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Oregon coach says Matt Barkley is better than Andrew Luck in one respect

November 22, 2011 |  2:57 pm

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USC junior Matt Barkley helped the Trojans defeat Oregon on Saturday with a four-touchdown performance, elevating his name into the Heisman Trophy conversation.

He made a believer of one person for sure: Oregon Coach Chip Kelly.

After Saturday's game, Kelly said, "Matt Barkley is the best quarterback we've faced all year."

Barkley defeated Oregon a week after Oregon chopped down Stanford and quarterback Andrew Luck, the yearlong front runner in the Heisman race.

USC immediately put together a video package touting Barkley's Heisman case as the Trojans prepare for the final game of their season Saturday against UCLA at the Coliseum.

Barkley is trying to replicate the 2002 Heisman campaign, when Carson Palmer parlayed late-season performances against UCLA and Notre Dame to win the award.

Tuesday, though, Palo Alto fired back.

During the Pac-12 coaches weekly conference call, Stanford Coach David Shaw called "a joke, an absolute joke" the assertion that Luck has slipped in recent weeks.

"Nobody in college football is doing what Andrew Luck is doing," Shaw said.

Barkley has outperformed Luck dating to USC's triple-overtime loss to Stanford at the Coliseum. Barkley, in four games counting Stanford, has thrown for 14 touchdowns with three interceptions. Luck, in the same span, has thrown for 11 touchdowns with five interceptions.

Luck overall has completed 70.2% of his passes for 2,937 yards, with 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Barkley has completed 67.5% of his passes for 3,105 yards, with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Luck ranks No. 5, to Barkley's No. 13, in NCAA passing efficiency ratings.

"We don't have two first-round draft picks playing wide receiver for us," Shaw said. "We have a nice solid team."

Kelly is not backing away from his Barkley comments.

"This is exactly what I said: In the games that we have played, against all the quarterbacks we have played, Barkley played the best against us," Kelly said. "Just look at his stats. He was 26 of 34, threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns. There's no one close to that.

"I also qualified that and said I'm not saying he's better than Andrew Luck. I'm not saying Andrew Luck is better than him. In the game against the Ducks, the best quarterback performance in the 11 games we've played was Matt Barkley."

You can read more about this in Chris Dufresne's column here on latimes.com/sports.

ALSO:

Chris Dufresne: Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley? Heisman debate is heating up

Denver Broncos put Kyle Orton on waivers

Ryan Braun won NL MVP award — did Matt Kemp get snubbed?

-- Chris Dufresne

Photo: Oregon Coach Chip Kelly. Credit: Don Ryan / Associated Press

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