USC Quarterback Matt Barkley Prepares for Battle Against Stanford, Not Andrew Luck
Matt Barkley certainly doesn’t mind the extra attention. The USC quarterback is used to it by now. He simply thinks it’s funny that this weekend’s Pac-12 duel between the Trojans and the Stanford Cardinal is being billed as a game between he and Andrew Luck — a pair of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Barkley definitely has a point. As he puts it, it’s not like he’s going out there to defend Luck, or vice versa. That said, it’s always about the quarterbacks in football and when you have two of this caliber playing against one another in a game of this magnitude, that’s the easy storyline.
Matt Barkley joined XX 1090 in San Diego to discuss coming off a victory at Notre Dame, how good it felt to beat that rival on the road, the hype surrounding this weekend’s game against Stanford, the Barkley vs. Luck storyline, if he enjoys seeing his name in lights and standout receiver Robert Woods.
What’s it like coming off the big victory at Notre Dame?:
“Huge win in South Bend and I think it’s what we really needed as a team. We’ve had flashes of greatness on offense and flashes of greatness on our defense at times this year during different games, but I think Saturday we came together as a team and really got a victory that you can say the offense and defense really finished the game out. I think it was great momentum going into this week and we really need it.”
How much does it add to the enjoyment that Notre Dame is a rival, it was a night game, they busted out the new helmets, etc.?
“We knew all that stuff going into the game and I was happy that we didn’t let it affect our preparation or how we got ready for the game. … You can easily be distracted by all that goes around. I was proud of our guys of how we didn’t let that get to us and stuck to Trojan football. But, afterward, we were really happy. It was one of the funnest locker room environments that I’ve been in this year.”
You’ve got Stanford in town this week as well as ESPN. You know this game is going to be hyped:
“Yeah, it’s going to be way more than this last week with Notre Dame with College Gameday and all the hype that it usually gets with a big Pac-12 matchup and Andrew Luck coming to town and all that stuff. But, again, I think it’s going to be huge for our team to just focus on USC football. When we’ve been able to do that this year we’ve been really successful.”
What about the game being billed as Matt Barkley vs. Andrew Luck?:
“I don’t have an issue with it, I just think it’s kind of funny how people will pit me against him. … When during this game am I going to be going against him? I’m going against the Stanford defense, right? I can see how all the hype is built up with two good quarterbacks, but he’s not going to stop me on defense and I’m not going to stop him when he’s on the field.”
But doesn’t it feel good all week just to see you and your name in all the promos?:
“I haven’t seen any of the promos, I don’t know. I don’t like to get caught up in all that stuff surrounding a game. I think it’s great coverage for USC and the Pac-12, but I think once you start getting caught up in that, you lose focus and you lose what you’re trying to get accomplished this week.”
How good is wide receiver Robert Woods?:
“He’s a special player, a really fabulous receiver. He’s grown up even recently. He had a great freshman year and he’s even gotten better this year.”