Pete Carroll Places Blame on USC Trojans Defense, Not on Matt Barkley

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Pete Carroll Places Blame on USC Trojans Defense, Not on Matt Barkley

Always compete.

Supposedly, that is the motto that coach Pete Carroll stresses to his football team.

I'm not buying it.

After Carroll fell in love with true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, there was no more competition.

Barkley was given the starting job and he never relinquished that title despite a season that saw the Trojans finish 8-4 overall and 5-4 in Pac-10 play.

Redshirt sophomore Aaron Corp was unfairly judged by one game. Redshirt junior quarterback Mitch Mustain was never given a chance.

Though Barkley struggled at times, Carroll stood by his young quarterback.

Instead of putting some of the blame this season on Barkley, Carroll is pointing fingers.

And it's not at the offense. It's at the defense.

"As it turned out, a couple of games we messed it up so bad on defense we really didn't put him in a position to have a very successful opportunity," said Carroll.

So, what Carroll means is that the defense messed up and because of that, Barkley did not have the opportunity to be successful.

Really?

Last time I checked, the defense held Ohio State in check to set up the game-winning drive that hailed and praised Barkley for being so poised as a true freshman.

I'll check that again too because Joe McKnight actually ran 90 percent of the yards accumulated on that drive. I'm being a little sarcastic but you should get the idea.

Last time I checked, the defense had two goal-line stands up in South Bend to secure the victory for the Trojans. The defense can be clutch too, not just the offense.

Last time I checked, defense won the game at Arizona State. If Will Harris doesn't return an interception for a touchdown, the Trojans are on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

Those are examples of three victories in which defense proved to be crucial.

But Carroll is blaming Barkley's inefficiency/struggles because the defense didn't come through.

Really?

The Trojans defense held Arizona to 21 points but we still lost. Maybe that is because the offense couldn't score?

Has anyone looked at it from that perspective? That's including you Carroll.

The defense did give up 47 points to Oregon and 55 points to Stanford but was all the blame to be put on the defense?

I didn't see the offense doing much either. And more specifically, I didn't see Barkley do too much.

How does 21/38 for 187 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one interception against Oregon sound?

That's mediocre which is how Barkley's season projected to be.

How does 21/31 for 196 passing yards, one touchdown and three interceptions against Stanford sound?

That's terrible which is how Barkley played most of the time towards the end of the season.

Instead of blaming the defense, how about put some of the blame on Barkley?

Instead of talking about Barkley like he's perfect, why don't you give your other quarterbacks a chance?

You get a pass now because of all the prior successful years where the Trojans dominated college football and the Pac-10.

Another season or two like this and the only competition you'll be dealing with is your job that may be in jeopardy.

Always compete.

Please. Those words could not be more false.

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