Its been a bit of a slow start for Joe McKnight and he is frustrated about it. McKnight is a competitor and he is used to getting it done, his abilities and production are what made him the top recruit in the country this years it is understanding why he is frustrated.
McKnight was told by offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian that it took Reggie Bush five or six games before he made a big impression as a freshman.
"I don't want to wait that long," McKnight said.
McKnight also blamed himself for his two fumbles this season.
McKnight needs to understand that this a whole new level and that it will take time to get settled into things but because he such a competitor he wants to show us what he's got. Coach Carroll thought that maybe he worked McKnight into the mix to early and there may be some truth to that but how could you not get him in, his talent is just too good to pass up. Of course thee have been the comparisons to Reggie Bush and that really isn't fair to McKnight but with a lot of the same skill sets in his game it is hard not to want to use him like and compare him to Reggie Bush.
This is also part of all the attention USC receives because of its continued success and its natural for guys to want to live up to all the hype and expectations. McKnight wants the ball and wants to prove the coaches wrong that they may have overloaded him too soon.
Last Saturday against Nebraska, playing without a knee brace, McKnight carried once for five yards. He also caught a pass but fumbled.
McKnight disagreed with Carroll's postgame assessment that coaches might have overloaded him with too much too soon.
"I really don't agree with it -- I can handle what they give me," he said.
McKnight, however, acknowledged frustration and said Carroll had counseled him about remaining confident.
"He was just telling me to relax and go play football," McKnight said. "He's going to start handing me the ball off more. That was it."
First things first, Joe Needs to protect the ball better. Its not like he isn't picking up the offense as he obviously knows his assignments but not holding onto the ball is a sure fire way not to get back on the playing field. To me that is key to his continued development, from what I saw he needs to carry the ball a little more securely and once that happens the rest will fall into place. We all saw his potential against Idaho so we know he's got what it takes but it's not surprising to me that he is putting undue pressure on himself to perform and that it is having a negative effect in his handling the ball.
Everyone wants to take some blame in regards to McKnight’s slow start. But there really isn’t any need to.
Too much, too soon, was how Sarkisian put it, second-guessing himself in light of McKnight's totals: seven carries for 31 yards, two receptions for 8, two fumbles and no touchdowns.
"Just hand it to him," Sarkisian said. "It's not his fault, it's mine. I haven't given him a lot of those chances."
I'm not concerned as it will all fall into place and once it does watch out!!