How could a season of so much promise and hype turn into the the most disappointing season in USC history? Read one writer’s reasons why Lane Kiffin should be fired.
Quarterback Matt Barkley will not play in USC’s regular season finale against No. 1 Notre Dame, head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed on a conference call Sunday.
Barkley suffered a shoulder sprain in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s loss to UCLA. He exited the game and did not return. The last game Barkley missed due to injury was also a home matchup against Notre Dame in 2010.
Freshman Max Wittek will start Saturday’s game against the Irish, Kiffin said. Wittek completed all three of his passes to finish the UCLA game, and also saw action in blowouts of Hawaii and Colorado this season. Though he has completed eight of nine passes this season, Wittek faces a difficult task against Notre Dame, the best defense in the country at 10.1 points allowed per game.
“I thought he did a great job and we have a lot of confidence in him,” Lane Kiffin told reporters on the conference call about Wittek’s performance against UCLA (quote via ESPNLA’s Pedro Moura).
UCLA week is in full swing over in Southland, and the Trojans are ready. Well, maybe not for the actual playing of game. But certainly the head-to-head matchup’s significance. The No. 18 Bruins are ranked higher than No. 19 USC for the first time in a decade with a one-game lead in the Pac-12 South. Plus, the Bruins haven’t defeated the Trojans since 2006, when the former derailed the latter’s chance to play for the BCS National Title.
Last year, in case memory fails you, USC drubbed UCLA to the tune of 50-0, wrapping up a storybook season for the Trojans and nearly wrapping up a nightmare for the blue-and-gold.
Pac-12 Roundup: The stage is set for a winner-take-all weekend. Click through to find out what shook out from an intriguing Saturday for the Pac-12.
The Los Angeles Lakers (1-3) take on the Utah Jazz (1-2) tonight in Utah at 6:00PM PST on Time Warner Sports Cable!
After a second-straight poor performance by the defense against a spread team, the Trojans aim to rebound against a third spread squad – Todd Graham’s Arizona State Sun Devils. Though most of USC coach Lane Kiffin’s were about the porous D, wideout Marqise Lee’s Heisman candidacy video debuted today (which you should watch here). Nonetheless, as the cliché goes, defense wins championships… and Wednesday practice’s attention.
5 Quick Observations From Friday’s Clippers vs. Lakers Game
The Los Angeles Clippers moved to 2-0 in the young NBA season after a 105-95 over the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night. The Lakers are now 0-3 for the first time since 1978. Here are some quick observations on both sides from the game.
1. Chris Paul is a conductor. He controls the ball and knows when to shot and when to pass at the right rhythm. His control of the game was the key to the Clippers’ victory yesterday.
2. If the soul of the Clippers is Chris Paul, then the muscle of the team is the bench. Eric Bledsoe controlled the tempo when Paul was on the bench, Jamal Crawford was aggressive in scoring, and they still have Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill waiting to return from injuries.
3. Kobe Bryant can not stand losing anymore. Yesterday he played like when he was 18 years old, especially in the fourth quarter. He seemed to be the only one who wanted to win so badly.
4. Although the Lakers are said to have a roster of All-Stars, it’s still Kobe’s team. Sometimes it looks like Kobe is going all-out to win while his four teammates on the court stand around and watch. For example, Pau Gasol played all of the third quarter yet did not record any points or assists.
5. The bench of the Lakers is their weakest point (excluding Mike Brown). That’s a big reason why Lakers lost yesterday, and stands in the way of them making a playoff run (if they can make it to the playoffs).
NFL Week 9 Predictions
Our site may be down, but that doesn’t mean our experts aren’t still determined to deliver their predictions for this week’s slate of games. Come rain or shine, earthquake or hurricane, we deliver your
Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts
Jeremy Bergman: Colts 20, Dolphins 16
This battle between old AFC East foes will be surprisingly competitive and well-played - both boast a 4-3 record, are in second place in their divisions, and have a shot at the playoffs. The one variable in this game will be the health of Ryan Tannehill; if the frat star from A&M is suited up and 100%, then this contest will become a rookie-quarterback-air-assault kind of contest. But with Matt Moore most likely to start, I have more trust in the hot and consistent Andrew Luck to prevail at home. ChuckStrong.
Evan Budrovich: Dolphins 21, Colts 17
Matt Moore will lead the Miami Dolphins to the victory with a clutch game winning drive over the Colts. The Dolphins have played inspired football this season, and will continue to rely upon Reggie Bush and a strong defense to win this matchup. Andrew Luck has been playing outstanding this season, but leads the league in fourth quarter turnovers. Down the stretch, Moore will make the key plays while Luck will fumble them away.
Aaron Fischman: Colts 24, Dolphins 20
This one looks like a toss-up, but Andrew Luck is due for a 300+ yard, two-touchdown game. The Colts, who have struggled against the run, will need to devote extra resources to stopping Reggie Bush, because Ryan Tannehill or Matt Moore are unlikely to go off. Those guys play more like game managers.
Jacob Freedman: Dolphins 24, Colts 17
These teams are strikingly similar, as both are 4-3 with rookie quarterbacks and first-year head coaches at the helm. Ryan Tannehill might be hurt for the Fins’, but having Reggie Bush carrying the ball gives them a definite advantage over the Colts’ unreliable mix of Donald Brown and Vick Ballard. The Dolphins have a great situational defense that is fifth in the NFL in points allowed (18.0 per game), and will hassle Andrew Luck all day en route to their third road win of the season
Max Meyer: Dolphins 17, Colts 13
In a battle of the two biggest surprises in the NFL, I see the Dolphins prevailing in a defensive struggle. Coming off their bye, they’ve had two weeks to prepare for Andrew Luck. It’s amazing that the winner of this game will have an inside track to one of the Wild-Card spots.
Law Murray: Dolphins 19, Colts 14
This pick is basically an endorsement of the Dolphins’ ability to defend well (besides the NYJ looking out of sync anyway), and while I’m well aware of rookie QB Ryan Tannehill’s injury induced short leash, Matt Moore is certainly a viable QB. And while Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck gets to try and get Reggie Wayne the ball against a defense that averages 3 sacks a game, the Dolphins are going up against a secondary that has three takeaways all season!
Matthew Tufts: Colts 24, Dolphins 13
Two teams nobody predicted would be over .500 at this point square off in Indianapolis on Sunday. The Dolphins are currently riding a three-game win streak; however, in these games, they have been prone to giving up an abundance of passing yards. Andrew Luck has been airing out 40-50 passes a game in his past few starts and will find no reason to stop after picking apart the Dolphins’ porous defense.
How USC-Oregon Will Affect Matt Barkley’s Future
By Jeffrey Sakakibara
Matt Barkley is undoubtedly the poster boy of USC football. The quarterback’s face is plastered onto billboards and t-shirts on anything cardinal and gold, and it would be an understatement to say that he is being advertised for what he’s worth.
However, after the senior captain’s less-than-spectacular performance against Arizona, his professional value is definitely going down.