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Matt Barkley, USC take on Syracuse in 'classic' matchup

September 07, 2012|By Gary Klein
  • Matt Barkley will spend his 22nd birthday Saturday playing against Syracuse in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium.
Matt Barkley will spend his 22nd birthday Saturday playing against Syracuse… (Harry How / Getty Images )

Matt Barkley is anticipating what he called “a blast of a weekend.”

And why shouldn’t he?  USC’s senior quarterback, the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, will celebrate his 22nd birthday Saturday -- on a huge stage.

As part of what is already a football-crazed week at New Jersey's  MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets, Barkley leads second-ranked USC (1-0) against Syracuse (0-1) in a game dubbed as “New York’s College Classic.”

On Wednesday, Tony Romo led the Dallas Cowboys over Eli Manning and the Giants. Barkley and USC invade on Saturday. And former Trojan Mark Sanchez will start for the New York Jets against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday — with Tim Tebow waiting in the wings.

It’s tough — OK, almost impossible — to upstage that kind of NFL star power and back-page headline potential, but USC is doing all it can to make sure Barkley leaves a lasting impression.

This week, Barkley’s image has been streaming across a video board in Times Square.

On Saturday, he will lead USC against a Syracuse team coming off a 42-41 opening loss to Northwestern.

Northwestern quarterbacks completed 22 of 32 passes for 213 yards.

Barkley passed for 372 yards and four touchdowns as USC started with a 49-10 victory over Hawaii.

The Trojans are 26-point favorites over Syracuse.


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