For the most part, Bill Plaschke's article on Matt Barkley yesterday was a positive one.
As RabbitSC said on one of the boards "Lots of writers are hacks by nature, Plaschke is a hack by choice."
Hard to argue with that logic. Plaschke has written some decent pieces over the years but most of the time he just want to throw rocks. But I digress...
Barkley's Heisman may be gone. This team may not make the BCS title game but Barkley showed his maturity in bringing this team back after being down 14-0 after three minutes into the game.
The bobbing, roaring Thursday night sea of red at Rice-Eccles Stadium approximated the color on Barkley's face. It was 14-0 before the ESPN cameras were hot, before the towering background of the Wasatch Mountains grew dark, before Barkley could breathe at the altitude of a city where he had hit rock bottom.
Before you could say … defining moment?
Turns out, this was it. In a season where Barkley needed a U-turn, this is where he took it. After a moment in which he has never looked worse, Barkley never looked better. He rebounded to miss on just seven of 30 passes while throwing for 303 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-28 victory that answered this season's nagging quarterback questions.
Barkley can't pass downfield? He essentially clinched the victory early in the fourth quarter throwing the ball 60 yards in the air on an 83-yard touchdown pass to Marqise Lee. You could almost feel the frustration leaving Barkley's pumping fists as he ran giddily downfield.
We all saw it, this was not a pretty win overall, but it was a win and Matt Barkley was at the helm.
As I noted in the post game thread, too many dropped balls and too many dumb penalties. I could live with the false starts, Rice-Eccles Stadium can be like the Palouse or Autzen with the crowd right on top of the players. But I had serious concerns on the personal foul calls...those are on the coaching staff. The team is still not disciplined enough...especially when we all know that the clown show that is the Pac-12 officiating crew are looking to hit 'SC any chance they get.
It was noted yesterday on the radio that this is a young USC team. They have a tough road to hoe to win the conference let alone the Title game. Barkley is doing a great job with working with the youngsters on this team, his maturity really isn't new to us but it is nice to see that some in the press are actively taking note and writing some positive articles.
Barkley didn't have to stay for his final year, so we are lucky to have him.
His composure on Thursday was great to watch!