attempting to protect Barkley ended USC's final chance in this game quite emphatically, however. While USC began what turned out to be their final offensive series in this game first and 10 at the Stanford 46, they finished it with wounded duck lofted deep and out of bounds down the right sideline facing 4th and 40 from their own 24. For now, scouts will take this game for what it is -- one disappointing game in what has been a record-setting career for Barkley. But make no mistake about it, after tonight Barkley's perch atop the 2013 leaderboard is shakier than its ever been. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

09/16/2012 - David Shaw tried to hold back his emotions on the sideline. The second-year Stanford coach watched his players bounce on both sides of him, then fans swarm the field from all angles, and he finally couldn't resist flashing a giant I-told-you-so smile anymore. No Jim Harbaugh and no Andrew Luck, but the Cardinal still have every answer for Matt Barkley and Southern California. Josh Nunes threw a go-ahead 37-yard touchdown to Zach Ertz, Stepfan Taylor ran for 153 yards and scored two touchdowns, and No. 21 Stanford upset second-ranked USC 21-14 on Saturday night for its fourth straight win in this series. "We don't want to be that team known for one victory," Shaw said. "We want to be known for victory after victory, stacking wins on top of wins." Make it four-of-a-kind against that long-time powerhouse from down south. Heisman Trophy hopeful Matt Barkley threw for 254 yards and two interceptions while completing only 20 of 41 passes. He was sacked twice on the final drive for the Trojans (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) and threw out of bounds on a final, desperate heave on fourth-and-39 from USC's 25-yard line. Coming out of a two-year bowl ban, USC had national title hopes this season. Now the Trojans, who were held scoreless for the final 41:19, will have to climb out of another hole to get there. "You learn and go back to playing Trojan football," said a disappointed Barkley, who has beaten every conference teams but is 0-4 against Stanford. "We got to just not put the blame on anybody, learn from our mistakes and make sure we bounce back." - AP Sports

09/16/2012 - For all of his success, Barkley remains a hotly debated prospect with NFL scouts. Listed at 6-2, 230 pounds, he's shorter than scouts would prefer and has only average arm strength. He's been able to get away with less than ideal physical characteristics because he's played with terrific poise and anticipation throughout his career. Against Stanford Saturday night, however, Barkley was uncharacteristically rattled. Breakdowns in pass protection left him scrambling for time and the rhythm he normally enjoys with his playmaking star wideouts Robert Woods and Marqise Lee was largely non-existent in this game due to Stanford's physical play in the secondary. Because he doesn't have an elite arm or the running skills to scare defenses with his legs, Barkley appeared frightfully pedestrian, at times, when the "little things" that he's normally so good at were minimized. Barkley clearly missed his center Khaled Holmes, who was knocked out of the Trojans' last game against Syracuse with a lower leg injury and though he dressed and reportedly warmed up for this game, he never left the sideline. Stanford also took advantage of the inexperience of sophomore left tackle Aundrey Walker, who was starting his first conference game since taking over for Matt Kalil, the No. 4 overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings. But Barkley suddenly throwing interceptions for the Trojans isn't something new. While he only threw seven interceptions against 39 touchdowns a season ago, Barkley struggled with picks during spring practices. At one point in late March, he'd thrown interceptions in seven of the team's eight spring practices. Barkley did not thrown an interception in USC's season-opening thrashing of Hawaii but was picked off last week against the Orangemen. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

09/15/2012 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: USC at Stanford, Sept. 15 -- The Trojans have lost three in a row to Stanford in what has been a heated, thrilling series in recent years, eclipsing typical USC rivals UCLA and Notre Dame. It would be hard to think that QB Matt Barkley could go his entire college career without beating the Cardinal, but that is what would happen if USC lost Saturday. And his Heisman hopes -- and USC's dream of a national championship -- would be sliced to a sliver as well. KEYS TO THE GAME: Score early. USC will be well on its way if it can take Stanford out of its comfort zone, which is to control the game with its power running attack. A couple of early scores from the fabulous Trojans offense will shift more pressure to new Cardinal QB Jose Nunes. Can he be a gunslinger? His main task has been to be a caretaker and not mess things up. He has thrown for 400 yards and one interception in 56 attempts so far. PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Matt Barkley -- He's 0-3 against Stanford, and this is his last chance. How has he done statistically vs. the Cardinal? Here are the numbers: 77-of-121 for 870 yards, with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Not bad. - The Sports Xchange

09/10/2012 - The Pac-12 had one of its best weekends in years, led by a Los Angeles-based duo that put themselves in the national lead in rushing yards and passing touchdowns. UCLA senior Johnathan Franklin ran for 217 yards on 26 carries as the upstart Bruins stunned Nebraska 36-30 at the Rose Bowl. Franklin now has 431 yards rushing while averaging a gaudy 10.5 yards per carry through two games. Southern California's Matt Barkley continued his push for the Heisman Trophy some 3,000 miles away. Barkley threw six TDs passes in stormy New Jersey as the Trojans held off Syracuse 42-29. Barkley has 10 touchdown passes, three more than Akron's Dalton Williams and four more than anyone else. - AP Sports

09/09/2012 - QB Matt Barkley tied his school record with six touchdown passes at Syracuse, although his yardage total was kept modest by an Orange defense determined to force him to throw underneath. Barkley, content to use the screen game, completed 23-of-30 passes for 187 yards. He threw 11 touchdown passes against Syracuse in the past two seasons.

09/08/2012 - It only took a 70-minute rain delay to yank No. 2 USC and Syracuse out of their offensive slumber Saturday. The teams showed little offense in the first half but finally provided the expected punch in a fast-paced second half in which the Orange could not match the Trojans, who comfortably won 42-29 before 39,507 as quarterback Matt Barkley threw six touchdown passes. The game took more than four hours because the second half was delayed for one hour and 10 minutes because of a storm and fears of lightning. Earlier in the day a tornado briefly touched down in nearby Queens and Brooklyn. There was heavy rain at MetLife Stadium but nothing too severe, and play eventually resumed with USC leading 14-3. Syracuse immediately appeared energized by the delay, scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter. Tailback Prince-Tyson Gulley's 7-yard run cut the Trojans' lead to 21-16 with 3:42 left. The touchdown was set up by safety Shamarko Thomas' interception of Barkley's poor pass over the middle. Syracuse previously scored on a 78-yard drive as quarterback Ryan Nassib threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marcus Sales with 5:51 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 21-10. But USC wide receiver Robert Woods returned a punt to set up a touchdown and then ran 76 yards on a reverse to set up another that gave the Trojans a 35-16 advantage. - The Sports Xchange

09/07/2012 - USC dropped from No. 1 in the AP poll to No. 2, falling behind Alabama, which clobbered Michigan in its season-opener. "I don't care about it," QB Matt Barkley said in the L.A. Daily News, talking about being knocked out of the top spot. "It really doesn't motivate me. I know (Alabama) is a great team." - The Sports Xchange

09/07/2012 - QB Matt Barkley took a positive step in the Heisman race, completing 23 of 38 passes for 372 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He'll need to do something similar against the better teams on the schedule to win the stiff-armed trophy, but it was still an impressive start on the way to accumulating the needed stats. And having Marqise Lee turn an easy pass into a 75-yard score doesn't hurt, either. - The Sports Xchange

09/07/2012 - THIS WEEK'S GAME: USC at Syracuse, Sept. 8 -- This is the last tune-up for USC before it opens Pac-12 play at Stanford on Sept. 15. The Trojans handled the Orange with relative ease last season, winning 38-17 and putting up 501 yards of offense. There's no reason to think USC won't at least reach those offensive totals again this season. KEYS TO THE GAME: The Trojans need to play better in the secondary, and make more plays on the ball, against a hot quarterback like Syracuse's Ryan Nassib. USC took advantage last week of the inexperience of Hawaii QB Sean Schroeder, who threw two interceptions. But Nassib is a different story; he's in his third season as a starter and knows the speed of the USC defense. PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Matt Barkley had a Heisman-worthy first week vs. Hawaii and now will be looking to duplicate last season's effort vs. Syracuse. He passed for five TDs against the Orange last season, including scoring throws of 31, 44 and 43 yards. - The Sports Xchange

09/04/2012 - Week One Rewind - Geno Smith steals the show: Cam Newton seemingly came out of nowhere to win the Heisman Trophy, lead his team to a BCS title and wind up as the No. 1 overall pick of the draft in 2011. Exactly one year ago today, it was Robert Griffin III whose sparkling performance in Baylor's upset over TCU, the defending Rose Bowl champs, led off my initial Weekly Review of the 2011 season. New year, same type of story: West Virginia's Geno Smith stole the spotlight over the weekend from this year's Heisman favorite and presumptive No. 1 overall pick, Southern Cal's Matt Barkley. Barkley and his top-ranked Trojans were predictably dominant over Hawaii Saturday, Smith was even better. Continuing the torrid pace he began by tossing six touchdowns in a 70-33 thrashing of Clemson January 4 in the Orange Bowl, Smith completed an eye-popping 32 of 36 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns Saturday in the Mountaineers' opener against Marshall. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

09/02/2012 - QB Matt Barkley took a positive step in the Heisman race, completing 23 of 38 passes for 372 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He'll need to do something similar against the better teams on the schedule to win the stiff-armed trophy, but it was still an impressive start on the way to accumulating the needed stats. And having Marqise Lee turn an easy pass into a 75-yard score doesn't hurt, either.

09/01/2012 - USC quarterback Matt Barkley is considered a Heisman Trophy front-runner, but wide receiver Marqise Lee might have overtaken his teammate in the race Saturday with an electrifying performance on offense and special teams. Lee returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and caught 10 passes for 197 yards as the Trojans breezed to an easy 49-10 victory over Hawaii before an announced crowd of 93,607 at the Coliseum. Lee caught a short pass on the first play of the game and ran 75 yards down the sideline to set the tone for the season opener for both teams. He and Barkley led the blowout with marquee performances that only enhanced their images as two of the top players in the country. Barkley passed for 377 yards, completing 23 of 38 passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Lee caught eight passes for 176 yards in the first half alone. It was a stark contrast to last year's opener, when USC squeaked past Minnesota 19-17 at the Coliseum. The Trojans spoiled the debut of new Hawaii coach Norm Chow, who is probably best known for being a USC assistant when the school won two national titles under former coach Pete Carroll. About the only thing USC couldn't do was convert two-point plays as the Trojans were 0 for 3 in the first half after kicker Andre Heidari was injured. - The Sports Xchange

08/30/2012 - Rob Rang's 08/30/12 Top 32 NFL Draft Big Board: 2. Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California: Barkley's lack of ideal size (6-1, 218) and arm strength means that he's no shoo-in as the No. 1 overall prospect for the 2013 draft. His accuracy, mobility and experience in a pro-style offense would have earned Barkley a top-five selection had he entered the 2012 draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

08/16/2012 - Matt Barkley's progression at Southern California has taken him from a heralded freshman who sometimes made questionable decisions to one of the best quarterbacks in college football. So once he finished his junior season, the general belief was that he would leave the Trojans for the NFL. He was, after all, already a polished quarterback and was expected to be a high NFL draft pick. But when the time came to make a decision, Barkley surprised just about everyone. He was coming back, forgoing a big payday in the NFL for one more college season and a chance to play for a national title. And with Barkley back, the Trojans are among the front-runners to win a title. "I assume he would have been a top-5 pick, totally ready to go in and be the face of a franchise and be ready to play in the NFL," USC coach Lane Kiffin said. "His situation was different, and I think it was about him wanting to do something special. What some people have written, he may be able to go down as the most historic Trojan ever if we do big things this year." The Trojans certainly have that chance. The past two seasons, USC has been ineligible for the postseason because of NCAA sanctions. Now, the Trojans are bowl-eligible again and have the type of players who could make not just a bowl run, but contend for much more. "I do think that the sanctions have brought our team closer together and strengthened us in a way that I didn't anticipate," Barkley said. "It made us stronger in terms of character and, you know, it allowed us to face adversity in a unique way that guys our age aren't really used to. "It seemed all bad at first, but ultimately, I think it worked in our favor for this point where we are today." - AP Sports

08/09/2012 - Matt Barkley plans to take a freshman approach to his fourth and final training camp for Southern California. ''I'm not really thinking of it as my last camp,'' Barkley said Wednesday. ''I just don't think of stuff like that, but kind of try to approach it like my freshman year. ... I know a lot more than I did that year, but it's still a fun experience.'' While coach Lane Kiffin said Barkley's approach hasn't changed much year to year, Barkley acknowledged that the goals are different this time around with the team being bowl eligible after it was banned for the past two seasons because of sanctions stemming from the Reggie Bush scandal. ''I think our mindset to this year has just changed in terms of being bowl-eligible and the chance to do something special,'' Barkley said. ''You just have to keep your head up and know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.'' The constant learning that comes with being a quarterback has kept Barkley's mindset fresh. After starting as a freshman and playing two years without a postseason, he decided against going to the NFL in December to play with the Trojans one more year with a shot at a bowl. ''I've always just figured I don't want anyone else to know something that I don't know so if I'm studying film or whether it's the playbook, I have the fear of failure of being asked a question or being out there not knowing what to do,'' he said. - AP Sports

08/04/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON JOHNNY UNITAS GOLDEN ARM AWARD CANDIDATE: Matt Barkley, USC...The senior is widely considered to be college football's best player and opens 2012 as a frontrunner for most national awards. Barkley has thrown for 80 career touchdowns and is an Athlon Sports first-team All-American for 2012. - The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award

07/30/2012 - No one disputes that USC has a starting group of 22 that can compete for a national title. It's the depth that is the worry. "Right now, we kind of feel like we're in a perfect storm with so many good things going," coach Lane Kiffin said at Pac-12 Media Day. Soon after he said that, some rain clouds moved in. Projected starting defensive end Devon Kennard suffered a torn pectoral muscle while lifting weights. The injury could keep him out until at least the middle of the season. USC can't afford too many of these kind of injuries, especially on a defensive line in which the interior is inexperienced and now the edges are more suspect, too. Depth at running back is a concern (pending the potential addition of Penn State transfer Silas Redd); the offensive line isn't deep; more receivers need to emerge behind superstars Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. The Trojans will need some good luck to be able to cleanly navigate their season to the BCS championship game. USC has only 75 scholarships - 10 fewer than the maximum - because of NCAA sanctions. But that USC is even able to talk about a run to the national title is a testament to how well Kiffin and his staff kept the program from fracturing following two years of a postseason ban. Athlon projected the Trojans as the preseason No. 1 team. All of this is possible because the surprising senior return of quarterback Matt Barkley, the preseason Heisman front-runner. "These guys are my best friends, and you saw it toward the end of last year, how much fun we were having playing together and playing for each other," Barkley said. "I think we've got to keep playing like that this year. We can play for a national championship and bowl games, but we can't forget how we got here. You were playing for your buddy. I think especially this year we can't forget to do that." - The Sports Xchange

07/28/2012 - Matt Barkley envisions his main role in any Heisman Trophy campaign to be devoid of endless interviews, slickly produced highlight reels, social media posts, high-tech phone applications and promotional gimmicks. "My campaign," the USC quarterback says, "is on the field." Barkley, though, easily handled a bull-rush of attention at Pac-12 Conference media day earlier this week. He saw the demands coming the second he passed on the opportunity to turn pro and announced he would return to USC for his senior season. And the self-described "tech nerd" even had a hand in developing what USC hopes will be a fan-friendly mobile app to promote Barkley and deliver information about the Trojans. The school billed the app "PROJECT TRO7AN," a play on Barkley's jersey number. But USC also is attempting to avoid oversaturation. Barkley shares the front of the school's schedule poster with seven other players. He also is part of a group shot on the cover of the football media guide. And USC's new app will include information about all players, not just the one regarded by many as the front-runner for college football's most coveted honor. "He goes in as 'the guy,'" USC sports information director Tim Tessalone says, "so you don't have to do a lot of setting the table." Barkley can do much of that on his own. He is an active social media user with more than 58,000 followers on Twitter. On Wednesday, an "Ask Me Anything" Reddit.com interview generated nearly 1,500 comments. (The only class Barkley will take this fall is the tech-based "Macintosh, OSX, and iOS Forensics.") For all his willingness to engage fans and reporters, Barkley said his approach this season would be simple: "Just shut up and do work." - Gary Klein, The LA Times

07/26/2012 - Top-five USC prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 1. QB Matt Barkley...To the surprise of many, Barkley elected to return to USC for his senior season despite every indication that he would have been selected in the top 10 of the 2012 NFL draft. Barkley's gamble could pay off, however, as he leads a talented roster that could help him win a Heisman Trophy, compete for the national championship and earn an even higher grade for the 2013 draft, perhaps even pushing him to be No. 1 overall pick. Barkley's career at USC reads like a Hollywood script. The highly regarded prep athlete was the surprising choice by then-head coach Pete Carroll to start the 2009 season after Mark Sanchez made a surprising choice of his own by electing to enter the 2008 draft despite having only started one season. Barkley immediately impressed with his leadership, demonstrating the confidence as a true freshman that normally was reserved for upperclassmen. He's steadily improved his numbers over his career, completing 60% of his passes in 2009 for 2,735 yards and 15 touchdowns (14 interceptions), 63% in 2010 for 2,791 yards and 26 touchdowns (12 interceptions) and 69% this past season for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He played exceptionally well in high profile games against Oregon, Stanford, and Notre Dame (10-2 TD to INT ratio) and, having come from a pro-style offense in a the monstrous Los Angeles market is about as prepared for the rigors of the NFL as it gets. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

07/26/2012 - Top-five USC prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 1. QB Matt Barkley...His understanding of the USC offense is greatly under-appreciated. While he's not quite Andrew Luck, when breaking down Barkley, it is clear he does so many of the "little" things well, like rolling either to his left or right and consistently firing accurate passes on the move or freezing the safeties by looking one direction and passing the other... Some will knock his size, "average" arm strength or the fact that he has never faced SEC competition. While Barkley is a touch shorter than scouts would prefer, I've had numerous sources who saw him in person at the Manning Passing Academy tell me he showed greater zip than expected, though I'd like to see him improve his accuracy on the deep ball. Barkley can only play the opponents his team has scheduled and with the Trojans ineligible for bowl games over the past two seasons, he's been limited in the number of differing teams he's faced. Mobile, accurate and, perhaps most importantly to success in the NFL -- incredibly poised -- Barkley walks into the 2012 college football season as the top prospect in the country. As such, he leads off both Dane Brugler's and my own current mock drafts. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

07/24/2012 - Heisman campaigns have run the creative gamut over the years. Some have been subtle in their genius, as when former Notre Dame sports information director Roger Valdiserri changed the pronounciation of Joe Theismann's name to rhyme with Heisman, or when Washington State sent out a single leaf to selected media on behalf of Ryan Leaf. Other campaigns just hit you over the head- see Joey Harrington's Time's Square billboard or Dan Persa's purple dumbbells for examples. Now USC is putting its mark on the genre with a cutting-edge campaign in support of senior quarterback Matt Barkley. Starting in mid-August, fans and media will be able to download, for free, a mobile application for Android or iPhone called 'Project Tro7an'. The app will allow media and postseason awards voters to closely follow Barkley and the other Trojan honors candidates by providing easily sortable data, biographic information and highlight videos. "It's the 21st century. It's 2012," said Barkley. "Everyone has a smart phone or mobile device. Instead of a blog or web site, we wanted to put everything at people's fingertips." A self-described 'tech nerd', Barkley contributed input to the formatting of the app, along with teammates T.J. McDonald and Khaled Holmes. It might be the first honors campaign where the candidates helped spearhead the concept. "(Barkley) was a part of the development since Day One," said Jordan Moore, USC's Director of Social Media. "He was very adamant about functionality and design. "As far as we know, no one in college football has ever done anything like this before." - Chris Huston, CBSSports.com

07/24/2012 - USC is the favorite to win the 2012 Pac-12 Conference football title in a preseason poll of media members who cover the league. The Trojans were listed in the top spot in the South Division by 117 of the 123 voters participating in the poll, collecting 729 points. 102 of those pollsters tabbed the Trojans to come out on top in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Utah was picked to finish second in the South Division, collecting one first-place vote in the balloting for the division race. Arizona State claimed three of the other five first-place votes, with each of those members of the media casting a vote for the Sun Devils to capture the Pac-12 title. Oregon was picked to win the North Division, garnering 732 points and 117 first place votes, while Stanford, which tallied five of the other six first place votes, was pegged to finish second in this year's poll. California, predicted by the voters to finish fourth in the North Division, claimed the remaining first place vote. - Pac-12 football

07/20/2012 - Matt Barkley reshuffled NFL draft boards nationwide last year when the USC quarterback decided to return for his senior season. We'll never know where he would have been selected in 2012, but Barkley - sounding pretty sure of himself - said Tuesday he "had confidence" he would have been the No. 2 overall draft pick, essentially bumping out Robert Griffin III as the second quarterback taken in April. "I had confidence that I was going to go high," Barkley said on The Dan Patrick Show. "It wasn't really a question of that, as to why I came back." NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah scouted Barkley at this weekend's Manning Passing Academy and was happily surprised by his improved arm strength. If that was one of the bigger questions surrounding the passer - along with his height (he's just 6-foot-2, which is on the short side for a quarterback) - Barkley put some of those concerns to bed. - Marc Sessler, NFL.com

07/20/2012 - 2012 DAVEY O'BRIEN PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Matt Barkley, USC, has been selected to the Preseason Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback by The Davey O'Brien Foundation. - The Davey O'Brien Foundation

07/20/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WATCH LIST: Matt Barkley, senior, QB, USC, has been named one of of fifty preseason "players to watch" for The Walter Camp Football Foundation 2012 Player of the Year Award, the nation's fourth-oldest individual college football accolade. - The Walter Camp Football Foundation

07/10/2012 - 2012 MAXWELL AWARD PRESEASON WATCHLIST: Matt Barkley, USC, QB, Sr., has been selected to the preseason Maxwell Award watchlist for the 2012 college football season, given to America's outstanding collegiate football player since 1937 and named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. - The Maxwell Football Club

07/09/2012 - The Maxwell Football Club announced its watch lists Monday for the 76th annual Maxwell Award, given to America's outstanding collegiate football player since 1937 and named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. Members of the initial watch lists cross a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast. Returning Maxwell Award semifinalists from 2011 include USC QB Matt Barkley, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, Oklahoma QB Landry Jones and USC WR Robert Woods. No program has more athletes on this year's Maxwell Award watch list than USC, which is also represented by WR Marqise Lee and RB Curtis McNeal. The 2011 Maxwell Award winner, Stanford QB Andrew Luck made himself available for the 2012 NFL Draft, where he was selected No. 1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts. Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Oct. 29, and the three finalists will be announced Nov. 19. The winner of the 2012 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 6. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala in Atlantic City on March 1. - - The Maxwell Football Club

06/27/2012 - Heisman Watch 2012: Matt Barkley, QB, USC - It appears as though the stars are beginning to align for Barkley in 2012. A starter since his freshman year, Barkley has shown marked improvement with each passing season, culminating in a spectacular 2011 campaign where he completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards to go along with a school-record 39 passing touchdowns and just seven interceptions. The high-powered Trojan offense remains mostly intact from a year ago - including an explosive receiver to be revealed later in the list - which not only makes Barkley the favorite for the award, but it makes USC one of the top contenders to win the BCS National Championship. - Nicholas DeLorenzo, The Sports Network

06/21/2012 - Is Matt Barkley a lock to win the Heisman? Buzz: What is it with Pac-12 quarterbacks and the Heisman Trophy? Last season, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck started the season surrounded by plenty of Heisman Trophy buzz. Many believed he was a lock to win college football's coveted award but as in death and taxes, nothing is certain in this world and Luck finished second in the voting behind Baylor's Robert Griffin III. Once again, a Pac-12 quarterback appears to be the early favorite with USC's Matt Barkley taking the place of Andrew Luck. Barkley's decision to return to school for his senior season made him an instant choice as the preseason favorite for player of the year. In 2011, Barkley threw for 3,528 yards and 39 touchdowns to lead the Trojans to a 10-2 record. His presence along with that of fellow teammates Robert Woods and Marquise Lee have made Southern California a preseason favorite by some to contend for the national championship. Tack on the fact that a quarterback has won the Heisman Trophy eight of the last nine years and you have a winning recipe for Barkley's name being called out in New York City in January. Much like with Luck in 2011, Barkley will have some formidable challengers including Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. - Matt Murschel, The Orlando Sentinel

05/24/2012 - Senior quarterback Matt Barkley was among several USC football players who met the media this week to talk about their recent trip to Haiti. Barkley talks about experiencing that incredible journey with his teammates, how it could affect the team as a whole, and what he hopes to accomplish this summer and this season. Q: Non-Haiti-related question - what are you individually planning to work on this summer as far as your game goes? A: To get better as a football player (laughs). To just get timing down that was missed with Robert (Woods) in spring ball. Marqise (Lee) is in track right now, so just making sure when he finishes up that we have the timing down. It felt great last year, but I think we can take it to the next level in terms of higher completion percentage and more yards for those guys - as well as doing stuff in the classroom, watching a ton of NFL tape just to try to take it to the next level mentally, calling plays and understanding the offense. - Michael Lev, The Orange County Register

05/24/2012 - Senior quarterback Matt Barkley was among several USC football players who met the media this week to talk about their recent trip to Haiti. Barkley talks about experiencing that incredible journey with his teammates, how it could affect the team as a whole, and what he hopes to accomplish this summer and this season. Q: Non-Haiti-related question - what are you individually planning to work on this summer as far as your game goes? A: To get better as a football player (laughs). To just get timing down that was missed with Robert (Woods) in spring ball. Marqise (Lee) is in track right now, so just making sure when he finishes up that we have the timing down. It felt great last year, but I think we can take it to the next level in terms of higher completion percentage and more yards for those guys - as well as doing stuff in the classroom, watching a ton of NFL tape just to try to take it to the next level mentally, calling plays and understanding the offense. - Michael Lev, The Orange County Register

05/15/2012 - 05/14/12 BIG BOARD, BEST FOR 2013: 1. Matt Barkley, QB, Southern Cal: Barkley's lack of ideal size (6-1, 218) and arm strength mean that he's no shoo-in as the No. 1 overall prospect for the 2013 draft, but his accuracy, mobility and experience in a pro-style offense would have earned him a spot in the top five in 2012. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com