Found December 06, 2012 on Fox Sports West:
Marqise Lee caught a nation-leading 112 passes this season, which helped the USC sophomore become an All-American and a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. On Wednesday, Lee was en route to an awards show in Florida and quarterback Matt Barkley was returning from a New York awards ceremony, so both were absent when the Trojans practiced for the first time in preparation for the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech. But Coach Lane Kiffin fielded questions about comments Barkley made this week regarding USC's offense and its reliance on Lee. On Monday, during a radio and television interview on the "Dan Patrick Show," Barkley said Lee was special, that he did a great job for the Trojans, and that he was at times unstoppable. "I think at times, though, I think we focused too much on him as a team and we took away from other great playmakers like Robert Woods and our tight ends who are phenomenal players, to where defenses saw that and just kind of overcrowded Marqise," Barkley said. "But he still managed to make plays, but I think we could have done a better job of utilizing other players." Asked after practice what he thought of Barkley's comments, Kiffin told reporters he had not heard them and did not know the context. Asked whether he thought it was true that the offense focused too much on Lee instead of Woods and the tight ends, Kiffin said, "No I don't think that's true. Basically, Marqise Lee had one more catch than Robert Woods did the year before, so when you have players like that you want to make sure they're touching the ball." Barkley is still recovering from a shoulder injury that forced him to sit out the season finale against Notre Dame. His status for the Sun Bowl remains uncertain. Kiffin said he anticipated the senior would play and that NFL pre-draft considerations would not play a role in the decision. "It's a game that we really want to win," he said, "so if he can play, he can play, just like everybody else." Unfamiliar feeling Because of NCAA sanctions, Wednesday's bowl workout was the Trojans' first since 2009. Several players said they were looking forward to the bowl-week experience despite it being in El Paso, rather than a Bowl Championship Series locale. Woods, a junior, will play in a bowl game for the first time. "Usually, we got to cities where we're there for two days," he said of trips, "so we'll be there for a couple more days in a nice hotel and get treated nicely. ... Might as well enjoy it." Woods said he would submit paperwork for an NFL draft evaluation. Quick hits With some coaches on the road recruiting, senior players oversaw several position groups during practice. ... The Trojans worked out at the Coliseum because their practice fields are being re-sodded, a school official said. ... The Trojans are scheduled to practice again Friday. -Gary Klein
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Te'o beats out USC's Lee for Player of the Year

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) -- Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has won the Walter Camp national player of the year. The award, announced Thursday by Walter Camp Football Foundation prior to the College Football Awards show, is voted on by the 124 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. Te'o beat out finalists and Texas A&M quarterback...

VIDEO: Lane Kiffin, 12-7-12

USC Coach Lane Kiffin speaks with the media following Friday's practice.

VIDEO: Lane Kiffin, 12-5-12

USC was back on the field Wednesday for the first of what is expected to be 13-15 practices before traveling to the Sun Bowl. Coach Lane Kiffin spoke with the media following practice.

Pac-12 & West Coast news: Sonny Dykes, Matt Barkley vs. Lane Kiffin, Jim Mora Jr., and more.

Unquiet on the Western Front Sonny days at Cal.  Sonny Dykes leaves Louisiana Tech to become Cal's new head football coach. Cal might want to ask Tennessee how hiring a La. Tech coach worked out for the Vols. (California Golden Blogs) Matt Barkley vs. Lane Kiffin? USC HC Lane Kiffin responds to Trojan starting quarterback Matt Barkley's claims that the team'...

Matt Barkley thinks USC focused on Marqise Lee too much; Kiffin disagrees

Matt Barkley said this week that USC’s offense focused on Marqise Lee too much at times this season, but Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin disagrees. “At times though we focused too much on him as a team and we took away from other great playmakers like Robert (Woods) and our tight ends who were phenomenal players to where defenses saw that and kind of overcrowded Marqise,” Barkley...

USC's Lee wins Biletnikoff Award

LOS ANGELES -- USC sophomore Marqise Lee was named the winner of the 2012 Biletnikoff Award, presented to the nation's top receiver. He is USC's first recipient of the Biletnikoff Award, presented annually since 1994 by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, and just the third winner from the Pac-12. He is also only the fifth sophomore winner. Lee will receive the...

Report: NFL teams view Matt Barkley as a late first-round pick

ESPN’s Adam Schefter made an appearance on Mike and Mike in the Morning and indicated that NFL teams view USC quarterback Matt Barkley as a late first-round pick in next April’s draft. This isn’t a surprise at all since Barkley was less than impressive this season. You could argue that he should have entered last year’s draft after his junior year.  He certainly would have...

Monte Kiffin's exit comes a year later than intended

LOS ANGELES -- Monte Kiffin caught a dose of "Unfinished Business" with USC also. His recent resignation and announcement of a return to the NFL actually comes a year later than intended, he says. Kiffin had opportunities to leave USC last January but with the announcement of T.J. McDonald and Matt Barkley returning for their senior years, Kiffin, like most of the country...

SEC jobs are black holes of coaching

Some call it a sirens song. Others would call it a black hole. SEC coaching has become a bit of both depending on your perspective. If you are a fan, the jobs offered at college footballs top conference are the pinnacle of the sport: A place where a good football man can gain wealth and status that would make the Sun King blush.But if you are on the outside looking in, the conference...

Discover Fan Loyalty Poll Sun Bowl Preview: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. USC Trojans

The latest results of the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll asked the question if college football fans would rather receive gifts this Holiday season as per usual, or if they would forego receiving presents in order to watch their favorite team win the BCS Championship. In a very close vote, 46 percent of fans opted for presents, while 42 percent said they would trade in all of their Holiday...

Butch Jones to Tennessee: No really

It appears this time, reports that now former University of Cincinnati coach Butch Jones has accepted a new job are true. Just two days after the false report by Woody Paige of the Denver Post saying Jones was taking the Colorado job, he officially accepted a much better one. Jones will be introduced Friday afternoon as the new head coach at the University of Tennessee. Jones...
Trojans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.