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Monday, June 25, 2018

USC Loses Matt Barkley in Loss at Oregon State, Mitch Mustain Enters Picture

Corvallis was unkind to Southern California for the third straight time. The Trojans fell to Oregon State 36-7 on Saturday night, dropping to 7-4 on the season. It was their third straight loss on the road at Oregon State as the Beavers dominated every facet of the game. Making the win even more surprising was that Oregon State had lost two straight games, falling to inferior opponents UCLA on the road and Washington State at home. On the other hand, USC entered the game having beaten Arizona on the road and Arizona State at home their past two games.

Oregon State got up 20-0 on USC at halftime, returning an interception for a touchdown and getting a pass interference penalty on a fake punt leading to their second touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley got hurt on USC’s last offensive play before halftime, injuring his ankle. The team struggled to move the ball with him in the game and had little success with backup Mitch Mustain running the offense. Barkley was 10-17 for 75 yards and the pick six while Mustain was just 8-17 for 60 yards. Both players seemed uncomfortable throwing the ball in the cold weather, never connecting with their receivers consistently. Moreover, Oregon State defensive lineman Stephen Paea was in the backfield disrupting play after play.

Barkley’s injury is a high ankle sprain, something that usually takes around a month to heal. That means Barkley is likely done for the season. USC only has two games remaining on their schedule and no bye weeks. If the Trojans were eligible for the postseason, Barkley would probably be able to return in time for a bowl game, but it looks like he’ll miss USC’s two rivalry games — Notre Dame and UCLA.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Steve Dykes

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