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Practice notes from 8/9

With Mark Sanchez probably out for the opener against UVA all eyes are now focused on the QB battle between Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp.

From The LAT:

USC's final practice before the Trojans' first in full pads took on a palpable sense of urgency Saturday as quarterbacks Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp battled for a possible starting job in place of injured Mark Sanchez.

[...] The opportunity has infused Mustain, a transfer from Arkansas, and Corp, a redshirt freshman. Both consciously asserted themselves as if they were the starter.

"It gives you a little shot," Mustain said. "The way you prepare doesn't really change, but it does give you that little edge."

Mustain and Corp both had their moments on a day when the Trojans concentrated on third-down situations.

"I think I'm in a good spot right now," Corp said. "I just have to keep consistent, keep doing well."

Michael Lev from the OCR has some interesting insight as well.

Carroll liked the fact that both quarterbacks played with a sense of urgency. But he said both struggled at times to get plays right with the offense in the midst of an extensive installation period.

“They’re thinking – and that’s totally what should be happening right now,” Carroll said. “You couldn’t be anything but that. So it’s just time.”

Carroll said now is not the time to decide who would start if Sanchez is unable to return in time for the opener.

“We’re not making a final judgment anytime soon,” Carroll said. “It’s a process.”

As always, the most important thing for me is to get the best product on the field. If Sanchez is out then who gives us the best chance to win? Because Sanchez has been getting the majority of the snaps and having been in the system longer I would expect some mistakes in practice from Mustain and Corp. But as has been noted all over the message boards we have two better than adequate back-ups that could start elsewhere, Mustain already has.

Its just going to take time...

It's understandable that Sanchez wants get right back into it but he needs to get into rehab to move things along so he is going to have to be patient.

Center Kris O'Dowd continues to show some great leadership on the field as he seemingly works well with whichever QB lines up under center. O'Dowd offered some words of encouragement to Sanchez as both suffered the same injury. The only difference was that O'Dowd had cartilage damage that required surgery that kept him out longer.

The fans need to be tempered with all different possible prognosis' being thrown around out there. It's going to take time no matter what and there isn't anything we can do to change it. I haven't seen anyone say this anywhere else so I will throw it out there...this is a character builder. It is tough to see your leader go down but how the team reacts and responds will go a long way to bringing the team together. Adversity breeds cohesiveness and builds character!

Once again Allen Bradford is turning heads in practice.

Tailback Allen Bradford showed impressive power by running over 295-pound nose tackle Averell Spicer. But Bradford negated the positive play by spiking the ball, drawing a flag from the officials working practice.

Meh... get it out now- make him run a few laps, but get him in the game! I know I've beat this like a dead horse but I really think Bradford will shine if sees the playing field regularly. I would love to see the combination of McKnight/Bradford as the latest version of Thunder & Lightning. I am not discounting how special and important that Johnson and Gable are but I would love to see this combination a couple of times this season just to see if it could spark things up.

Tonight SC goes to full pads under the lights so things will go fast to insane!