Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the Eagles' picks: 4/98 - Matt Barkley, QB, 6-3, 227, USC...The Eagles feel they got a top-50 talent with the 98th pick. Barkley's selection proves mobility isn't a required skill in Kelly's offense. He ran a 4.9 in pre-draft workouts, but threw 12 touchdown passes in four games against Kelly's Oregon Ducks. QUOTES TO NOTE: "I'm going to steal a quote from Sam Rutligliano. He used to say, 'With a quarterback, it's like a tea bag. You don't know what you have until you put it in hot water.' The first time I saw Matt Barkley, he was a true freshman and he came into (Oregon's) Autzen Stadium, which is one of the toughest places to play in the world, and it didn't phase him a bit. Matt was never a freshman. There was just a poise about him. There was a calm about him." - Coach Chip Kelly on fourth-round pick Matt Barkley. - The Sports Xchange
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10/07/12 - 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.
10/05/12 - 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
10/04/12 - 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
10/04/12 - 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
10/04/12 - 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
09/22/12 - 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
09/17/12 - 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
09/17/12 - 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
09/16/12 - 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
09/16/12 - 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