Chat with Garry Paskwietz
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, WeAreSC blogger Garry Paskwietz stops by to chat some USC football.
Paskwietz is the Publisher of WeAreSC and has been covering the Trojans since 1997. Paskwietz is also a co-host of the USC Football radio pre-game show
Send your questions now and join Paskwietz every Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET!
Garry Paskwietz (4:59 PM)
Welcome. Let's get started.
Tim Irvin (Down the street from SC)
Gary, I do not want jump on Coach LK (or MK for that matter) but... if we travel on the west bound 10 freeway from USC towards Westwood, we do see that GAMEDAY adjustments and pregame PLANNING is as important in coaching as recruiting players. Good food requires a good cook, not just good ingredients.
Garry Paskwietz (5:01 PM)
I think the coaches are taking a real look inward this week. At least judging by all the words they are using, it's clear they understand there are real issues here. Lane Kiffin said after practice that the problems are too wide to think that the fault lies with the players.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Did you think that Saturday's College Football Game against Oregon was the worst USC Game that you have ever seen?
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
No. It was probably the worst performance on the defensive side of the ball but the offense did do a good job trying to keep the team in the game so I can't call it the worst overall game.
how bad is usc??? so bad that the win didnt even help the ducks in the bcs standings hope their are some drastic changes in the land of troy!!!
Garry Paskwietz (5:03 PM)
These next couple weeks will determine a lot in terms of potential changes. You're right, it's a comment on USC that the win over the Trojans didn't do a whole lot for the Ducks. Not a lot of people around USC were expecting these results either.
Garry, What are the chances Jalen Ramsey stays committed. I think he is a major key to our class. I know he has set official visits to Washington, Alabama, USC. Let me know what you think. Thanks
Garry Paskwietz (5:05 PM)
The main reason I think Jalen stays committed is that he had a pretty well thought out list of reasons why he gave a verbal in the first place. By all accounts, Jalen is a pretty level headed kid so that would lead me to believe he will stay with his choice but I wouldn't call it a 100% done deal. Those are pretty high pro-file programs in his region that are pursuing him but the Trojans will have the final visit in January.
I feel kiffin better beat arizona st and ucla or hes in trouble. if usc is not in the pac-12 championship game then thats a failure. i like kiffin hes a great recruiter but he needs to do more with the talent he has. also any chance at tunsil, adams, or even Robert Nkemdiche. or more likely willis mccary III or goodman?
Garry Paskwietz (5:07 PM)
If the Trojans aren't in the Pac-12 title game it will be a genuine letdown when you consider the preseason expectations. This is a very good football team that still has a chance to get to the Rose Bowl and that would be a fitting end for this team. If things go a different way, it will be interesting to see what happens at that point. I don't see any real chance on Nkemdiche, slight chance on tunsil and adams but I would call both longshots. I see one of that group of three safeties ending up at SC, my guess is either McQuay or Goodman.
Rob (Santa Clara, CA)
Hi Garry,I assume you've seen the Conference penalty numbers. What do you think is going on here? Isn't this something Scott needs to correct? Penalty yards per game 100. Arizona, 67.56 106. Utah, 70.44 107. Oregon, 71.78 113. California, 73.50 115. Washington, 74.33 117. Oregon State, 74.75 118. USC, 78.0 119 UCLA, 85.89
Garry Paskwietz (5:09 PM)
It doesn't reflect well on the conference does it? It's been very noticeable this year too.
Hey Garry, now with a spot open in recruiting does USC try to fill it with McQuay or Goodman.....or go after Montravius? I hope it's Montravius though! The d-line would be ridiculous for the next couple years!
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
There is still interest in Adams but the Trojans got on the phone pretty quick after the Redfield commit and firmed up a visit with McQuay so that should say something. The visit will take place on the same weekend that all the other early enrollees are visiting, McQuay also plans to enroll early at his school of choice.
Who do you think is USC next target at saftey between Leon and Tahaan. I personally would want Leon because of his natural cover skills. Who would you like for USC to add to this class between the two. Thanks
Garry Paskwietz (5:12 PM)
Both are real good. A couple months ago I would have said Goodman was the more likely choice, now I would say McQuay. If he has a good official visit on Dec 7, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him in this class.
Gary, after the Stanford loss I proclaimed this could be a 3-4 loss team. We now realistically can be a 4-6 loss team. What happened and who is to blame. Our 11 is better than your 11 why do we keep loosing and what do you think will happen after the season in terms of either Monte or Lane?
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
I think the spotlight for the problems of the season is pretty squarely on Kiffin right now. You don't hear too much blame being placed on the individual players, most of the criticism is aimed at Lane and/or Monte. If things don't turn around at the end of the season I wouldn't rule out any changes. What happened to the USC defense over the last two weeks had to get the attention of Pat Haden and J.K. McKay, the next few weeks will give the coaches a chance to show they have a handle on the situation.
HLH (Menlo Park)
Do you think there could be a domino effect amongst recruits following Max Redfeld's decommitment?
Garry Paskwietz (5:15 PM)
There doesn't seem to be any indication of that. Redfield was a fairly specific instance that triggered the decommit, his visit to Notre Dame. Any other commits that are talking about taking trips are sounding as if it's just to take trips. There doesn't seem to be any genuine worry, yet. That is a key word, yet, because things can always change quickly in recruiting.
Garry, in your opinion will we have a new Defensive Co-ordinator next season and maybe an Offensive one so CLK can concentrate on the job of Head Coach ?
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
I think there is a genuine chance there could be a new defensive coordinator. There is always a chance the defense could get things figured out over the next few weeks in the stretch run of the season. That is what all USC fans are hoping to see. If not, Haden and Kiffin will take a hard look at the reality of what happened this year. No matter what, it won't be an easy discussion when you are talking about a son and his father. It would be a lot better for everyone if Monte got things turned around in the coming weeks.
Chris (Newport Beach, CA)
Garry, we thought linebacked was going to be a real strength on defense. So far all three have fallen off, what has happened in their development? Last year they were all over the field against Oregon.
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
It's hard to know exactly where the issue is because there are so many problems on defense. You also have to note that there is a new position coach, the Trojans had an NFL veteran in Joe Barry but he left and was replaced by a coach from a lower level. That is a tough transition to make for Hazelton and he has kept the linebackers among the team leaders in tackles but it's fair to say more was expected from the group this year.
Garry, What do you think about Eddie V. visiting UCLA? is USC still taking 18 or do you think Lane can squeeze another in this class?
Garry Paskwietz (5:21 PM)
I think Vanderdoes is solid as long as Ed Orgeron is the USC d-line coach. If Orgeron does leave, I think all bets would be off. Not saying Eddie wouldn't end up here but he would take a look around in addition to wanting to get to know the new DL coach. Right now it appears as if 18 is still the number but I wouldn't rule anything out.
Garry, Do you think the less-than-expected results this year will cause additional recruits to decommit? Will the addition of anticiparted recruits signifcantly help the defense next year? Finally, any serious talk of a coaching change?
Garry Paskwietz (5:24 PM)
I don't think so. One of the big keys for USC is that so many of the commits are coming in early, guys like Su'a and Max Browne will be taking their visits right after the season and then enrolling in spring. That is the core of the class and some of the most talented recruits in the class. The fact that all of them will be here is a big plus in terms of keeping the whole group together. It wouldn't surprise me at all if some of the d-line recruits contribute right away, particularly Bigelow and Vanderdoes. Any coaching talk is all speculation right now but there's a reason there is so much of it. So much will depend on what happens in the next few weeks.
Tony (los angeles)
Garry, I have seen some draft boards that have Barkley out of the first round completely and TJ McDonald projected as an undrafted free agent. Given the lack of success from former trojans on the next level and the surprising draft prospects surrounding Barkley and McDonald can we continue to expect the same level of success in recruiting year in year out if we are not "coaching em' up" to play in the League?
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
Wow, that would surprise me. Barkley may not be the sure-fire No. 1 pick that many projected him to be but I'm continuing to hear first round on him. McDonald will be interesting, he was hoping to play his way into the first round this year, I don't think that happened but I don't think he played his way out of being drafted either. I still think year in and year out there is going to be enough success for former Trojans in the NFL that USC will have the reputation for putting players in the league.
HLH (Menlo Park)
Do you think there is any preference between McQuay, Goodman or Willis as possible recruit replacements for Redfield?
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
I thought it was a pretty clear sign that an official visit was firmed up with McQuay so quickly after Redfield decommitted.
jose L. (pico rivera)
What's going on GP. Hey now that Max redfield decomitted SC what are the trojans other options that they have? And also if MK retires or leaves what up in coming DC canditates do you see LK go after if indeed there is a change and the defense keeps struggleling thanks for me they info man...
Garry Paskwietz (5:29 PM)
Hey Jose. There are three primary options at safety - Leon McQuay from Florida, Tahaan Goodman from Rancho Cucamonga and Priest Willis from Arizona. All are ranked among the top 8 safeties in the country so it's a good group to choose from. Goodman is a teammate of Chris Hawkins and he's a real possibility but McQuay seems to be a primary focus right now. He will visit Dec 7 with the eight early enrollee commits.
Chris (Newport Beach, CA)
Will Kiffin take his time filling Redfield's scholarship offer or will he pull the trigger quickly and fill his spot ASAP?
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
Leon McQuay visits on Dec 7, my guess is we will know something quickly after that.
Garry, the SEC would have you believe that their God's gift to Defense. When you look at Alabama, Florida, & LSU I can't help but remember the days when our Defense was a "famous" as our offense and the envy of the college football world. So are USC's defensive issue in their scheme, coaching, or are the players not living up to their 4
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
It appears to be a combination right now. I think coaching is definitely being looked at, the USC coaches are doing a lot of self-evaulating right now. There is also the thought that the talent on the roster isn't where it was, defensively, during the glory era of the Carroll days. That kind of talent takes time to develop, especially on the lines, but SC is well on the way to building it again. There is a lot of young talent now and a tremendous group on the way in the incoming class.
From left tack;e ti right tackle, what will be the starting OL next fall?
Garry Paskwietz (5:33 PM)
Tuerk, Martin, Hobbi or Markowitz, Martinez, Graf. It's unclear right now if Markowitz will apply for (or get) a sixth year.
Garry, Now that redfield decommitted who else do you see second guessing their commitment. Who from this class is enrolling early?
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
So far it doesn't seem like any others are second guessing. There will be other visits though so you never know what could happen, just like Redfield enjoying the ND trip. The early enrollees include Browne, Davis, Isaac, Fitts, Bigelow, Cravens, Massington and Hawkins. Darreus Rogers will also enroll at spring.
jordan (kansas) [via mobile]
What is the chance oregon plays michigan in the rose bowl? is usc still in the picture?
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
There is a very real chance Oregon ends up in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks are hoping for a visit to the BCS title game but right now they would be in the Rose Bowl if they win out and nothing changes in the BCS rankings. SC could still get to the Rose Bowl if they win their next two games and the Pac-12 title game.
Was Max Redfield's decommitment from SC a result of the Oregon/USC game, or was he already on the way out? Does SC have any legitimate shot to recommit him or is he a lost cause, and are there any other 2013 commitments thinking of backing out?
Garry Paskwietz (5:38 PM)
His decommit had more to do with his visit last month to Oregon, which he enjoyed very much. He changed his status to a "soft" commit right away after the trip so there was an early sign of potential problems. There is always a chance he could come back on board but SC will also push for others such as Leon McQuay.
HLH (Menlo Park)
Were you surprised by the superior speed at all positions between USC and Oregon?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
Yes. Even with what Oregon has shown in recent years, it was at a different level last weekend between the Ducks offense and the USC defense. There is one stat that showed Barner gained over 270 of his 321 rushing yards before contact. Not sure if that is accurate but even if it's close it is a pretty daunting stat.
IF Darreus Rodgers enrolls in January, doesn't that leave only 17 2012/2013 spots left for EE and NSD?
Garry Paskwietz (5:40 PM)
The coaches aren't giving out any details of how they are working the scholarship math so it's just not clear how the situation will be handled at that point.
Ed (New Mexico)
Garry, If you had your choice, who would you pick to replace Max? I am a little surpirsed that someone has not jumped on the open slot to get their spot reserved if SC is their top pick at this time, knowing that they can change their mind later.
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
The three main choices - McQuay, Goodman or Willis - are 3 of the top 8 safeties in the country so all are pretty good choices. If I had to choose, I would go with McQuay.
Jonathon Cook (Irvine, Ca)
What do u think is the biggest problem that the trojans have on Defense and what would u change? also do u think that CLK has thought to hire an OC after the season?
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
The two biggest problems against Oregon were containing the edge and getting off blocks. Those issues are inherent against spread teams so they will need to be improved this weekend against Arizona State. Kiffin has mentioned the thought of possibly hiring an OC but he hasn't given any indication that he is ready to do it.
Chris (Newport Beach, CA)
I'm not down on CLK as much as others are, but why does he consistently whine about the officiating? Even if he's right (which in the case I think he is) it's in bad taste and doesn't look good.
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
One of the biggest criticisms of Kiffin is that he does a lot of things which don't paint him in a good light. The situation a couple weeks ago with the jersey switching was a perfect example of that, he got heat from around the country on that one.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Is Kiffin on the hot seat if the Trojans finish with 4 or 5 losses?
Garry Paskwietz (5:47 PM)
I think there would be a serious conversation with Pat Haden about the state of the program, maybe not so much about Lane's status but about some of the decisions that have been made and some of the other coaching hires.
Luis (Culver City)
Garry, let's face it. Our defense stinks. We have been exposed the past few weeks and quite frankly, embarassed last week. That was hands down the worst defensive performance I have ever seen from an SC defense. What's your take, inferior talent or a poor schemes/ coaching?
Garry Paskwietz (5:49 PM)
I don't think it's an either/or situation. I think there are issues on both sides. Right now I would put it more on coaching/scheme issues than I would on the players but it's clear that something isn't right. What happened the last two weeks is not something that should be part of Trojan defensive football.
Anthony (Moreno Valley,CA)
A lot of Trojans fan did not really care about Redfield De-Commit.. Y?
Sean (Knoxville, TN)
There are rumblings that Alabama likes their chances at flipping Jalen Ramsey! Do you still see him signing with USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:51 PM)
On Anthony's question, I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that he changed to a soft commit after his Notre Dame visit last month. Ever since that point, a lot of people figured it was only a matter of time before he decommitted.
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
On the Ramsey question, the fact that Ramsey will visit Alabama is something you have to take seriously. Right now I see him sticking with the Trojans but the Tide are the defending national champs and they are a lot closer to his home. You can't dismiss them at this point.
Nick (Denver, CO)
Has the ship sailed on Max Redfield becoming a Trojan now that he has decommited? Thanks
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
It's not completely out of the harbor yet so there's always a chance but right now i don't see it turning around and heading back into port.
USC 521 (L.A.)
Do you know if USC sent a cut-up of the missed and muffed calls and non-calls (including replays) from the last game to the league office? If so, do you know when they will hear back or if they heard, what explanations were provided?
Garry Paskwietz (5:54 PM)
Lane didn't say anything about sending a tape to the league office but it's clear that he was not happy with the non-calls. He has referenced the lack of pass-interference calls multiple times to media members in recent days.
Lamar Dawson played really well as a freshman and seemed to get better every game. Why does it seem he has regressed in his sophomore year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
That question is being asked a lot right now. I don't have the answer but it's one of the things that will get looked at; from his development to the coaching, something hasn't gone as planned for a guy who is wearing 55.
Anthony (Moreno Valley,CA)
Do you Robert Woods will stay? If he stays SC will have a lot of Returning Starters next year I think 9 returning Starters on Offense
Garry Paskwietz (5:57 PM)
I haven't heard it addressed lately. Woods talked last off-season about seeing Barkley and T.J. come back and being inspired to do the same. Not sure if watching them this year has had an impact on his thoughts. A big key might be his health too.
Michael (Chula Vista)
If you could bring back just one of these defensive players from last year in good health to help this historically anemic defense, which one would you choose: Devon Kennard or Isaiah Wiley?
Garry Paskwietz (5:58 PM)
Great question. With all due respect to Kennard, who I think the defense misses so much, I'm going to go with Wiley.
Jason (LF, CA)
You mentioned in the chat that Vanderdoes is solid as long as Orgeron is at USC. Is there a chance he leave after this year?
Garry Paskwietz (6:00 PM)
I think it's something you have to be aware of every year. Ed Orgeron is a highly regarded coach and one of the best recruiters in the country, he has also proven he can coach at the NFL level. It wouldn't be a shock if someone comes knocking on his door this year but it's known that Coach O loves being at SC and he knows he has a real good group of defensive linemen for the future.
Garry, Do you think the "Unfinished Business" campaign and cocky attitude going into the season is the reason for the disappointing season? It seems like they looked too far ahead and werent focused on the process on a week to week basis.
Garry Paskwietz (6:03 PM)
No, I don't. I understand why the question is asked but I don't think that has been the issue. It was a brave thing for Barkley to put himself and the team out there with that phrase, especially now that things haven't quite worked out as planned and you know they will hear a lot about it in the coming weeks. Of course, if they finish the season strong and end up in the Rose Bowl it would be a great statement of Unfinished Business.
Garry Paskwietz (6:03 PM)
That's all the time we have for today. We'll see you again next week.