Kiffin: USC's Matt Barkley out for Notre Dame game

Associated Press Modified: November 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm •  Published: November 18, 2012
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Quarterback Matt Barkley will miss Southern California's regular-season finale against No. 1 Notre Dame on Saturday with a sprained right shoulder.

Coach Lane Kiffin announced Sunday that freshman Max Wittek will make his first career start in place of Barkley.

Barkley was injured in the final minutes of the Trojans' 38-28 loss to UCLA when he was sacked by linebacker Anthony Barr. Barkley stayed down on the field for a long moment, and Wittek replaced him on USC's final series.

"I feel bad for him and his family," Kiffin said. "This is obviously not how you want it to be."

A four-year starter at USC, Barkley was a strong Heisman Trophy candidate last season and again this summer after electing to return for his senior year. Instead, his final season at USC has been just as inconsistent as the Trojans (7-4, 5-4 Pac-12), the preseason's No. 1 team.

USC dropped out of the Top 25 on Sunday after its third loss in four games. The No. 15 Bruins held on at the Rose Bowl for just their second win over the Trojans in 14 years.

Barkley has passed for 3,273 yards and 36 touchdowns, but has thrown a career-worst 15 interceptions. He became the career leader in multiple statistical categories at USC and in conference history, yet his decision-making and accuracy have been spotty at times.

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