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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But Barkley has been a steadfast leader throughout the Trojans' recovery from crushing NCAA sanctions, speaking for his teammates during the program's roughest times. He had been looking forward to his first chance to face Notre Dame at home before the Trojans' bowl game.

Barkley will miss just the third game of his USC career, but his second against Notre Dame. He also sat out the Irish's visit to the Coliseum in 2010 with a sprained ankle, and backup Mitch Mustain led the Trojans to a 20-16 loss — but only after Ronald Johnson dropped a sure touchdown pass from Mustain with 1:22 to play.

Kiffin doesn't yet know whether Barkley will be able to play in the Trojans' bowl game. The quarterback sprained an AC joint in his shoulder, and the team doesn't know the severity of the injury.

The 19-year-old Wittek is from the same hometown (Newport Beach, Calif.) and high school (Mater Dei) as Barkley. Wittek has played sparingly this season as a freshman after winning a competition with Cody Kessler to be Barkley's backup.

Wittek has completed eight of his nine passes this season for 95 yards and one touchdown.