Answer Wednesday! (Part 3)

Back to the pre-Nut Bowl questions.

Q: gilligan said:
Mr. Wolf, prior to the start of the season you wrote that the coaching staff changes might be better compared to last year’s staff (that included Coach Sark and Coach Holt), do you still feel that way and do you think that your coaching assessment could be correct next season considering that this year’s team was young in key spots? Thanks.

A: The talent level was obviously different from 2008 to 2009.
That, said, I always stated that I felt the coaching staff was improved over last season and I still think overall that was the case. I think the defensive line played pretty well over the course of the season and Jethro Franklin did a nice job. And if you watched Washington (especially that strange coverage at the end of the Arizona State game) you could see first-hand what I meant in regards to the improvement.
But I would add that I am disappointed in the offense’s development. Jeremy Bates seemed to become more insulated and averse to communicating during the season and game plan’s sure looked different than some of the plays utilized in the spring. I think the Emerald Bowl is a case in point. Stanley Havili caught six passes after catching 16 all season. Where was that during the year? Yes, Havili got injured against Notre Dame but that was midway through the season, and he was vastly underutilized the first six games too.
So I think Sarkisian was missed in that sense. The offense will be better because it will have an experienced QB next season. But I think Bates, if he stays, will need to improve a lot too. He is not in the NFL and will need to work harder to establish a running game next year.

Q: booboo said:
With all the money that USC football brings in, you would think that they could afford to hire some people to keep bothering all the players and their families to follow strictly the rules and to put special scrutiny on the “star” players.

This football team seems to have become complacent with all the wins in the past seasons and do not have the heart and passion to win like the other teams that have struggled. They are like an all star team who think they should win because of their star rankings and not by playing like a team (like past Olympic basketball teams).

Since some of last year’s players got their wish and do not have to go to boring Rose Bowl activities. Please compare what Team Barkley will be getting as gifts and activities this year at the Emerald Bowl and what they would have gotten from the Rose Bowl.

A: USC players got a much-discussed fossil watch, a backup, a hat and a laptop computer. There was some spin about them getting gift cards from Best Buy, but they would receive those no matter what bowl they went to because they came from the university, not the Nut Bowl.
The Rose Bowl is similar because you get a fossil watch, a 19-inch TV-DVD player, a backpack for laptops and a hat. The Rose Bowl’s never been big on gifts.
Now compare that to the Sugar Bowl, which gives a “Sony, Apple, Trek, Garmin and Weber gift suite,” and a “Lane recliner,” plus a hat, watch and backpack. A recliner? Now that’s a gift.

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