Kessler completed 23 of 39 yards for 321 yards and three touchdowns for USC.
USC defeats Notre Dame, 49-14
The annual honor is awarded annually to each member institution's outstanding senior student-athletes
Trojans play Georgia Tech on Dec. 31 in El Paso.
T.J. McDonald is Most Inspirational.
USC vs. Georgia Tech, 2012 Sun Bowl - AP Photo Gallery
No. 19 USC 38, Arizona State 17 - AP Photos
No. 10 USC vs. Arizona - AP Photos
Matt Barkley threw for 298 yards and six touchdowns.
CAREER: He is third on USC's career passing (755 completions) and total offense (9,013 yards) lists, behind Heisman winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. He is fifth on the Pac-12 career touchdown pass chart (80, second on the USC list) and 16th in pass yardage (9,054, third on the USC list) and 16th in total offense (9,013). He has thrown at least 1 TD pass in 32 of his 36 career games, at least 2 TDs in 21 games, at least 3 TDs in 13 games, at least 4 TDs 7 times and at least 5 TDs 5 times (the only Trojan to have done so), including twice with a school record 6 TDs. He has thrown for at least 200 yards in 24 career games (10 times over 300 yards and twice over 400 yards). He has 36 career starts (he is 27-9 as a starter).
2012: Barkley, the nation's leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy, will start at quarterback for his fourth season as a senior in 2012 and is expected to build upon his stellar 2011 campaign. He is on pace to break USC career passing and total offense records. He will be USC's first-ever 3-time captain.
2011: Barkley started for his third season at quarterback as a junior in 2011 and had a record-setting season as he was among the nation's top signalcallers. Overall in 2011 while starting all 12 games, he was 308-of-446 (69.1%) for 3,528 yards with 39 TDs and just 7 interceptions. He also had 2 rushing TDs and he made 2 tackles. He was eighth nationally in passing efficiency (161.2, third in Pac-12) and 16th in total offense (295.2, third in Pac-12). His 39 TD passes in 2011 broke Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart's Pac-12 and USC season record and were third most in the nation. His 69.1% completion percentage in 2011 broke Rob Johnson's 18-year-old USC season record. His 308 completions in 2011 tied for second on the USC season list (1 shy of Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer's 2002 record of 309), his 3,528 yards was fifth most in a season at USC (16th in Pac-12) and his 3,542 yards of total offense was third on the USC season ladder (14th on the Pac-12 list). He set 4 USC game records in 2011: completions (35 versus UCLA), pass yardage (468 versus Arizona), TD passes (6 versus Colorado and UCLA) and total offense (470 versus Arizona). In his final 6 games of 2011, he threw 23 TDs with just 3 interceptions. He threw for more than 300 yards 6 times in 2011 (including twice over 400 yards) and had at least 4 TD passes 5 times in 2011.
He finished sixth in the voting for the 2011 Heisman Trophy. He was one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award, as well as one of 15 semifinalists for the Walter Camp Award, one of 16 semifinalists for the 2011 Maxwell Award and one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award (for the third consecutive year). He was the 2011 College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Year. He made 2011 AP All-American third team and SI.com and Pro Football Weekly All-American honorable mention. He made the 2011 All-Pac-12 second team. He was the Offensive Player of the Year on the 2011 CollegeFootballNews.com All-Pac-12 first team and made the 2011 CBSSports.com All-Pac-12 first team. He made the Phil Steele All-Pac-12 second team. He was USC's 2011 MVP. He was a USC captain for the second consecutive year (only the 10th Trojan 2-time captain). He was one of 13 finalists for the 2011 Wuerffel Trophy (given to the player who best combines athletics, academics and community service). He was one of 11 FBS players named to the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, recognized for their commitment to making a difference in their communities.
Against Minnesota, he completed 34 passes to eclipse Todd Marinovich's USC single game record of 33 (set in 1989) and had a 75.6% completion percentage (on 45 attempts) while passing for 304 yards with 3 TDs and no interceptions or sacks (he hit 16 passes in a row at one point); he was 18-of-20 in the first half for 163 yards. He completed 20-of-32 passes for 264 yards with a TD and an interception against Utah. Against Syracuse, he threw a USC record-tying and Syracuse opponent record-tying 5 touchdowns for the third time in his career (his scoring passes of 5, 31, 44, 43 and 9 yards went to 5 different receivers) while completing 67% of his passes (26-of-39) for 324 yards to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. He was 21-of-33 for 227 yards and 1 TD at Arizona State, but had 2 interceptions. He earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Week and National Quarterback of the Week honors as he completed 82.1% of his passes (32-of-39) for a USC game record 468 yards with 4 TDs and 1 interception against Arizona (he was 22-of-26 for 301 yards with 3 TDs in the first half) and he also ran for a short score (his 470 yards of total offense also was a school game record), with both records he broke belonged to Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer; on USC's second play of the game, he threw a career-long 82-yard scoring catch-and-run pass to wide receiver Robert Woods, the longest USC pass since Palmer's 93-yard TD pass to Kareem Kelly in 2001. He hit 19-of-35 passes for 195 yards and 2 TDs (and no interceptions) at California. He joined Matt Leinart as the only USC starting quarterbacks to win twice at Notre Dame as he was 24-of-35 for 224 yards and 3 touchdowns (he also ran 4 times for 19 yards). He completed 28-of-45 passes for 284 yards and 3 TDs with 1 interception against Stanford. He threw a school-record 6 touchdown passes at Colorado while completing 25-of-39 passes for 318 yards with an interception to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Week and National Quarterback of the Week honors. He hit 18-of-28 passes for 174 yards and 1 TD against Washington and he also had a 1-yard TD sneak. He was 26-of-34 (76.5%) for 323 yards with 4 TDs and an interception at Oregon. He completed 83.3% of his passes against UCLA by hitting a school-record 35 passes (in 42 attempts) for 423 yards and a USC record-tying 6 TDs with no interceptions (he hit 19 of his first 20 passes, including 13 in a row) to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Week and National Quarterback of the Week honors.
2010: Barkley started at quarterback for his second season as a sophomore in 2010 and had a solid year. Overall while starting 12 games (he missed the Notre Dame game with an injury), he was 236-of-377 (62.6%) for 2,791 yards with 26 TDs and 12 interceptions, plus he had 2 rushing TDs. He had a streak of 140 consecutive passes without an interception in 2010. He threw at least 2 TDs in 7 games in 2010 and at least 3 TDs 5 times, including twice with a school record-tying 5 TDs. His 236 completions in 2010 was eighth on the USC season list and his 2,774 yards of total offense was 11th on USC's season ladder. He was a semifinalist for the 2010 Davey O'Brien Award. He made 2010 All-Pac-10 honorable mention and Phil Steele All-Pac-10 third team. He was a USC captain, the first sophomore ever name a Trojan captain. He had surgery on his right wrist prior to 2010 spring practice to relieve stiffness and clean up inflammation.
He completed 78.3% of his passes (18-of-23) for 257 yards with a USC single game record-tying 5 TDs against Hawaii. He hit 20-of-35 passes for 202 yards and 2 TDs against Virginia and he also had a career-long 20-yard scramble. He was 17-of-26 for 192 yards and 2 TDs against Minnesota, but threw 2 interceptions (after beginning the 2010 season without a pick in his first 72 passes). He was 16-of-25 for 290 yards with 3 touchdowns at Washington State but threw 2 interceptions. He hit 70% of his passes (14-of-20) for 186 yards against Washington, but had his streak of games with a TD pass snapped at 12. He completed 28-of-45 passes for 390 yards (all career highs) with 3 TDs against Stanford and he also tied for the team lead in rushing with 33 yards on 5 carries (with a career-long 27-yard scramble). He threw a USC single game record-tying 5 TDs (all in the first half, also tying a USC game record) against California and overall completed 25-of-37 passes for 352 yards as he earned College Football Performance Awards National Quarterback of the Week and Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors. He was 26-of-49 for 264 yards with a TD against Oregon (it was the most pass attempts by a Trojan since Carson Palmer's 50 against Washington State in 2002), but he was picked off twice (to snap a streak of 140 passes without an interception) and lost a fumble; he also scored on a 1-yard sneak. He was 26-of-37 for 215 yards and 3 TDs against Arizona State, but threw 2 interceptions (1 was returned for a TD and the other was in the end zone). He was 21-of-35 for 170 yards with a TD and an interception against Arizona (he was 15-of-20 for 124 yards in the first half) and also scored on a 1-yard sneak. He was 10-of-19 for 75 yards with an interception against Oregon State before being sidelined with an ankle sprain on USC's final play of the first half (the injury sidelined him for the next game against Notre Dame). He returned at UCLA and, playing with a high ankle sprain that sidelined him the previous game-and-a-half, completed 15-of-26 passes for 198 yards with 1 TD and 2 interceptions at UCLA.
2009: Barkley, who enrolled at USC in the spring of 2009 after graduating a semester early from high school and had an impressive showing in 2009 spring practice, won the starting quarterback job as a first-year freshman in 2009. Overall in 2009 while starting 12 games (he missed the Washington game with an injury), he was 211-of-352 (59.9%) with 2,735 yards, 15 TDs and 14 interceptions. He also had 2 short rushing touchdowns. His 211 completions put him 13th on USC's season passing list. He also was 12th on USC's season total offense list (2,697 yards). He was a semifinalist for the 2009 Davey O'Brien Award (he was the only freshman among the 15 semifinalists). He was named a 2009 CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-American honorable mention.
He completed 78.9% of his passes (15-of-19) for 233 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions against San Jose State as he became the first USC true freshman to ever start a season opener at quarterback (and the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener for an AP Top 5 team since No. 3 Michigan's Rick Leach did so in 1975), as well as just the third Trojan true freshman signalcaller to ever start a game (joining Rob Johnson, 1 start in 1991, and Carson Palmer, 5 starts in 1998). He showed tremendous poise and leadership at noisy Ohio State as he completed 15-of-31 passes for 195 yards (with an interception) and led USC on a late 86-yard game-winning drive (contributing 55 passing yards and 2 sneaks for first downs in the series) despite bruising his throwing (right) shoulder in the second half, which sidelined him for the subsequent game at Washington. He returned to the starting lineup against Washington State and hit 13-of-22 passes for 247 yards, with a pair of long touchdowns (29 and 57 yards), despite still somewhat bothered by a sore shoulder. He was 20-of-35 for 283 yards with an interception at California. He hit 19-of-29 passes for a career-best 380 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception at Notre Dame (he was 11-of-14 for 234 yards in the second half, including completing 8 consecutive throws) to earn Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week honors. He hit 15-of-25 passes for 202 yards with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions (and he also scored on a sneak) against Oregon State. He completed 21-of-38 passes for 187 yards and 2 short touchdowns at Oregon (his final pass was intercepted). He was 7-of-22 for 112 yards with a TD (a 75-yarder, the longest at USC since a 93-yarder from Carson Palmer to Kareem Kelly in 2001 against Oregon) and an interception at Arizona State. He was 21-of-31 for 196 yards with 1 TD and 3 interceptions against Stanford. He was 18-of-26 for 206 yards with a 48-yard TD and an interception against UCLA. He was 20-of-37 for 144 yards with a TD and an interception against Arizona. He hit 73.0% of his passes (27-of-37, with a career high for completions) for 350 yards and 2 TDs, plus ran for a short TD, against Boston College.
HIGH SCHOOL: His 2008 honors included Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Scout.com All-American first team, ESPN 150, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, MVP of the Under Armour All-American Game, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Cal-Hi Sports All-State third team and All-Trinity League Co-MVP as a senior quarterback at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana (Calif.). He completed 177-of-325 passes (54.5%) for 2,877 yards with 23 TDs and 18 interceptions in 2008.
As a junior in 2007, he was named the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year and the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year (the first time a junior was ever selected for either honor), as well as winning Joe Montana Quarterback of the Year Award. He also made the 2007 USA Today All-USA second team, EA Sports All-American second team, Rivals.com Junior of the Year, Rivals.com Junior All-American first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Cal-Hi Sports California Junior of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team, All-CIF Pac-5 Division first team, Los Angeles Times All-Star Glenn Davis Award (as the top Southern California prep football player) and Orange County Register All-Orange County Offensive MVP. He completed 213-of-340 passes (62.6%) for 3,576 yards (an Orange County record) and 35 TDs and 9 interceptions in 2007.
As a sophomore in 2006, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore while passing for 1,349 yards and 11 TDs.
A 4-year starter, he threw for 1,685 yards and 10 TDs as a 2005 freshman. Current Trojans Khaled Holmes, Victor Blackwell and Max Wittek also prepped at Mater Dei.
PERSONAL: He's a communication major at USC with a B average (3.23 GPA). He made the 2011 Pac-12 All-Academic second team and 2010 Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention. He spent 11 days during 2010 Christmas break in Nigeria visiting orphans, widows, villagers and prisoners, doing construction work, distributing supplies and gifts and sharing daily fellowship. While in high school, he was active in his church (playing guitar in the choir) and in community service (he helped build homes for the poor in Mexico, volunteered at an orphanage in South Africa and spearheaded the Monarchs For Marines program that raised money for the families of wounded and fallen soldiers). His father, Les, lettered for 4 years (1976-79) in water polo at USC, captaining the Trojans his final 2 seasons and earning All-American second team notice in 1979. His brother, Sam, is a freshman hurdler on USC's track team. His cousin, Robbie Boyer, was a 2-year (2010-11) letterman wide receiver at USC whose only reception as a Trojan came on a Barkley pass on the final series of the season-ending 2011 UCLA game.
GAME-BY-GAME WITH MATT BARKLEY
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT MATT BARKLEY
USC head coach Lane Kiffin: "I can't imagine there are other quarterbacks out there putting up his numbers with so many young guys around him."
Oregon head coach Chip Kelly: "He was the best quarterback we faced (in 2011). I thought Matt was outstanding. A couple of those deep balls were right on target. He always seemed like he had the answer. Every time we came back and scored, he came back with an answer. "
Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian: "If I'm an NFL head coach, I'd pick Matt Barkley ahead of Andrew Luck."
Todd McShay, ESPN: "He is playing as well as any quarterback in the nation thanks in large part to impressive decision-making and poise in the pocket."
Andy Staples, SI.com: "His return makes Barkley, who probably deserved an invitation to New York last year, a Heisman contender. His decision is great for college football because college football fans get to watch a phenomenal athlete for one more season. Barkley didn't owe anything to USC. He had every right to turn pro. But he made the best choice for himself."
Jordan Schultz, Huffington Post: "Barkley is a prototypical pocket passer who excels before the snap with his reads and has all of the tools to make every throw at any time...(He makes) fearless decisions in the tightest of windows. He has a huge arm and even more audacity. He threw for over 3,500 yards and led a probation-laden team to a top six ranking. That is really, really hard to do."
David Leon Moore, USA Today: "Barkley's circumstances, skill and personality have admirers thinking he can be the greatest Trojan of them all. He has the second-best GPA on the team. He is active in the inner-city community, working with underprivileged children. And he was a tremendous, classy spokesman for the team the past two years as it served its NCAA probation. Also, he is becoming legendary on the field."