Barkley not here to have fun
LOS ANGELES -- Having fun wasn’t one of them.
“I think (having fun is) not the goal this year but I’m certainly having a good time and making the most of it,” Barkley said.
So, what is the goal?
“From now on, our goal is to win out the rest of the season,” he said.
Despite the win last Saturday at Washington, Barkley certainly didn’t look happy following a 10-of-20 performance. He didn’t look as disappointed as he did following the loss at Stanford, but he appeared to be far from thrilled.
At one point, he appeared to be trying to convince media members by saying “I’m happy with the win.”
“You can say all you want, I don’t care who you are, as a quarterback you’d like to throw for big numbers,” said USC head coach Lane Kiffin during his weekly Sunday night teleconference when asked if he thought his quarterback was having fun. “He’s not going to be jumping up and down throwing 20 passes at the post game press conference (after going) 10 for 20.
“He’s not going to show a lot of excitement, obviously, about those numbers but I think he understands why we’re doing what we’re doing."
When asked about it following Tuesday’s practice, Barkley intimated his coach was telling the truth.
“Was I real excited?” Barkley questioned. “There you go.”
Despite throwing just 20 passes against the Huskies for 167 yards, one touchdown and one interception, Barkley was only 3-of-10 in the second half.
Kiffin says it’s “safer” to run the ball and the Trojans have been sticking to that script primarily over the past few weeks. The Trojans have rushed, on average, nearly 10 times more per game in the three games since the Stanford loss. That, combined with the cloud coverage receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee have been receiving for the majority of the season have resulted in Barkley’s games with “big numbers” becoming less and less.
“We’ve been running the ball tremendously well and so if we have to do that and we’re putting points on the board and rushing for 200 yards, I’m fine with that,” Barkley said. “It’s being a team first-er. It’s in our constitution and just one of the things you got to buy into as a team player.”
USC has rushed the ball 40 times in two of their last three games. At that rate, there may not be much excitement in Barkley's future over the next six games.