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Q: After having some lackluster performances this past week, do you think Mitch Mustain is now going to “turn it on” and be the daily highlight reel again that he was at practice last season?
A: Mustain turned it on in Sundays scrimmage, especially with the 70-yard TD pass to Ronald Johnson. But things changed in a hurry when he went with the first team and the defense was better. Hes still learning USCs offense but theres a lot of potential. It just depends on whether or not the coaches want to take a risk or play it safe. Knowing Caesar, safety first will be the motto.
Q: What are the chances of using a two TE formation?
A: It will be used but in typical running situations and not as a regular offensive formation because theres not a lot of tight ends right now.
Q: What do your “spies” tell you about whether Mayo, Jefferson, Gibson, and/or Hackett are attending classes this semester? If a student-athlete is not attending class (and thus presumably failing), would that mean he is automatically disqualified from participating as an athlete for the university for the following season? Any info is greatly appreciated.
A: Its complicated to explain the scenarios on failing classes. Often you can make them up in the summer if you need to. Theres also different types of academic probation at USC, so if you already blew one semester, you usually get one more. These are general guidelines and not meant to suggest the basketball players are in trouble.
After a few days off, they are attending classes from what I hear. But they need to pass six units otherwise the basketball team gets punished on its APR score, which could result in scholarship deductions.
Q: Scott, I don’t understand why PC and the coaches don’t like the shotgun formation, especially in obvious passing situations. It seems to me that it is easier for the QB to begin immediately looking at the defense after the ball is snapped instead of having to back-pedal. The pros use it. Do you know what the downsides are that cause a big time offensive team like the Trojans to not want to use it?
A: The downside according to coaches is that the quarterback looks down to receive the snap instead of always looking forward when he is over the center. Some coaches believe that instant of looking down hinders the quarterbacks ability to see the pass rush.
Q: Is it reasonably possible that Blake Ayles can come in an make a good contribution at TE his first year?
A: If USC is primarily interested in his receiving skills instead of worrying whether hes able to block, then he can contribute immediately. That would mean he would almost be an H-back. It usually takes time to learn the proper blocking assignments.