What separates Luck and Barkley?


Former Washington quarterback Brock Huard has a new ESPN.com Insider column and his first will be of interest in the conference of quarterbacks. It looks at specific areas where USC's Matt Barkley falls short of Stanford's Andrew Luck.

But if there is one thing that top-level quarterback play -- and the evaluation of it -- is not, it's simple. And a closer look at Barkley's performance and his numbers reveals that the QB still has a clear weakness that he must improve upon in order to reach the Andrew Luck stratosphere of elite, franchise-QBs-in-the-making.

So where does Barkley fall short? High-pressure situations.

For Barkley and a thin but talented USC team, those highly leveraged situations are third downs, the fourth quarter and playing from behind...Through Barkley's first two seasons as a starter, his execution dropped dramatically in these critical, high-pressure situations.

Huard has some numbers and charts to back up his point. Interesting stuff.