For Barkley, being normal is overrated

first_imgAfter a first quarter that was marred by offensive mistakes, Matt Barkley is still smiling.The disappointment of two fumbles by his teammates is not weighing on his shoulders. The challenge of being the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener for a top-five team also seems distant.Instead, Barkley is living in the moment.Cool kid · Matt Barkley (7) celebrates with Joe McKnight (4) and Damian Williams (18) Saturday at the Coliseum. The true freshman had a stellar outing in his first-ever start, throwing for 233 yards and one score. – Mike Lee | Daily Trojan“On one of our first drives in the second quarter, he walks out and says to me, ‘Isn’t this fun?’” said redshirt junior wide receiver Damian Williams. “I looked back at him and said, ‘Yeah, for you it should be a lot of fun.’”Saturday’s game became a lot more fun for Barkley after his conversation with Williams. Barkley and the rest of the Trojan offense overcame a sluggish start to score eight unanswered touchdowns to route San Jose State, 56-3, at the Coliseum.In his much-anticipated debut, Barkley proved up to the task of guiding the Trojans’ offense, completing 15 of 19 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown.The Trojans emphasized short passes and a sturdy running game to take the pressure off Barkley in his first game. But Barkley’s accomplishments weren’t lost on USC coach Pete Carroll.“Call him an outlier or whatever, but this kid isn’t normal,” Carroll said. “But who wants to be normal anyway?”Part of what put Barkley in the position to be the first true freshman ever to start an opener for USC was his confidence in himself. That poise was needed early when the Trojans’ first five drives went awry and USC found itself down 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.“Things can get whacked out when you don’t get off to a good start, but it wasn’t a big deal to him at all,” Carroll said.Barkley’s composure helped lead the Trojans to touchdowns on their next six drives, although the team leaned heavily on the running game. In all, 342 of USC’s 620 yards came on the ground.One of the many luxuries that the 19-year-old quarterback has been afforded is a running back rotation that is long on experience and talent.Junior Joe McKnight shouldered the load early and perhaps provided the game’s highlight with a weaving 54-yard jaunt that culminated with a flip into the end zone. But senior Stafon Johnson’s two short touchdown runs and redshirt junior Allen Bradford’s 43-yard scamper into the end zone also helped take the focus off the man behind center.The offense’s performance in the final three quarters helped reaffirm that Barkley doesn’t need to be the offense’s lone catalyst. Williams, who finished with three catches and 67 yards, and senior tight end Anthony McCoy were two of Barkley’s most frequent targets, often on short routes that minimized risk.“I think this is the ideal situation for any quarterback,” Williams said. “For Matt, I think it helps his comfort level tremendously. He’s so poised that he just feels comfortable out there. I think that’s because he knows he has a veteran group around him.”Barkley also found small triumphs in showing his patience. Learning to avoid forced throws and turnovers has been one of the hardest parts of the learning curve for him, but his performance Saturday displayed a shift in his mentality.“It was a little weird to make that first throw away, but I would have rather had that than a pick,” Barkley said.Said Carroll: “He almost could have been perfect.”Although Barkley has had to learn to adapt to the offense, the unit also appears to be taking on some of the characteristics of its new leader. The emotionally charged Mark Sanchez often ran hot and cold last year, as the fiery signal-caller was often seen running down field after big plays and jumping into the air in celebration after touchdowns.But save for a few moments on Saturday, Barkley was quiet and composed.The level-headed Barkley was well aware of his leadership style, as well as its advantages and drawbacks.“I think it might go both ways. I don’t really get nervous,” said Barkley, brushing aside questions of first-game jitters. “But at the same time, I don’t get super pumped up and run downfield pumping my fists. That’s just not me.”In all, Carroll said he couldn’t expect more from his quarterback in his first test at the Coliseum.“He absolutely handled this. It was no big deal for him,” Carroll said. “There are going to be some hard times, but we know he’ll have a stellar response.”last_img read more

No. 8 Syracuse uses big 2nd-half run, low shooting to edge No. 4 Florida, 17-15

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 7, 2018 at 4:53 pm Contact Billy: | @Wheyen3 Syracuse entered Wednesday’s game against Florida leading the country in scoring offense at 18.75 goals per game. Florida was only allowing 11.20 goals per game. Something had to give.Florida’s defense yielded, and Syracuse didn’t stop scoring until the game was out of reach. Even though the Gators came out of the gates strong and hung tight in the first half with goals of their own, it was the Orange’s offense that proved to be enough in the Carrier Dome.Against No. 4 UF (4-2), SU’s (4-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) offense boosted it to avoid a losing streak and pick up a 17-15 win. The offensive outburst was keyed by a 7-0 run in the middle of the second half. After falling to then-No. 11 Virginia on Sunday, SU bounced back against UF by beating Florida’s star goalie Haley Hicklen, again and again. “Our offense did what they needed to do,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “They kept scoring goals.”Syracuse emerged from the first half up 9-8 after a back and forth affair. Of those nine SU goals in the first half hour, six came from low shots on Hicklen, who had saved 16 shots in an upset of now-No. 3 North Carolina on Sunday. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMidway through the first half, SU’s leading goal-scorer last season Riley Donahue spun to her right and burned her defender. No defender stood in front of her, but to shoot from her stronger left side, she’d have to be creative. No problem.Donahue brought the head of the stick down toward her left ankle and flicked the ball towards the cage. It went right between Hicklen’s legs and into the back of the net, the most eye-catching of six goals that were too low for the UF goalie to stop in the first half.“We definitely watched film on (Hicklen),” SU’s Nicole Levy said. “But I feel like when you’re in tight on someone, it’s easier to just hitch high and put it low.”The scoring frenzy was stunted for the final eight minutes of the first half. After a Gators goal 33 seconds into the second half tied the game at 9-apiece, it would be all Syracuse until it was too late.Sam Swart started the second-half SU scoring much like she did on a first-half goal of hers. She set up on the right wing, hopped up and down a few times and then burst to her stronger left side. After blowing by her defender, she whipped a shot from her left hip below the stick of Hicklen and into the net for a hat trick.“I feel like our passing is so fast around in a circle, the defense couldn’t keep up,” Swart said. “… We just continue, continue, continue.”A few minutes after Swart’s goal, Emily Hawryschuk was fouled and got a free-position shot from the left slot. She wound up and fired a low shot from her hip that skidded off the ground and past Hicklen’s right hip, putting Syracuse up two.The Orange run was far from over. Three quick goals, either in transition or on easy finishes in front of the cage, brought the run to five-straight goals. Then, Donahue went low again. Twice more.Hicklen entered Wednesday’s contest ranked third in the country in saves per game (13.0) and fifth in save percentage (54.6). But besides a few minutes she sat out in the first half, the Orange had her number all game long. The recipe, as it was on SU’s sixth-straight goal in the second half, never wavered from finding the bottom of the net. It worked and Donahue’s simple finish below Hicklen’s stick made it 15-9 with fewer than 15 minutes left.Less than two minutes later, Donahue completed her shooting-low hat trick. Alie Jimerson, stationed behind the net, picked Donahue out cutting right down the center of the field, who scooped the ball low and by Hicklen’s left ankle for an easy finish. The Orange had scored seven straight.“I think that for that 7-0 run, we ran them off the field in the midfield,” Gait said, “and really took advantage of our two-line midfield system, and I think it showed.”The run ended with a Shayna Pirreca goal with 12:30 remaining. But that wouldn’t end up mattering. Syracuse’s final goal of the game came from its game-leader, Levy, and it featured one more low finish.Set up at the X behind the net with about eight minutes left, Levy was marked tightly. She spun once but didn’t gain an edge. She spun again, still no edge. So she just used a quick first step to her right, wrapped around the cage and shot between Hicklen’s legs. The Florida goalie still didn’t have an answer for that spot, and although Syracuse didn’t beat her again, the Orange had beaten her low a few too many times for the Gators to hang.Florida scored five goals in the closing minutes to keep the game within reach and keep Syracuse on edge. But the Gators’ comeback wasn’t enough to overcome a seven-goal deficit.“I was very proud of our team how they responded throughout the game,” Gait said. “We didn’t allow them to make their run until the very end.”After Tuesday’s practice, Syracuse had gathered in a circle near one of the end zones on the Carrier Dome turf. Gait implored his players to get a good night’s sleep and to relax their minds before Wednesday’s game against Florida. His final message was simple.“Great opportunity to get back to where we were a few days ago,” Gait told his team.Syracuse took advantage of the opportunity. Behind an offense that just keeps scoring, the Orange is back where it wants to be. Commentslast_img read more

Sixth-grade class wins contest on environment

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “It’s so important to help students see the wider world by reading the paper and understanding their part in protecting the environment,” said Lisa Hemenway, recycling compliance manager at Waste Management. “The recycling surveys were a great way to get the whole family involved in thinking about the environment,” said Bock-Dixon, “I hope we’ve started a trend.” LITTLEROCK – The 29 sixth-graders in Sharon Bock-Dixon’s class at Antelope Elementary were honored at a recent ceremony for winning the Earth Savers’ News in Education Recycling Survey Contest, sponsored by Waste Management. Bock-Dixon’s class received certificates of appreciation and a cash prize of $250 to be used for class projects. For six weeks, nearly 400 students throughout the Antelope Valley received free copies of the Daily News every Wednesday to read and learn more about environmental responsibility. Then students took action by taking home and completing recycling surveys to see how they and their families could be more environmentally savvy. last_img read more

One question triggers airport furor

first_imgBURBANK – A Bob Hope Airport commissioner’s proposal to use part of a 41-acre parcel to ease a parking crunch has ignited residents’ concerns that it could lead to lifting of a hard-fought moratorium on growth. In a March 23 letter to Burbank officials, Commissioner Chris Holden proposed amending a year-old agreement that limits the use of the so-called Southwest Quadrant, which has long been eyed for development. Airport critics fear that if the agreement is amended to allow for parking, it could open the door to expansion. “Once again, the airport has demonstrated that they cannot be trusted,” said Howard Rothenbach, the founder and chairman of the grass-roots Committee to Restore Our Airport Rights, which has fought expansion efforts for years. “This signifies the beginning of another round in the never-ending battle to protect the Burbank community from unbridled expansion of the airport.” Under the terms of the 216-page development agreement signed in March 2005 by airport and Burbank officials, the 41-acre site cannot be used for parking for four years or for other types of development for the subsequent nine years. In the mid-1990s, officials eyed the Southwest Quadrant for a new terminal, a controversial plan that was widely resisted by Burbank residents. In his letter, Holden asked Burbank to “accelerate implementation of what is already permitted in the development agreement” to “initiate the process of developing (the) southwest quadrant (for) public parking.” Although details are fuzzy, Holden’s letter is being interpreted as asking Burbank to develop parking now rather than in 2009. At an April 4 meeting, Burbank City Councilman David Gordon asked airport Commissioner Charles Lombardo, who was in attendance, about the request to amend the development agreement. Lombardo mistakenly answered that the airport didn’t want an amendment. “I had a senior moment and forgot about the letter,” Lombardo said later. “I thought we had been told the that the city wasn’t interested in revisiting the development agreement.” At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, City Manager Mary Alvord said she and other city officials brought up the subject at a staff meeting the day before. “One of the questions to the staff of the airport was, `What is it you’re requesting?’ since there does seem to be some level of confusion as expressed by at least one member of the commission,” said Alvord at the council meeting Tuesday. Holden’s letter and other parking-related issues are expected to be discussed at the Airport Authority’s meeting Monday. No date has been set for when the issue will go back to the City Council for discussion. Burbank City Attorney Dennis Barlow said the city will wait until the commission comes back with clarification on the issue before city officials weigh in on the subject. The parking problem is fueled by a record number of passengers. There were 5.5 million travelers through Bob Hope in 2005, up from 4.9 million in 1994 and 2004. New flights last year by JetBlue to New York and flights by Delta to Salt Lake City and Atlanta contributed to the spike, officials said. The airport’s 6,500 parking spots are filling up faster – and for longer periods of time – due to the new transcontinental flights, officials said. Airport officials have resorted to posting warnings on the Web site,, that parking could be tight, and to seek alternatives like hitching rides from friends or family, and taking shuttles, trains or buses to get to the airport. Forecasts are calling for even more passengers as more flights are added, Holden said. “It is possible, therefore, that demand for public parking will exceed the available supply of airport parking during this summer and beyond,” he wrote. (818) 546-3306160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventIn an interview, Holden, the son of former Los Angeles City Councilman Nate Holden, said he simply suggested the idea to gauge reaction from officials and the public about using the property, which is at the airport off Empire Avenue, for parking. “What it really comes down to is, we have a need for parking,” said Holden, who also sits on the Pasadena City Council. “The Southwest Quadrant gives us a real opportunity to address our parking issues efficiently. “We have a problem. It’s a real problem, and we’re trying to be responsive to it. It’s not going to be easy.” The Southwest Quadrant is in close proximity to existing passenger terminals and would help maintain the airport’s user-friendly reputation, Holden said. Currently, the site has several hangars and is occupied by cargo carriers FedEx, UPS and AmeriFlight. Officials did not say what plans they would have for relocating the tenants if the plan proceeds. last_img