Matt Barkley says he'll play vs. UCLA

Updated: November 28, 2010, 7:25 PM ET
By Mark Saxon |

LOS ANGELES -- USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who missed USC's 20-16 loss to Notre Dame with a sprained ankle, said he will be back for the Trojans' game next Saturday against rival UCLA.

"I'm going to play this week. There's no doubt about that," Barkley said. "Whatever needs to happen to do that, I'm going to do it."

The USC coaches went to a conservative game plan with backup Mitch Mustain against the Fighting Irish Saturday. Mustain, a fifth-year senior making his first USC start, completed 20 of his 37 passes for 177 yards. His final pass of the game was intercepted near the Notre Dame end zone.

Barkley sustained a high ankle sprain when a defensive lineman rolled over his left leg on Nov. 20 at Oregon State. Coach Lane Kiffin said all week that he was hoping Barkley would be able to play against Notre Dame. Barkley said he didn't know until shortly before Saturday's game that he wasn't going to be able to make it.

Mustain said he'll practice this week as if he were going to start.

Mark Saxon covers USC for Follow him on Twitter.

Mark Saxon
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.