Round 7

Answer Monday turned into Answer Tuesday. This won’t happen when we switch our servers to CaesarTV.com.

Q: Scott, it seems as though the secondary and linebackers are probably the most experienced USC has had in a long time, not including the depth. Do you think this is a contributor to the problems the QBs are having with interceptions, and maybe not getting enough time to throw?

A: I would say the offensive line’s inexperience is a reason and part of it could also be the defense. Another part is the quarterbacks need more time than John David Booty, because Mustain and Corp are learning the offense. Malcolm Smith and Luthur Brown got most of the reps at two of the linebacker spot last week, so experience is not a big reason at that position last week.

Q: What if anything has Brandon Carswell done so far this spring? I had heard that he was impressive on the scout team last year but haven’t yet heard anything about him thus far? Thanks.

A: This is an interesting question. The other day I realized I had not heard much about Carswell. This surprised me because he did have a good year on the scout team. He did have two catches for 38 yards in the scrimmage, but frankly I expect him to be more prolific, especially with Vidal Hazelton and Damian Williams coming back from injuries

Q: In your “What’s the Difference?” post you mentioned that there is no edge given by playing on the scout team. They may be running different plays but isn’t there something to be said for playing alongside and getting in a rhythm with individuals that will hopefully be moving up to first-string along with them?

A: It depends on the position you play. A quarterback runs totally different plays than USC’s offense and is ordered to throw the ball whether the receiver is open or not. So you don’t get in the habit of taking a sack when no one is open. You develop bad habits. But if you are an offensive lineman with others who move up, then it is helpful. However, usually a class does not move up together. Some guys move up early and others are stuck on the scout team for several years.

Q: From how average MM and MS have looked, to our sub-par WR’s and O-line..it’s seems pretty obvious we are going to lose to Ohio st. and probably 1 or 2 other teams. It seems like we are in for a repeat of 2007…#1 team to start and then drop out of the top 10 and maybe end up #4 or #5…
IF this happens would MM be assured of starting next year?

A: It’s always hard to predict what will happen at quarterback. If USC lost games and the offense sputtered, a QB change could occur this year. That would probably mean another QB battle the following year. If Mitch Mustain increased his experience, he and Mark Sanchez would be considered so close by the coaches, they would feel comfortable playing both. So if one struggles, they might make a change. It’s also possible injuries will determine something.

Q: At the start of spring camp you mentioned the TE position was one of the position battles to keep an eye on – yet in light of the glamour position battle (QB) we haven’t heard much about it…so my question to you is how’s the battle shaping up?! Who in your opinion is having a better camp Ellision or McCoy? and how have both looked? Thanks!!!

A: Anthony McCoy’s seized the starting spot and Rhett Ellison is doing OK but still learning blocking schemes. McCoy will be the starter and Ellison will probably be the backup. But I believe Blake Ayles will be used as a receiving threat too next season.

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