The ongoing 42nd Street plot twists behind the USC Trojan's starting quarterback role have taken another turn. By August it became apparent that the aggressive running QB Aaron Corp would get the nod from coach Pete Carroll. Then Corp cracked his fibula. While still able to perform during practice, Corp was not quite 100 percent and the ball went to Matt Barkley, the Mater Dei High School sensation who became the first true freshman in Trojan history to earn the starting QB position.

Barkley has performed impressively in the college season's first two games, when USC trounced the San Jose Spartans and, in last week's cliffhanger, when Barkley and tailback Joe McKnight spearheaded an 86-yard drive to beat Ohio State. But it was in that game's third quarter that Barkley suffered a bruised shoulder bone. Although he finished out Saturday's game, he has since been unable to throw the ball during practice, according to the Daily Trojan.

While Carroll is not ruling out Barkley's appearance in the University of Washington game two days from now, it's becoming clear that he may well have to hand over the ball back to Corp. (The L.A. Daily News reports that, in an extraordinary move, Carroll may wait until the day of the game with the Huskies to make his decision on whether to play Barkley.)

If so, this will be Corp's best shot at getting a second audition for

the starring role and he would be under intense national scrutiny

Saturday. Associated Press reports,

however, that Corp's recovery program called for a six-week healing period — of which

he is only in Week Five. Corp has said he is up for the game and so

this ongoing drama, which rivals that of any backstage musical,


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