LOS ANGELES — Matt Barkley, a Newport Beach native, didn’t start out so hot in his debut at quarterback for the USC football team Saturday. But the Trojans’ first true freshman to start at quarterback finished strong, throwing for 233 yards and a touchdown on 15-of-19 passing in USC’s 56-3 victory against San Jose State.
Barkley’s first four series resulted in two fumbles and two punts, but then he led the No. 4-ranked Trojans on four straight scoring drives in the second quarter.
But a bigger test awaits Barkley next week at Ohio State, ranked No. 6.
According to the Associated Press, Barkley acknowledged he was nervous when he exited the stadium tunnel and experienced the Trojans’ home crowd for the first time in uniform. But overall he was not totally intimidated.