Barr Talks USC Game

Anthony Barr talks about the USC game, his improved blocking this year, and whether he thinks he's going to stay as an F-back after this season...

Anthony Barr after Wednesday's practice: Q: Talk about going how important this game is to the team.

A: It's huge. There are a lot of implications. A chance to secure the Pac-12 south, get to the championship game, and you've got SC, which is our biggest rival. So it's a big week and we just have to keep everything in perspective and stay focused.

Q: Is Coach Neuheisel's situation another one of the reasons this is a big game?

A: You know, we're really not thinking of it that way. We've just got to go in a play our game.

Q: Is this cross town rivalry, is it one of the reasons you chose UCLA out of high school?

A: Yeah, definitely. I've never been a big SC fan. My household's not big SC supporters. It's one of those things you look forward to each time it comes around. Both teams are going to be fueled for this game.

Q: Your family is a big Notre Dame family. Is there a different vibe to their, I don't know, dislike of USC?

A: Same dislike, just from a different group. We definitely respect them and they have a great program. It's always an honor to play them.

Q: Your play this year, it seems like you're really taking blocking personally. Is that something you've emphasized this year?

A: I've kind of embraced that role over the last couple of weeks, since I came back from my injury. I'm not touching the ball as much as I'd like, but that's not as important behind the scenes. It's doing what you can to help the team. I feel like that role, I've played that role quite well.

Q: Do you think you've improved a lot as a blocker this year?

A: It was definitely something I was blind to when I first got here, but as you get situated and you get comfortable with something then you develop the technique and whatnot. It's something that I've actually started to enjoy.

Q: Have the coaches talked to you about if you're going to stay at the F after this year, or possibly move to tight end full time?

A: Not really. Our focus is on right now, so that'll be a conversation for after the season.

Q: In terms of touching the ball more, that's obviously something you'd want to do. Do you think there'll be more opportunities for that at the F?

A: Somewhere down the line. Right now, we just have so many playmakers on this team, it's hard to feed everyone. So, I just have to continue to embrace my role on the team right now. So that's what I'm going to do.

Q: In terms of your comfort level offensively, are you more comfortable out of the back field or split out wide?

A: Either way now. I feel like I have comfort level with both spots, so wherever they put me I'm pretty comfortable.

Q: Did you spend any time at wideout in high school?

A: No, none. Last year, I spent a little bit of time there, but not much. This year, it's been a lot more. I've had to spend some time in wide receiver meetings, so it's definitely helped to develop that part of my game.

Q: This year, coming back from the knee injury, are you feeling totally healthy at this point?

A: I feel great today. I feel like I've finally got my legs under me. I missed four weeks with the knee injury and now I feel like I'm 100% good to go.

Q: Were the first couple of weeks hard on the knee?

A: It was kind of stiff, and my conditioning wasn't all there, but it's to the point of the season where once you get that conditioning out of the way, you can just go out there and play, which I'm looking forward to doing on Saturday.

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