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October 10, 5:00 PM ET
Chat with Garry Paskwietz

Garry Paskwietz
  (4:59 PM)

Welcome everyone. Let's get started.

Joe (Pas)

Do you think USC will finish the season in the Top 10?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:00 PM)

Yes, I do. There are some high profile victory opportunities for the Trojans down the stretch. If they get the wins, they will rise in the polls

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will replace QB Matt Barkley on the USC Roster if he goes to the NFL in 2013?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:01 PM)

Kiffin named Max Wittek as the No. 2 QB but said that would have no bearing on the starter next year. I think it means at least something, I'll go with Wittek as the slim favorite right now over Kessler. Both have looked good in fall practices.

jj (tx)

Not that the refs would ever skew their calls to favor Oregon, but I like how they up their pace in getting the ball to the line, ready for play at one pace for Oregon, and a completely different pace for the other teams. They should get the ball to the line at the same pace for all teams.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:02 PM)

I'm sure if another coach thinks that is happening he will be sure to let the officials know. Coaches are very on top of stuff like that.

Fight On (Hawaii)

Has Josh Shaw basically claimed that #2 corner spot? How has he looked at corner so far too?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:03 PM)

No, I would not say that yet. He is getting a look and he has been solid but I don't think you can say he has won the job.

Phil (Denver Co)

Gary,When Matt B. has had more than 2 seconds to throw the ball he has looked all world.. In games where our O line has been blown up he has had no chance. Where do you think we are against a ND or Oregon who can pressure us?I am really worried about this being a 3-4 loss year..

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:05 PM)

I agree that the protection is one of the key issues and I'm surprised that's the case. I really thought this line was going to continue what the 2011 line did but it's clear how much of a difference a guy like Matt Kalil can make. Walker may have potential but Kalil was worthy of the #4 pick in the draft. That's a pretty drastic gap as far as right here, right now.

TG (Compton)

why won't CLK use all his players like Oregon do on offense to get everyone involve

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:06 PM)

That's been a criticism of Kiffin at times and I think it has to do with trusting the players. Kiffin is big on that, he needs to trust that the player is going to be focused on doing the job properly, if he hasn't gained that trust yet from practice, or if a players loses it by something that happened in a game, it can be hard to see a lot of playing time.

Fight On (Hawaii)

Does Lane Kiffin and co. have the same success in recruiting that they had this year, next year? The top recruits for the c/o 2014 all seem to be in SEC territory.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:07 PM)

They are certainly off to a good start so far. I don't think you can overstate how big it is to get the commits from three top offensive linemen. The rest will come, it's another limited class in terms of numbers and there will be plenty of talent available to choose from. Remember, the Trojans are also good about going out of their region to fill certain spots when needed.

dj (annie house)

did george farmer play against utah?where is he and devon flournoy?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:08 PM)

yes, George did play against Utah. Right now Farmer and Flournoy are behind Agholor and even Agholor isn't getting a whole lot of looks as the #3 receiver.

TG (Compton)

what the new news for the recruits for USC

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:10 PM)

There isn't a ton right now. During the recent bye week the coaches made a round of visits to the committed players to remind them of their importance. During the season, however, the coaches said they are trying to pay as much attention to the current team as possible. There is still some contact with a few recruits such as Tahaan Goodman and Leon McQuay.

face (val house)

do you think simplicity is best when u have superior athletes,just designing a game plan and allowing their athletic ability to dominate the opponent,because it seems like thinking slows us down,which levels the playing field

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:11 PM)

Yes, I do think there is an element of truth to that. As John McKay used to always say "if we play our best and they play their best, we'll win". USC is usually going to match up well with their opponent in terms of sheer talent. There are times when creative playmaking is working and it can be beautiful but there is also beauty in the simple domination as well.

doodie (dungeon)

if you could have 1 prospect tht usc doesnt have commited,who would it be and why?also what do you see as our area of need next year outside of qb experience

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:13 PM)

Tahaan Goodman. I think he would be a solid addition to the defense at safety. I also think the safety spot will be the top need next year on defense. McDonald, Starling and McAllister will all be gone.

dj (annie house)

is christian thomas able to play yet?i know next season we wont need any dlinemen if this class stays in tact,but do u think junior pomee or christian thomas sees the field on defense this year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:15 PM)

Christian Thomas hasn't played in any games yet. It's been frustrating to not have him out there for the Trojans, it's been almost a year and a half now. I wouldn't rule out Pomee at all, he was a terrific DE in high school and the Trojans are in good shape at tight end with Grimble and Telfer.

S Havili (Los Angeles)

Why won't LK give Soma the ball more often??? He knows the system can catch the ball is the second fastest RB and should be able to get the 1 or 2 yards to keep the chains moving which they will need vs Oregon/ND/ucla. Plus it will keep the defense honest and a little more unpredictable????

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:16 PM)

I thought Soma would see a little more action but I do think it's coming. He is still only a redshirt freshman and I talked earlier in the chat about how it's important with Kiffin to earn trust. That should happen more and more for Soma as he goes along because he's got a lot of talent.

bay bay (annie room)

why dont sc have a focus?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:17 PM)

I don't think there's anything lacking in the focus with this group. For some reason it hasn't all come together yet like they would like but I don't think it has anything to do with focus.

Donald (Louisville)

Garry, I believe we will beat Washington, although not as easily as last year and I also think we will win all our games up to the Oregon game. I really think that Oregon will hand it to us at the Coliseum. I feel like they don't have nearly as much talent as us, however, they use it much better. What do you think of the Oregon match up, and do you think we will beat them? Thanks as always!!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:19 PM)

I'm going to give Oregon their respect right now. They've become a consistent program with the ability to reload and this year is no exception. I think the team they are bringing down the Coliseum is very good, more than capable of coming away with a win. I think the Trojans need to be playing better than they are now in order to win, I also expect that to happen. I think the Trojans step up their play as the season goes along and they are peaking when the Ducks come to town for the big USC win.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Have you recovered from your coronary after the start of that Utah game And what do the Trojans have to learn from that game and improve upon in order to prepare for Oregon and other tough PAC-12 opponents?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:22 PM)

That was a wild start. It really wasn't that bad because it happened so early, it was fluky in that regard. Once the Trojans got on track after that they really didn't have too many problems. I think the main thing for the Trojans right now is just finding their groove, I don't think there is one individual position move that would do that (although they do need to figure out the No. 2 corner spot), it's just more a case of finding the rhythm like they have shown before.

dj (annie house)

we are about 40 percent thru this season and still doesnt have an identity...in past eras usc chose its style and others changed their style to beat us,now days we are constantly changing our style to play teams,why is that?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:23 PM)

This is clearly Lane Kiffin's team and it's the way he wants to do things. It worked at the end of 2011 as the Trojans offensive identity was explosive and it's certainly capable of happening again, it just hasn't happened yet. Part of it is the commitment to running the ball, last year when the Trojans made the commitment during the ND game it changed the course of the offense.

Martin (R cucamonga)

Hello Garry! With the struggles the offense seems to have don't u think goin no huddle offense might get them goin something to change the pace and keep defenses of their feet? Defenses would not be able to rotate as often as they seem to well prepared for our ffense!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:25 PM)

If anybody can handle it, it would be Barkley, but that is still a lot to ask of a college quarterback on a regular basis. Matt has certainly run the no-huddle at times in certain situations and Kiffin doesn't seem afraid to use it.

Scott (LA)

Garry, with the second CB continuing to be an issue going forward, could you see Jalen Ramsey starting as a Freshman. And how has shaw looked at CB compared to Harris when he practices there?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:27 PM)

It's possible. So far nobody else has really stepped up and claimed the position, if that doesn't change by next year then a true freshman like Ramsey or Hawkins could make a run. Shaw offers a bigger option than Harris, a more physical style, but there has been no decision made on a starter.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

How is Robet Woods doing health wise after the scary hit that left him stumbling in the middle of the field? Given the concussion sensitive age that we're living in, will Kiffin be extra careful with his star receiver? I know the Trojan staff has been crticized in the past for this (Jarvis Jones, Armond Armstead), but this is definitely a case to err on the side of caution. Don't you think?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:28 PM)

I think that's a great statement in defense of the USC doctors allowing him to go back in. They have erred on the side of caution in the past, at great expense to the USC football team, but they made the decision to let Robert play. They should get the benefit of the doubt on that one. Woods has said he is fine in every media session since then.

hawaii guy (kailua)

Hey Gary, Can you give us an update on DK and Tre Madden. Whats the deal with Buck Allen, I was hoping we would have placards with "buck" on them in the stands by now! How are the rehabs going? Do you think they will put trufant on woods or lee more? Thanks

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:30 PM)

They don't really give any injury updates these days so it's hard to know specifics on Kennard or Madden. They are around the team a lot though. With Allen, he just hasn't been consistent enough yet. There are good runs here and there but nothing to make you think he is challenging for playing time yet. Of course, there are also three good backs ahead of him too.

Matt (Los Angeles)

Garry, If SC were to win out it seems they'd have a decent shot of getting to the Championship game having to beat Oregon twice and ND both top 7 teams. Your thoughts?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:30 PM)

I agree that it would be a good shot. Those games would all be considered big wins in the eyes of the polls so I think it would give the Trojans are real chance.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Does USC need to finish at worse 10-2, with a victory over ND, and at least one win over Oregon, to gain a BCS berth?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:31 PM)

I think that's a fair scenario. Anything less than that would probably not result in a BCS berth.

Nathan (Evansville,IN)

Do you think DeAnthony Thomas would have had as big as impact at USC compared to what he is doing at Oregon?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:32 PM)

Great question. The honest answer is probably not, he is really well suited for that offense. But I also have to imagine that Kiffin had a lot of ideas in mind for how to use him so he certainly could have had a very, very productive role.

Andy (Westlake Village)

In your opinion does Silas Redd or Nickell Robey return for there senior seasons? Who steps in for them if they leave? Fight on

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:34 PM)

I think Redd stays but I think Robey goes. For Robey it would be more for family reasons than anything. If he leaves, his replacement could depend a lot on what happens for the remainder of the year. Do other corners step up at the spot opposite him? Is Kevon Seymour ready to lock down one spot? Will there be an opening for the true freshmen? Lots of possibilities at corner next year.

Chaz Michael Michaels (Down Under)

It seems like USC has been jobbed in the last couple AP polls despite convincing wins over Cal and Utah. Are the Trojans being penalized due to the stigma borne from underachieving in previous years? Or is an objective voter who watched the last 57 minutes of the Utah game really convinced that USC wouldn?t beat an LSU team that couldn?t put an offensive touchdown on the board last week and surrendered 22 points to Towson?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:36 PM)

I think USC fell more than they should have after the Stanford loss. I think a little bit of that was people waiting for USC to slip up after all the pre-season hype. If you look around right now, USC isn't playing as well as anybody in college football but there's no reason to think they can't be right there by the end of the year.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

How concerned are you about the road game at Arizona given the Wildcats fast pace offense, and the Trojans lack of depth?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:37 PM)

More concerned now than I was at the beginning of the year. Arizona had a lot of success throwing the ball against the Trojans last year so it could easily be another shootout.

Nathan (Evansville,IN)

Do you think USC will always continue being a traditional pro style offense or can you ever see them going to a spread (ie running quarterback)?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:38 PM)

I think they stay with traditional pro style. Kiffin has made clear that it's his intention to stay with that system. USC is one of the few schools that runs a pro style at a high level and that is an attractive part of the equation for a high school player with thoughts of getting to the next level.

mike (boston)

How will U$C stop Oregon't offense? The $C defense stinks. and how will that horrible O-line protect Barkley against a decent pass rush like ND?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:39 PM)

Thanks for your objective question. It will be a big challenge for the SC defense to stop the Oregon offense, they are good. The key, as it was last year, was speed and containing the Ducks explosive plays as much as possible.

hawaii guy (kailua)

Do you think the team will have less of an "expectation" to win by the time oregon rolls into town? That seems to be a big problem this year, guys watching their work and such.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:40 PM)

I think it would be a good thing if the team is playing more for themselves at that time, rather than trying to meet any expectations.

Chaz Michael Michaels (Down Under)

Garry - with USC as a one-loss team on the cusp of the top-10, what outcome in the LSU-Scar matchup is more favorable for their chances to leapfrog their way back into the national championship picture?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:42 PM)

I would say an LSU victory because I don't see LSU being able to beat Alabama down the road. South Carolina is pretty good and they can run the ball with a savvy quarterback, I see them as a real threat this year.

Whitney Lewis (Pomona)

Was i better then George Farmer?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:43 PM)

There was a time you were really good Whit. But I think George was better. Both of you were terrific players at the high school level.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:43 PM)

There was a time you were really good Whit. But I think George was better. Both of you were terrific players at the high school level.

Nathan (Evansville,IN)

Five years from now, who is the coach at USC and what does the status of the program look like?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:45 PM)

I think the program is going to be in pretty good shape actually. Things are really set up well for the next two seasons and as long as recruiting stays at a high level there really shouldn't be much of a drop. As far as the coach, I think it will be Kiffin's option to be here if he wants. If he decides at some point he wants to try the NFL, it wouldn't surprise me to see Jack Del Rio get a call from Haden.

Greg (LA)

I think I saw the ghost of Isaiah Wiley in the library last week. At least I hope it was him.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:45 PM)

Can you have him time travel back to the summer and pay more attention to his homework?

Cinemagraddad (Los Angeles)

Who will win the Stanford/ Oregon Game, in your opinion? I guess the broader question is will that team represent the North in the title game?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:46 PM)

I think it will be Oregon. They looked too good right now and Stanford has not consistently been the team that beat the Trojans. I think the Pac-12 title game will be USC vs Oregon at the Coliseum

Chaz Michael Michaels (Down Under)

how does the number of players expected to depart due to graduation, the draft and normal attrition stack up against the recruiting class sizes over the next couple years?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:47 PM)

It doesn't look too bad right now. If things don't change, the Trojans should be able to manage the numbers fairly well. The problem is going to be the unexpected issues, the departures that they don't see coming.

heyunclemick (Universal)

Will we continue to see those quick screens? Is that Kiffin's lack of confidence in straight up running? What ever happened to the quick slant or inside quick screens?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:49 PM)

In Kiffin's system, that play is basically the same as a run because it's a fairly safe play that gets the ball into the hands of an explosive playmaker with a chance to make something happen.

George Farmer (Dog House)

What school will i be playing football at next year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:49 PM)

USC

Donald (Louisville)

How do you think the Trojans will look next year, especially on offense? Without Barkley will they have an offense at all? They hardly throw the ball down field with a senior quarterback and hopeful Heisman trophy winner. They certainly will not with a first year quarterback right? What are your thoughts? Thanks!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:52 PM)

It all depends on how Kiffin wants to use the quarterback. Wittek is known for his deep ball, he probably even throws it as well if not better than Barkley. That could be a factor if Wittek wins the job. There will also be plenty of talent on the offense to run the ball with several talented running backs, two veteran tight ends and four returners on the o-line.

trevor (L.A.)

I really hope USC doesn't throw the ball as much as it did last year against Oregon. Sure, we scored points, but we also didn't give our defense much rest. Agree?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:53 PM)

I actually thought the strategy worked really well. The Trojans basically went all out at the beginning and were able to build a big enough lead to hang on. At some point you're going to need to score points against the Ducks because chances are they are going to get theirs.

uscrcks (Bronx)

Who would you predict to have a big game on offense and defense for USC this weekend?Mine are robert woods (similar to the cuse game) and Hayes Pullard (who has been quiet the past few weeks)

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:54 PM)

Woods would be a great choice. I also think the tight ends are going get more use this week. I'm going to say Bailey on defense, he had three tackles last week, a low total for him, and I think he bounces back with a big game.

MJ (Davis, CA)

What do you think our strategy should be going into UW game; run more, or pass to establish the run?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:55 PM)

I'm a believer that the Trojans offense works best when the run game has been established. Redd has shown the ability to handle a bigger workload, not sure if McNeal will be available but Morgan appears ready for more as well.

mike (boston)

Why does Barkley have such fluffy hair?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:56 PM)

It's rare these days to hear a question asked about Barkley that hasn't been asked before. Congratulations.

Pete Caroll (Seattle)

Miss me yet??

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:56 PM)

Hope you are enjoying Seattle coach.

MJ (Davis, CA)

Which one of the following are a tougher test for us: ND or Oregon?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:57 PM)

Notre Dame is off to a nice start and I do think they are real but I'm going to say Oregon. The Ducks offense hasn't missed a beat this year and this is a very good defense by their standards.

trevor (L.A.)

It seems like Barkley and Woods have a lot of miscommunication between them. It seems like once a game, Woods runs one way and Barkley throws the other way. Why does this happen so frequently in their 3rd year together?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:59 PM)

Kiffin has said a lack of practice time is a factor. Woods was severely limited in practices last year due to his ankle, he didn't take part in off-season workouts this year and has been limited in practice this year since he came back. No matter how good they are together, there is still a certain amount of work that needs to be done in order to maintain such good chemistry.

Geno Smith (Morgantown)

Is me getting a season-ending injury Barkleys only shot at getting back into the Heisman discussion?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:59 PM)

i don't think so. Kudos to what you have done Geno but there are some big spotlight games left for Barkley on the schedule to get back in the race

Ryan (San Diego)

Garry, I've taken in a few Domer games this year on television and I don't believe they're a top 10 team in the country. I'm thinking Trojans by two td's minimum when the time comes. Thoughts?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:01 PM)

I'm going to give them a little more credit but it's certainly possible you are right. This is the third year for Kelly and it's usually when his teams start to figure him out. The Irish have looked better this year, it's just a matter of thinking it's real or if they will eventually fall a little. We will certainly know by the time they visit the Coliseum.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:01 PM)

That's all the time we have for today. See you next week.