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USC REPORT / NOTES : Barkley's turnovers help turn the tide

November 15, 2009|Gary Klein

USC quarterback Matt Barkley lost a fumble and had three passes intercepted Saturday in Stanford's 55-21 victory over the Trojans.

Barkley came into the game having completed 12 of 38 passes for 161 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the previous six quarters.

The freshman was 21 for 31 for 196 yards and a touchdown against Stanford, but the Cardinal turned every turnover into a touchdown.

"I don't feel really flustered," Barkley said. "It's just we've had some bad breaks and I think maybe tried to do too much at times."

Barkley fumbled in the first quarter when linebacker Will Powers blitzed and stripped the ball. On the Trojans' next possession, defensive lineman Matthew Masifilo intercepted a short pass intended for tailback Joe McKnight.

Defensive back Richard Sherman returned a fourth-quarter interception 43 yards for a touchdown and safety Bo McNally intercepted a pass that set up the Cardinal's final touchdown.

"I probably should have thrown the first one away," Barkley said. "The second one the DB made a good play on that ball, and then miscommunication [with a receiver] on that last ball."

Quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates said, "We still have complete confidence in Matt."

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Johnson update

"God has a plan. Run, Stafon. Run."

USC tailback Stafon Johnson whispered those words, said to him by his late grandfather, when he met with the media before the game.

Johnson had emergency throat surgery after a weightlifting accident in late September and has had three procedures since. He no longer requires breathing or feeding tubes and is eating solid foods.

"Anyone looking at him today or who heard the story would say it's miraculous," Dr. Jason S. Hamilton said. "He's an athlete. He's determined. He's never believed he's the underdog, and you can see the results."

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Remember him?

Stanford senior Tavita Pritchard saw mop-up duty at the end of the game -- a far different circumstance than in 2007, when he led a 41-point underdog to victory with a last-minute touchdown pass in his first college start.

Pritchard said his memory stirred when he looked to the end zone at the peristyle end of the Coliseum.

"A little bit, but more when I walked out of the tunnel at the beginning of the game," he said. "That brought back some memories that were a lot of fun. This is a great place to play."

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Quick hits

USC's 34-point loss was its worst at home since losing to Notre Dame, 51-0, in 1966USC tailback Joe McKnight rushed for 142 yards in 16 carries and scored a touchdown. . . . Tailback Allen Bradford said he suffered a left-foot injury while running for a two-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Bradford said X-rays were negative. . . . Receiver Brice Butler, starting in place of injured Damian Williams, caught six passes for 96 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown.

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gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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