one thing that has to be eating at Pete Carroll and Steve Sarkisian are the sloppy turnovers that Mitch Mustain seemingly has in every practice.
The OCR's Michael Lev explains:
It has become a regularity during USC’s training camp: Mitch Mustain will throw at least one head-scratching interception.
He did it again Monday afternoon, trying to hit Travon Patterson in double coverage in the end zone. Sophomore safety Marshall Jones was playing center field on the play and easily made the pick. Mustain made the throw on third down during a simulated overtime session.
Mustain’s propensity for killer turnovers is the main reason I believe Aaron Corp will get the starting nod if Mark Sanchez can’t go against Virginia.
USC’s coaches haven’t said as much, but they have to realize that this team — with a great defense, a good running game and solid specialists — will win the majority of its games if it avoids turnovers.
Thats a little disconcerting to say the least. Mustain is a bit of a play maker and improviser so it doesn't surprise me that he wants to push the envelope. The problem is if you gamble and lose that can be a real momentum killer in a tight game. Now, I wouldn't go as far as to say that Mustain is regressed but I would say that based on this story that Mustain has not taken the bull by the horns like he promised he would when Sanchez was named starter.
710 ESPN's Steve Bischeff is a little more to the point.
Then, less than two weeks into what they call fall camp, fate seemed to slip into the Trojans' huddle. Sanchez was injured in a freak mishap warming up, and Mustain had the chance he'd been waiting for, the shot to take over as the No. 1 quarterback at USC and maybe start in the opener Aug. 30 at Virginia.
Only instead of being aggressive and taking control, he seemed to back off, appearing tentative and unsure of himself. In the first of three scheduled preseason scrimmages at the Coliseum, Mustain was outplayed by Aaron Corp, the redshirt freshman who had been the star of the spring game. Some said it was because Corp was playing with the first-team offense for most of the scrimmage and that things would change in the second scrimmage.
Except that wasn't really the case. Most observers rated Mustain and Corp even in scrimmage No. 2, although some felt Corp had come out slightly ahead again.
Carroll hasn't said anything officially, but in practices this week, Corp, the more mobile of the two, has appeared with the first-team offense more often than Mustain. That is not a good sign for the Arkansas transfer.
HT: Brian Grummel at the FanHouse.
. . . .
Could it be that Mustain is looking over his shoulder a bit? There is a very good chance that Mark Sanchez could start in the opener.
Sanchez technically didn’t take snaps from center, as the Trojans substituted small orange cones for footballs during the walk-through. But Sanchez did drop back, make handoffs and fake handoffs.
Sanchez is expected to throw to receivers at practice this afternoon. He hopes to be able to return to practice full time by next Tuesday at the latest to be able to play in the Aug. 30 season opener at Virginia.
Of course that is if Sanchez starts.
This might be the reason why the simplifying the playbook for UVA.
Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said having fewer plays would make the game plan easier to digest for USC’s young quarterbacks and inexperienced offensive line.
“The key is for us not to boggle down,” Sarkisian said. “When we get into game-planning for a team, we don’t need a million plays. We need to have enough plays to where it can win us a football game, enough plays to where these guys can understand and go out and play really fast.”
Sarkisian said the coaches would devise a master game plan with slight variations based on who the quarterback is.
If they have to dumb down the play book than that to me is a bigger sign that Mustain or Corp are having a hard time picking up the offense.
Aaron Corp seems to be progressing nicely but he has some issues as well. Here is the way I see it, this is nothing but a character builder SC has had the world at their doorstep the past few years so maybe this is the punch in the mouth they need to get things on track. We already have the pundits turning against us so maybe this will make them hungry and come together to shut everyone up.
Its not supposed to be easy but who is going to step up?