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Sanchez Named Starter

No real surprise here.

From Gary Klein at the LAT:

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian made it official before practice when he met with Sanchez, Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp individually and told them that Sanchez, the fourth-year junior, was the No. 1 quarterback.

"He said, 'I just want to give you a little forewarning: You're it, man. You're the guy. You've proven it and we believe in you,' " Sanchez said, grinning.

Sanchez entered spring practice as the front-runner for the job after starting three games last season. He struggled at times through the first two weeks but asserted himself in workouts leading up to last Saturday's scrimmage.

"At this point, for the good of our football team I like where we're at with Mark," Sarkisian said.

So does Coach Pete Carroll.

"The advantage that Mark has had by being around . . . just gives him a decisive advantage and he was able to come out here and battle and throw the ball well and play with confidence and give himself the spot," Carroll said.

Maybe I am reading a bit too much into this but I am not sure what Sarkisian means when he says "for the good of our football team I like where we're at with Mark". I would agree that a should be named by the end of spring practice and I would also say that this was a foregone conclusion anyway so there is no real shock value here. But that statement almost makes it sound as if the team was going to mutiny if they didn't name Sanchez the starter soon. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding what he is trying to say.

As I noted earlier to a lot of us this is hardly a surprise. And as many have noted here on CC his experience within the system was probably the deciding factor. But I think there are a lot more questions about how Sanchez will do as the starter than there were with either Leinart or Booty.

So what does this mean for Mustain?

From The DN:

Mustain seemed to be taken a bit off-guard by the earlier-than-expected announcement, but said he did not regret transferring to USC from Arkansas.

"I want to play at a big-time place and I feel I can. USC is one of the biggest," Mustain said.

"I feel the benefits, if you get the job, would far outweigh (the negatives). I'll always feel it was the best place."

Mustain made it clear he did not believe Carroll's decision was final, though he was also confused about what it meant exactly. He spoke to the coaches after practice so he could understand the timing of the decision more.

"I don't think (the competition) is closed. We've got a lot of time," Mustain said.

"I feel like I've done everything I could. They were fairly set on a decision at the end of spring."

I think this decision was made for continuity reasons than anything else.

With this now out of the way Sanchez now needs to move into a leadership position on the offense. There are still some real questions about how he will do as the starter. With tough games against UVA and Ohio State to start off the season he will be tested right out the gate. His decision making process is going to be tested, and we all saw just how bad the results can be when he forces plays. I still see SC losing two games this season with the questions they have on the offensive line while Sanchez fits in to his role. The Pac 10 is going to be tough this year so the offense will have their work cut out for them.

I think we will get a clearer picture when Fall ball starts.