EL PASO, Texas — Matt Barkley came to Southern California as a hot-shot recruit, seemingly destined to be the Trojans' next star quarterback. For the most part he delivered on that promise during a record-breaking four-year run as USC's starter.
Barkley, though, won't get to give a grand finale.
He won't play in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech on New Year's Eve because of a lingering injury to his right shoulder. Doctor's didn't clear him to play, coach Lane Kiffin said.
"It's a tough day," Barkley said. "As you heard from Coach Kiffin I won't be playing on the 31st. I've worked as hard as I could to get back for this game, but nature's not allowing it and the doctors aren't allowing it, which is the most important thing. They're looking out for my best interest, and I trust their judgment in how things have turned out.
Redshirt freshman Max Wittek will make his second career start.
"I'm still here for the guys and still trying to help Max and even Cody (Kessler), if he needs to play — to help those guys get ready and with the game plan. I'm trying to be here as much as I can for this team to finish strong."
Barkley's throwing shoulder was injured during USC's second-to-last game against UCLA and he didn't play in the season-finale against Notre Dame. Wittek started the game and the Trojans lost to the Fighting Irish to fall to 7-5 on the season.
"I know he wanted to play," Kiffin said. "He wanted to finish on a good note. He's not been hurt very much in his four years here, but unfortunately when he has he's missed some really big games."