Monday, September 14, 2009

Matt Barkley's shoulder is a concern for Trojans

Matt Barkley

Freshman was bruised during the victory over Ohio State. He will be evaluated during the week.

By Gary Klein
USC quarterback Matt Barkley's right shoulder remains sore from a bruise suffered during the third-ranked Trojans' victory over Ohio State, and he will be evaluated further this week, Coach Pete Carroll said Sunday night.

"We'll have to find out what it means," said Carroll, whose team begins Pacific 10 Conference play Saturday at Washington. "We'll probably go easy on him till Tuesday and see where we are."

Barkley was hurt in the third quarter against Ohio State when he was hit after throwing a pass that fell incomplete.

USC called a timeout after the play so Carroll could assess the freshman's condition, but Barkley stayed in the game and eventually led the Trojans on a fourth-quarter drive that gave them an 18-15 victory.

Carroll said he had considered turning to Aaron Corp and that he instructed the third-year sophomore to warm up after Barkley was hit.

"I told him we might need him," Carroll said.

Corp was No. 1 on the depth chart until he suffered a cracked fibula on the third day of training camp. He will take first-team snaps this week if Barkley is sidelined for workouts.

"This is Aaron's opportunity to get ready to go," Carroll said. "He'll jump right to the front if we have to hold Matt out."

Corp completed all four his passes and led two scoring drives during the Trojans' 56-3 season-opening victory over San Jose State.

Mays update

Safety Taylor Mays is expected to play in his hometown of Seattle on Saturday after suffering a knee sprain in the first quarter against Ohio State.

Mays was hurt when a teammate rolled into him after he tackled Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Mays remained in the game, but he went down two plays later and was examined on the sideline.

He returned in the second quarter and finished with a team-best eight tackles.

As the Trojans entered their locker room after the game, Mays said, "Man . . . that was crazy. That's why you play, to go down to the fourth quarter like that."

Mays helped break up Pryor's final pass, which fell incomplete with 21 seconds left.

But Pryor burned the Trojans' secondary several times early, completing passes for 56 and 34 yards in the first quarter.

"Taylor missed a read on one and they got a post route on the back side on the play after Taylor went out," Carroll said. "It's something that doesn't happen very often."

Familiar faces

Carroll and Washington Coach Steve Sarkisian joked about facing each other as the Trojans prepared for last season's Rose Bowl.

Sarkisian, the Trojans' former quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, was hired by Washington in December. He remained with the Trojans through their 38-24 victory over Penn State on New Year's Day.
"That kind of stuff would come up and we'd kid around," Carroll said.

Sarkisian is one of several former USC assistants on the Huskies' staff. Defensive coordinator Nick Holt and secondary coach Demetrice Martin also worked under Carroll.

"We want to do all the things we do normally in preparation," Carroll said. "We know them and they know us, so we have to do a good job not to get out of whack."

Carroll said Washington quarterback Jake Locker was "one of my favorite players."

Locker passed for 253 yards and three touchdowns as the Huskies ended a 15-game losing streak with a 42-23 victory over Idaho.

Locker is a better runner than Pryor, according to Carroll, who said the Trojans have been preparing for running quarterbacks since training camp began.

"When you add them all up, we've covered about every play a quarterback can run," Carroll said. "Jake is by far the best runner. He's the fastest, the most aggressive and the toughest.

"Terrelle is a special player, but this guy is even more so."

Quick hits

USC's punting game remains an issue and Carroll said walk-on Billy O'Malley's hold on the position could be reevaluated this week. . . . Carroll on Mark Sanchez's winning debut with the New York Jets: "I watched the whole game and thought he played great and the team played great. That's the best thing that could happen to a young quarterback." . . . The record crowd at Ohio Stadium was loud, but Carroll thought it was louder at the 2004 season opener against Virginia Tech at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. "Tech was louder," Carroll said, "but maybe I can't hear as good now."
Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times


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