Print and Go Back ESPN.com: USC [Print without images]

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Barkley: Oregon's defense still vulnerable

By Pedro Moura

USC quarterback Matt Barkley said after Saturday's 40-17 win over Washington that the Oregon Ducks, the Trojans' next opponent, have been better in the past than they are in 2011.

But his head coach, Lane Kiffin, said the next day that Barkley would realize he should retract his statements once he started watching film of the Ducks, and Barkley did just that after Tuesday's practice.

“They’re a great team,” Barkley said. “They’re well-deserving of their ranking. That (assessment) was just based off of scores I had seen -- I had never really watched them.

"After watching tape of them, they’re probably one of the top defenses we’ll be facing this year."

But, even so, he maintained that there are options on offense for USC. There are ways to beat the Ducks, he said.

“They show a lot of different fronts, a lot of different coverages and blitzes," Barkley said. "They try to confuse you. But there are weaknesses and holes that we’ll have to exploit."

“They get after it when they do that, and they’ll catch you off guard. That’s when we have to be smart enough to, especially me, recognize those and get our offense in the right checks. But they are vulnerable in some aspects.”

After Barkley's initial comments, Oregon safety Eddie Pleasant told Eugene-area reporters that the Ducks "don't even care" what any of the Trojans have to say about the matchup.

“Ever since I’ve been here (USC players) always have something to say before we play them,” Pleasant said, according to The Oregonian. “We just can’t do nothing about that. We just have to go out there and play."