Sunday, November 18, 2012
Notre Dame Knew Matt Barkley Couldn't Play Before the Shoulder Injury
For the first time since 1993, Notre Dame is #1. A victory over arch rival USC will guarantee them a spot in the BCS title game. The news Sunday is that Senior quarterback Matt Barkley has a sprained shoulder and cannot play. That may sound like an advantage for Notre Dame, but it is really a piece of information we already knew. He couldn't play with a healthy shoulder either.
Okay he did throw 33 touchdowns and that is impressive. However, he threw 4 against Hawaii, 6 against Syracuse, 3 against Utah, and 6 against Colorado. That right there is 19 and it is against much inferior competition. He didn't throw any against Stanford and was intercepted twice.
Oh wait! He did throw 5 touchdowns against Oregon. Oh Yeah! The Ducks are all offense. Their defense is average at best. In fact, looking at the state of the PAC 12 in general it seems that Stanford is the only school in the conference that still teaches the players how to play defense.
Therefore, Barkley put up most of his numbers against average or worse defenses. I would love to see him try to do that against Notre Dame. So while it may seem like a big advantage to Notre Dame, but the reality is we already know what Barkley does under pressure. What we don't know is whether or not Max Wittek can play. In a way, that is a disadvantage. We know Barkley can't play, but we don't know about Wittek.