The two quarterbacks could not have had more different expectations on them entering the season: Barkley was the surefire Heisman candidate and potential top NFL Draft choice, playing in his fourth year after seeing his touchdowns go up and interceptions go down in each of his first three seasons as USC's starter. Meanwhile, Mariota was a redshirt freshman taking over the reins of Chip Kelly's offense, which hasn't historically required a superstar quarterback to achieve success.
Mariota's numbers aren't eye-popping - he's averaging less than 200 yards a game passing - but he's tossed 18 touchdowns against only five picks while keeping the team undefeated and contributing with his legs. Barkley's Heisman run took a hit as his team dropped a pair of games, but he's still been spectacular for the Trojans, including a 493-yard outing in their loss this past week to Arizona.
No. 4 Oregon and No. 17 USC play at 7 p.m. on FOX in Los Angeles.