USC Football: Trojans Beat Utah If...

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September 22, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) prior to the snap against the California Golden Bears during the first half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

…Matt Barkley wakes up from the Stanford nightmare. In the last two games, Barkley has thrown four interceptions. He threw that many he threw in the previous eight games combined. His completion percentage in those two games is down to 56%, compared to last season’s average of 69%. The Trojan QB has not been playing at the level most experts or fans expected and he’ll have to break out of this slump if he wants to lead USC to a BCS game.

In terms of beating the Utes, a strong performance from Barkley will get the Trojans on the right track. In Utah’s two losses this season the opposing signal caller has come out with strong numbers. Utah State’s Chuckie Keaton finished with 216 yards and two touchdowns. Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns. Neither quarterback threw an interception. Comparable numbers from Barkley are key. With Utah’s rushing defense ranked 27th in the nation, USC cannot count on Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal to carry the offense like they did against Cal. Barkley will have to lead the team to victory.

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