There was a little debate among the USCFootball.com crew at the first Fall practice, should we continue the quarterback ratings or not? After a brief debate, we decided every little thing matters so the ratings continue! If you need a refresher, the genius behind the system, Zack Lehatto, explains it here.
Of course the field has narrowed to two for the starting quarterback job, with sophomore Aaron Corp and freshman Matt Barkley eager to get back on the field Saturday. Neither showed any signs of rust with a helmet on as both looked sharp throughout the long practice.
Aaron Corp didn't want to compete with his long interception-free practice streak he had in the Spring, so he promptly threw an interception early in a drill against the defense but rebounded and steadily improved throughout practice with his trademark consistency. He had a nice 7-on-7 period, throwing a touchdown to David Ausberry on a nice fly route and hit Jordan Cameron two plays later for a 30 yard gain on the same route.
Matt Barkley began the day aggressive, going deep on the second play of 7-on-7 to Stanley Havili on a wheel route instead of checking down (the pass was incomplete). He made up for it with a perfect throw later to Kit Barmeyer on a corner route for a 25-yard gain.
When the team went 11-on-11 however, the high risk-high reward approach worked for Barkley, hitting De'Von Flournoy in stride on a long route up the sideline for a touchdown. He also got lucky, as an underthrown ball was tipped by a defender into a streaking Anthony McCoy's hands for a touchdown. Otherwise, Barkley went through his reads very quickly and made plays when he needed while throwing away the ball when no one was open.
Corp almost didn't make it out of his first team series, getting sacked three straight times at one point. However he finished the team period showing his biggest asset, scrambling up the middle for ten yards and taking a bootleg for 15.
It's obviously way too early to read into how well each is doing based on one practice's numbers. We'll continue to track the quarterback's numbers and will introduce a few other metrics to provide some insight as to how the battle is shaping up. One thing is certain though, in 26 days we'll know what no formula can tell us: who the Trojans' starting quarterback is.