Huard: Why Barkley falls short of Luck

September, 23, 2011
9/23/11
2:00
PM ET
A really nice piece from ESPN's Brock Huard comparing USC quarterback Matt Barkley to Stanford's Andrew Luck. Or rather, why Barkley falls short of Luck Insider in the tale of the tape.

Writes Huard:
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.

The Pac-12 has some pretty good quarterbacks this season, and the conversation usually starts with Luck and Barkley. Their side-by-side stats are pretty comparable.

Barkley has more yards (892 to 786), touchdowns (9 to 8) and a higher completion percentage (69 percent to 67.1 percent). Luck has thrown 31 less balls and has the higher quarterback rating (173.4 to 157.4). But as Huard explains, don't always believe what the numbers tell you.

Last week's Stanford-Arizona game was billed as a shootout between Luck and Arizona's Nick Foles. With a 37-10 Stanford win, only one team was using live ammo.

Expect the same type of pregame hype when Stanford heads to SoCal on Oct. 29 for a 5 p.m. kickoff against the Trojans.

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