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USC Quarterback Matt Barkley Will Not Play Against Notre Dame

James Santelli |
November 18, 2012 | 6:39 p.m. PST

Sports Director

Matt Barkley walks off the field after being injured against UCLA. (James Santelli/NT)
Matt Barkley walks off the field after being injured against UCLA. (James Santelli/NT)
Quarterback Matt Barkley will not play in USC's regular season finale against No. 1 Notre Dame, head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed on a conference call Sunday.

Barkley suffered a shoulder sprain in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to UCLA. He exited the game and did not return. The last game Barkley missed due to injury was also a home matchup against Notre Dame in 2010.

Freshman Max Wittek will start Saturday's game against the Irish, Kiffin said. Wittek completed all three of his passes to finish the UCLA game, and also saw action in blowouts of Hawaii and Colorado this season. Though he has completed eight of nine passes this season, Wittek faces a difficult task against Notre Dame, the best defense in the country at 10.1 points allowed per game.

"I thought he did a great job and we have a lot of confidence in him," Lane Kiffin told reporters on the conference call about Wittek's performance against UCLA (quote via ESPNLA's Pedro Moura).

Wittek is a graduate of Santa Ana's Mater Dei High School like Barkley, and he could be the Trojans' future starting quarterback after beating fellow freshman Cody Kessler for the backup job prior to the season.

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