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Friday, March 30, 2012
Kiffin not worried about Barkley's INTs

By Kevin Gemmell

LOS ANGELES -- The guy who had the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the Pac-12 last season is tossing a few more picks during spring ball than his coach would like to see. But USC coach Lane Kiffin isn’t too worried about quarterback Matt Barkley, who has thrown seven interceptions in eight practices. No expletives are being hurled, no panic buttons being pushed.

Lane Kiffin, Matt Barkley
QB Matt Barkley, left, has thrown more interceptions with his favorite receivers absent from spring practices, USC coach Lane Kiffin said.
“He can still declare for the supplemental draft so I can’t yell at him quite yet,” Kiffin joked after practice Thursday night.

Not to worry, Kiffin said, explaining that the rise in picks is a product of Barkley not being able to work with his usual guys. Robert Woods is out for spring. Marqise Lee is balancing football with track and George Farmer continues to be hampered by a hamstring injury.

“Part of it is him getting a little bored,” Kiffin said. “He scrambles out and gets frustrated because he doesn’t have his normal guys out there and he throws the ball downfield. We’ll get him back out of it. We don’t like it, but it’s not the end of the world. As we get closer to game time, we’ll get him back to normal.”

Kiffin said to keep Barkley motivated, they have installed some different routes and concepts they’ve taken from the NFL.

“It’s been good to expose him to those and really challenge him to continue to master what he already has, but also add to his game,” Kiffin said.

Last season, Barkley threw 39 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. His 69.1 completion percentage was tied for second-best in the conference.

In other practice notes: