The instant Heisman campaign for Matt Barkley, cranked up after two nice passes on a single drive in an otherwise mediocre offensive performance for USC against Ohio State, may have already come to a screeching halt. Barkley is day-to-day with a bruised shoulder suffered against the Buckeyes Saturday night in Columbus, an injury Pete Carroll says the USC staff will have to evaluate as the week of practice unfolds.
"We'll have to find out what it means," Carroll told reporters Sunday. "We'll probably go easy on him till Tuesday and see where we are."
Barkley admits he could not feel his shoulder after the hit in the third quarter, but went on to help out on the final drive by making two key completions on a long march to the endzone to seal the win against Ohio State. "Help out" are the right words, by the way: USC's offensive line won the game for the Trojans, laying waste to the Buckeye defense and allowing Joe McKnight to chip away for an eventual td on the final drive. This did not stop analysts from hyperbolizing to an extreme over Barkley, who was composed but not spectacular, but giving credit to big uglies is far more difficult than simply throwing laurels at the handsome blonde kid who takes the snaps.
Sophomore Aaron Corp will take Barkley's place, and may offer no dropoff whatsoever. If anything, Corp was slightly ahead in the USC qb race before fracturing his fibula and yielding the starting spot to Barkley. The Trojans play an improving Washington team this Saturday.