UCLA Tuesday: Notes

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Is it UCLA week?  All the questions today were about Matt Barkley's Heisman chances and NFL decision...

  • Injury List: DT Christian Tupou, DT DaJohn Harris, S Drew McAllister, WR Robert Woods, LB Dion Bailey, LB Hayes Pullard, LB Lamar Dawson, RB George Farmer and TE/FB Rhett Ellison.  "An example of the toll of that game that it took on us," Lane Kiffin explained the lengthy injury report.
  • Carswell-Prac-Catch-McG.JPGMatt Barkley feels he is a deserving candidate because the team is "finishing strong."  At the very least, the junior does not understand why not being eligible for a bowl game would be a strike against him.  "Isn't the whole thing decided before the bowl games?  I don't even see why it is a consideration," Barkley reasoned. 
  • If Matt Barkley leaves early for the NFL, Saturday would be his last game running out of the tunnel as a Trojan player, which can be an emotional moment.  "[We're] gonna make sure that he doesn't pull a Leinart on us," Kiffin joked about 2005.  "Matt [Leinart] was still crying late in the first series.  I think he started 0 for 5."
  • The USC captain always keeps an even keel.  "I usually take emotions out of the game," Barkley said.  "When I look back, then the emotions will start to kick in."
  • Is he going to declare early?  "The majority of kids in his position would leave," Kiffin said.  "Because of who he is probably brings it closer to 50-50 because of what his values are in life compared to most kids his age."
  • LT Matt Kalil and S T.J. McDonald also have decisions to make.  Both agreed to wait until after the season to even entertain the discussion.
  • With all the distractions this week, Kalil is worried about a young team responding to rivalry intensity after a big win.  "[Our team] is inexperienced with big wins like this," he said the older guys have to refocus the team.  "It's games like these where a lot of teams can be caught off guard."
  • As for McDonald, he will face off against his brother Tevin, who is a top corner for the Bruins.  "I've talked to him just not about football.  We're not going to talk trash."
  • Barkley compared the USC-UCLA rivalry to his high school battles between Mater Dei and Servite.  "This is the game you want to have," he said.
  • The quarterback was thrown into a little crosstown controversy in 2009 with his exclamation point TD pass.  "I was kind of oblivious to all the political aspects of football," Barkley remembered being a freshman.  "I was just stoked that we scored."
  • Earlier this season, Kiffin wore a Serra shirt on Colin Cowherd's radio show for which he "took a lot of heat" from the Mater Dei guys.  As an ode to the Monarchs, he wore an MD sweatshirt at practice today.
  • Practice intensity was high today and even led to a collision between McDonald and Marqise Lee.  The star freshman stayed down for a while, but Kiffin excpects him to be fine.
  • Here is the full show from Kiffin...

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