USC QB Barkley out, redshirt freshman to start Sun Bowl

Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley has been ruled out of the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve due to a shoulder injury, ending his college career.

The Trojans opened as 10-point favorites over Georgia Tech in Monday’s Sun Bowl, played at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso Texas, but have since dropped to as low as -8 at one Las Vegas sportsbook.

Barkley injured his shoulder in a loss to UCLA on Nov. 17 but was expected to play. However, USC head coach Lane Kiffin announced that redshirt freshman Max Wittek will be the Trojans starter, via the school’s Twitter account Thursday.

Barkley followed, stating that he had yet to receive clearance and gave no update on his status for the Senior Bowl showcase game on Jan. 26, which could have an big impact on Barkley’s NFL draft stock.

"Doctors haven't cleared me to play, so I won't be suiting up on Saturday. I'll be here with my team to finish strong. Proud to be a Trojan!" Barkley tweeted Thursday.

Wittek passed for 186 yards (14 for 23), one touchdown and two interceptions in a loss to Notre Dame on Nov. 24. He’s been preparing to start versus the Yellow Jackets for the past two weeks.

The total for Monday’s Sun Bowl has remained steady at 64 points.

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