Barkley bruises right hand
LOS ANGELES -- For several seconds, USC quarterback Matt Barkley lay on the ground at the Coliseum Saturday and nearly 15,000 fans at the spring game held their breath. It turns out, he was waiting to hear from them.
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"I try to hear where the crowd cheers are coming from, whether it's a TD or, 'Oh, incomplete,' or, on the other side, a pick," Barkley said.
Eventually, Barkley got up and made his way to the sideline after bruising his right hand on the helmet of defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, who was kicked out of the scrimmage for hurting the team's starting quarterback. Casey also knocked Barkley to the ground.
Barkley's scrimmage ended prematurely on that play in the third quarter. The coaches decided not to risk further injury by sending him back onto the field, but he said he's not concerned that the injury would affect him this fall. Barkley, a sophomore, had arthroscopic wrist surgery in January.
"Nothing to worry about," Barkley said.
That 41-yard touchdown pass to receiver Travon Patterson was one of the few highlights for Barkley on Saturday. He completed seven of his 16 pass attempts for 87 yards. On the bright side, he did not throw an interception in four scrimmages this spring.
Casey, one of the team's best defensive players, jogged off the field toward the USC locker room after coach Lane Kiffin told him to leave.
"It's an example of what we're trying to get rid of here, that mentality that just because they're mad at the play before or two plays before something happened, they have to go out and try to play with the rules that are set," Kiffin said. "We'll continue to try to get rid of that mentality."
Mark Saxon covers USC football for ESPNLosAngeles.com.