By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
EDISON, N.J. -- Last year, Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor was under the microscope when his Buckeyes played at USC early in the season. The highly heralded freshman didn't get the start, but leading up to the game, it was expected that he would definitely get some reps. He ended up getting most of them in lieu of an ineffective Todd Boeckman.
And now, it's Matt Barkley's turn to get thrown to the wolves.
This year's top freshman quarterback could very well shake hands with a national audience for the first time when his USC Trojans return the trip to Columbus, and hopefully for Buckeyes fans, the Ohio Stadium crowd will be just as unwelcoming as the packed house in Los Angeles Coliseum was last September.
Though Pryor never really seemed rattled in last year's meeting, Ohio State was embarrassed, 35-3. And now that the word out of Southern Cal's camp has Barkley as the possible starter, only a few weeks separate us from finding out what kind of freshman performance he can deliver. Current No. 1 Aaron Corp missed Tuesday's workout and is scheduled for an MRI Wednesday, according to ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman. And as he sits, Barkley continues to impress in preseason drills.
USC coach Pete Carroll and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates are using words like "extraordinary" and "really good throws" and "confident" to describe Barkley, according to Feldman.
Similar words were used a year ago about Pryor. We'll find out who's more deserving of the praise on Sept. 12.