Lane Kiffin finally made it official Thursday, announcing USC quarterback Matt Barkley will not play in the Sun Bowl.
Redshirt freshman Max Wittek will start for the Trojans on Monday against Georgia Tech.
Barkley suffered a shoulder sprain on Nov. 17 against UCLA and has not practiced since, but Kiffin had said the senior would be evaluated once the Trojans arrived in El Paso, Texas. Barkley did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, except to perform some conditioning drills.
“Matt really wanted to play in the game and he was very close to being able to play and unfortunately for him our doctors have decided against it,” Kiffin said. “It’s nothing long term … We ran out of time.”
Barkley passed for 36 touchdowns and threw 15 interceptions in 11 games this season.
“I’ve worked as hard as I could to get back for this game and nature’s not allowing it and doctor’s aren’t allowing it, which is the most important thing — they’re looking out for my best interest,” Barkley said. “I trust their judgment.”
Barkley finishes his career with a 64.1% completion percentage and 12,327 passing yards. Barkley passed for a Pac-12 Conference record 116 touchdowns, with 48 interceptions.
This will be the second start for Wittek, who played in the Trojans’ loss to Notre Dame in the regular-season finale.