Freshman quarterback Matt Barkley continued to sit out of throwing drills at practice Tuesday, leading to increased speculation that redshirt sophomore Aaron Corp will get the nod to start at Washington this Saturday.
Barkley, ailing from a bruised right shoulder, said after practice that he tried to throw but couldn’t continue because of pain.
Corp, recovering from a cracked left fibula himself, took nearly all of the first-team snaps in his place.
“I’m ready,” Corp said after practice Tuesday. “I was ready last week, I was ready two weeks ago, so I’ll be ready. If they need me, then I feel pretty good.”
Corp estimated he was 95 percent recovered from the leg injury he suffered on Aug. 10. This week marks the first time he’s acted as the first-team quarterback since.
“I definitely feel like the starter when I’m in there taking first-team reps, at least pretending to be,” Corp said. “If I can keep playing well and give our team a chance to get better, then that’s all I can do.”
Senior cornerback Josh Pinkard jumped in front of redshirt sophomore wide receiver Brandon Carswell to intercept Corp’s first throw of the team-period play, but Corp rebounded with a spot-on deep ball to redshirt junior receiver Damian Williams on the next play.
“[Corp] had a good day today and we made note of it,” coach Pete Carroll said. “Fortunately, we have a tremendous alternative at the quarterback spot and we know Aaron can play. We don’t have any question about it at all.”
Barkley completed 15-of-31 passes for 195 yards against Ohio State on Saturday in just his second collegiate start. He suffered the injury in the third quarter and said Tuesday that it “hurt like hell” for the duration of the game.
“I’m taking mental reps and I’m learning the game plan like it’s a normal week,” Barkley said. “I personally think I could play without any practice, but I don’t know how well that would sound.”
Carroll said Barkley’s status is still day-to-day, adding that a decision will be made later on this week.
Corp said he would be disappointed if he didn’t start Saturday.
Senior safety Taylor Mays sat out of practice completely, spending the majority of the practice icing his sprained right knee on the sidelines.
Still, his prognosis looks positive.
“I feel better than yesterday and better than Sunday, so by Saturday it should feel great,” Mays said.
If Mays can’t play, Carroll said sophomore Drew McAllister would fill in. McAllister practiced Tuesday and produced encouraging results after missing practice last week with a sore hip.
After last year’s 35-3 trouncing of Ohio State, the Trojans suffered their only loss to underdog Oregon State.
That has some speculating that this Saturday will be this year’s version.
“If you were to draw up a trap game, I think that this would be the one,” Williams said. “It was the same thing last year. We were coming off a big game and played Oregon State at their house, conference opener, and we slipped up.
“We have that in the back of our minds.”
Carroll said that he considers it his job to keep the players’ attitudes in check.
“But I didn’t do a good enough job last year,” he said during his weekly afternoon press conference Tuesday. “We didn’t play as well as we could have. And hopefully we’ll capture what it takes and do well by this time.”