A photo of Matt Barkley dozing on a couch in the McKay Center made the rounds Tuesday on Twitter, courtesy of USC linebacker Hayes Pullard.
Barkley retweeted the photo and vowed revenge on Pullard, showing that the senior quarterback has not lost his sense of humor during a season in which he and the Trojans' offense have struggled to live up to expectations.
As Coach Lane Kiffin noted this week, Barkley was "not going to be jumping up and down" with joy last Saturday after Kiffin turned conservative and Barkley passed only 20 times in a victory over Washington at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Asked Tuesday whether he was frustrated by his limited opportunities, Barkley answered before the question was complete.
"It's being a team-firster," he said, adding, "It's just one of the things you've got to buy into as a team player."
Barkley, whose season totals include 16 touchdowns and six passes for interceptions, is primed to establish career records Saturday against Colorado.
The four-year starter needs four touchdown passes to break the Pac-12 and USC mark of 99 set by three-year starter Matt Leinart from 2003 to 2005.
Not that Barkley, who passed for six touchdowns against Colorado last season, is counting.
"We've been running the ball tremendously well," he said. "If we have to do that, and we're putting points on the board and rushing for 200 yards, then I'm fine with that."
Still, Barkley and his teammates agree with Kiffin that the Trojans must drastically improve their third-down efficiency. USC has converted only 30%, ranking 112th among 120 major-college teams.
"We have a lot of weapons," said receiver Robert Woods, who needs five catches to become USC's all-time receptions leader. "We should be doing better."
Freshman Max Tuerk might start against Colorado and could see increased playing time at left tackle in place of sophomore Aundrey Walker.
Kiffin said Walker was the most penalized player on a team that has averaged 10 penalties a game, the most in the nation.
"Aundrey's got to play better," Kiffin said, "and we've got to coach better."
Tuerk said he would be ready if called.
"Whenever you get out there, you're a little nervous, a little flustered," Tuerk said. "Once you start getting a little more experience, you start getting calmed down a little bit."
NCAA sanctions prevented the Trojans from participating in a bowl game last season, but USC increased football and athletic department revenue significantly, according to a report that must be filed annually with the U.S. Department of Education as part of Title IX compliance.
USC reported total expenses and revenue of $84.1 million for the period covering July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. That is an increase of $8.4 million from the previous year.
USC's football expenses increased by $3.7 million to $23.1 million. Revenue was $34.4 million, an increase of about $3.3 million. The increases resulted from the Trojans' playing seven home games instead of six, said Steve Lopes, chief operating officer for USC's athletic department.
Lopes said the extra home game, large crowds in the second half of the season, and increased donations and corporate sponsorships contributed to the overall growth.
Tight end Randall Telfer and cornerback Kevon Seymour dressed for practice but left after 30 minutes. Telfer sat out against Washington because of an ankle injury and Seymour left the game because of an undisclosed injury…. Cornerback Brian Baucham, who was hospitalized and treated for head and breathing issues after the game against California on Sept. 22, has returned to classes, but he is not practicing.