Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 9/4/12
The Trojans were a bit testy on Saturday night in their game against Hawaii. However, not with the opposition, but instead with themselves. In the second quarter of USC's season opening 49-10 win, Matt Barkley threw a pass to Marqise Lee on third down that fell incomplete. Lee dove for the ball but was unable to come up with the catch. As he got up off of the turf he motioned in the direction of Barkley with his hands as if to say "get the ball up," as the two ran off of the field. Later in the third quarter, Barkley looked for Lee again. Lee appeared to have cut off his route as Barkley's pass fell incomplete. Facing pressure, the Trojans' quarterback took a hit in the process. He quickly popped up off of the turf, and was very adamant in the direction of Lee, giving the sophomore receiver a piece of his mind. The incident was out of the norm. Such displays of displeasure weren't seen during fall camp or spring ball, for that matter. The two talked about it following the game and immediately dismissed the notion of there being any strain. Head coach Lane Kiffin says he didn't have a problem with the altercation. "You're dealing with two top-five picks in the draft, phenomenal players that are very competitive and they want to complete every ball," Kiffin said."I think that's a good thing. Your quarterback's thrown for almost 400 yards. The receiver's got (almost) 200 yards and they're not satisfied. "There was nothing negative about that. Marqise ran the wrong route one time and the other one, the ball was a little low. Their standards for themselves (are) they don't think we should ever punt. That's their standards that they have and they get frustrated when it goes the other way." In regards to the ball Barkley delivered low to Lee in the second quarter, Barkley says the receiver was well within his right to let him know about it. "If I don't put a ball where it needs to be, I expect him to get on me because it should be perfect," Barkley said. The players' strive for perfection may enable things to get heated from time to time but any friction will stay on the field. "It's nothing personal," Barkley said. "It's nothing to worry about." Lee, who totaled 297 all-purpose yards in the win over Hawaii, was named Pac-12 football player of the week along with UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin and Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer. Lee also a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Hawaii, becoming just the second Trojan to do so.
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