Barkley named Davey O’Brien finalist

After his record setting six-touchdown performance against Colorado on Saturday, senior Matt Barkley was one of two Pac-12 quarterbacks named as semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien Award. The Davey O’Brien Award is given annually to the best quarterback in the nation. Barkley is joined by his Pac-12 rival, freshman Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Barkley, in the middle of his final season at USC, shattered former Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart’s career Pac-12 touchdown record on Saturday with his 100th touchdown pass, which came in the first half against Colorado. While falling out of the Heisman spotlight earlier in the season, Barkley has been able to rebound and put himself back in contention. His 22 touchdown passes rank third nationally, as he has led the Trojans to a 4-1 record in the Pac-12.

The wide receivers that Barkley is throwing to are certainly helping the cause as well. Junior Robert Woods and sophomore Marqise Lee are the focal points of the aerial attack coach Lane Kiffin has orchestrated, combining for 17 touchdowns. With Woods’ third touchdown grab on the day against the Buffaloes, he passed Dwayne Jarrett’s USC record for career receptions with 217.

Barkley also set the Pac-12 record for highest completion percentage and highest passing efficiency rating on Saturday, completing 19 out of 20 passes with a 319.2 passing efficiency rating. The Trojans will play at Arizona on Saturday, kicking off a stretch in which their next five opponents own a combined record of 28-7. Two upcoming teams, Notre Dame and Oregon, are ranked above the No. 9 Trojans.