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Mustain Prepares to Start

With Mark Sanchez's status uncertain for Saturday's game against Arizona State Mitch Mustain is prearing for his first start. Mustain saw some significant playing time last week against Oregon going 5-of-8 for 11 yards with a TD and and INT. The TD was 59-yqard strike to David Ausberry the INT was an aggressive throw byt Mustain that the Oregon DB made in the endzone for a touchback.

Mustain has had an up and down season this far falling all the way to #4 on the QB "depth chart" at one point but now it appears that with Sanchez possibly out for this Saturday's game (I will believe it when I see it) Mustain is getting prepped for his first start at USC.

[o]ffensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian: "We're going with the mentality that Mitch is the guy or Mark's coming back late in the week."

Mustain, the sophomore transfer from Arkansas, was elevated last week from No. 4 to No. 2 on the depth chart. He is feeling confident after completing five of eight passes for 111 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown to receiver David Ausberry, against Oregon.

"I feel like I'm prepared and on top of the game plan," Mustain said.

Sarkisian said the game plan, if Mustain starts, would be "not huge, but precise."

Mustain had been a bit down in the dumps after having a difficult time progressing with the offense and with the competiton being labled as "open" every week it seemed that someone new was being placed in the back up role with Mustain geting little time with the first team.

I think the loss to Oregon State finally lit a fire under the staff to name a back-up and stick with him until some major mistake caused said back-up to be replaced. Of couse depending on what you read the story is somewhat different.

Carroll said Mustain made a breakthrough two weeks ago during practices that caused him to surpass Aaron Corp and Garrett Green.

"He got comfortable, finally," Carroll said. "He just shifted, I don't know how it changed, but it did."

One example was Mustain signaling wide receiver David Ausberry to change a pass route, which resulted in a 59-yard touchdown pass against Oregon.

That's a head scratcher to me, two weeks ago they were still in preparation for the Oregon St. game and they still named Garrett Green the back-up, go figure.

Hopefully the coaches have seen enough to finally lock in a suitable back-up and remove all the drama from the situation. We lost our mulligan in Corvallis so every game has to be played like its our last one if we want to get to the BCS Title Game. I think its a longshot but you can't take that chance and squander it.

It should be an interesting week of preparation...