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October 24, 5:00 PM ET
Chat with Garry Paskwietz

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:00 PM)

Welcome. Let's get started.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Which College Football Players who are now Playing at USC will be in the NFL in 2013?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:01 PM)

Matt Barkley, Curtis McNeal, Khaled Holmes, Wes Horton, T.J. McDonald, Jawanza Starling and Nickell Robey

USC FanAddict (McKay Center)

So with Redfield recently saying he's now a soft verbal are there any other commits that are wavering on their commitment and, how does this affect the rest of our class.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:02 PM)

He's the first one who has publicly changed to a "soft" verbal. I really don't know of any others i would put in that same category. Hawkins re-confirmed his 100% pledge to USC after the visit. Rumors continue to swirl about Larue looking around but so far it doesn't look like anything more than taking visits.

uscrcks (bronx)

Do you think we see Tre Madden at running back or linebacker next season?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:02 PM)

Running back. At least that's what Kiffin is saying so far, he doesn't hesitate when saying Tre will stay on offense.

dennis ford jr (watts,ca.)

do you think max redfield will de-commit,if so does he influence any others to do the same?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:04 PM)

No, I don't. I think he had a really good trip to Notre Dame. Any USC fan who has made the trip to South Bend for a USC vs ND game in mid-October will tell you it's beautiful. I don't doubt that he had a good time. But there will be a lot of factors pulling him back to USC, including his fellow commits such as Su'a Cravens and former HS teammates Tre Madden and Jahleel Pinner.

Kalven (Bay Area)

How hard is it to keep other recruits interested while we are at a full 18?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:05 PM)

I don't think it's a big list. I get the sense the coaches are focused on staying in touch with a select group and they are very open with them about where things stand.

Pietro (San Francisco)

Am I naive or overly optimistic? USC's tough road schedule is the chief cause of its troubles so far, and the rest of this season is going to be glorious. Your thoughts?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:06 PM)

I think there is merit to what you're saying. I'm not saying the tough road schedule was the only reason for the loss but it was a tough road schedule and it wasn't easy to navigate. There is a sense that the rest of the schedule, with only a short Arizona trip and the remainder of the games in the LA area, will seem less taxing in comparison.

Gordon (torrance)

when the team is on the road, what is the rule of thumb for a pre-game meal? How about post game? does the bus stop at the local In and OUt burger on the way to the airport?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:07 PM)

The pre-game meal is usually at the team hotel. The post-game meal is something like In-n-Out or pizza, they are stacked up outside the locker room and each player grabs one before getting on the bus.

dennis ford jr (watts,ca.)

has christian thomas played at all this season?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:08 PM)

No, he hasn't. I think that's a very underrated loss for the team. He would be another athletic option at tight end to go with Telfer and Grimble.

Brian Kelly (South Bend)

Looks like Hawkin and Redfield is going Navy and Gold. Who else can you spare?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:09 PM)

Not so fast, my friend. Hawkins has already re-confirmed that he's solid with USC and Redfield will have plenty of fellow commits and former teammates in his ear.

MJ (Davis, CA)

What are our chances of ending in the NC game if we win out? What scenarios - which teams in front of us to lose - have to play out in your opinion?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:11 PM)

I think the chances will be pretty good, IF the Trojans win out. It looks to me like Kansas State would be a key team that USC needs to have lose. There aren't a lot of big-time opponents left on their schedule and they will be key to watch. I just think the SEC teams will cancel each other out between now and then and the Trojans will have their shot at the Irish and the Ducks.

Pietro (San Francisco)

Arizona: Fifth nationally in total offense (at 548.7 yards per game), and one of only two teams the Trojans will have played with a winning record (the other team was Stanford). Is Arizona USC's toughest opponent so far?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:12 PM)

I'm still going to call Stanford the toughest opponent so far but Arizona is proving themselves to be pretty legit. I definitely think they are better than people thought they would be this year.

Adam (Burbank )

Notre Dame is coming after SC recruits pretty hard. Can a victory over the Sooners convince any of those guys to switch their commitment the Irish? Who, if any, are the most likely to decommit? Also, if the Sooners lose, does that improve our chances with Justin Manning?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:14 PM)

If any game is going to have an impact on those players it would probably be the USC vs ND game rather than Oklahoma vs ND. Right now Max Redfield is the one that seems to be casting a real glance at the Irish so he would be the most likely to potentially de-commit. I'm not sure on Manning, I would think that comes down to an official visit for the Trojans to have a real shot.

dennis ford jr (watts,ca.)

if laremy tunsil commits,who do you think we stop pursueing?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:15 PM)

I don't know, there are a lot of variables to that question. Nico Falah has already said that he is paying attention to the recruitment of Tunsil because he knows there is a chance that it could impact him.

Gordon (torrance)

One final question. who are the players elgible to apply for a 6th year exception?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:15 PM)

Abe Markowitz is the one that is mentioned. Not sure if it will happen or not but he seems to fit the criteria.

MJ (Davis, CA)

If Farmer is healthy, do you see him taking the 3rd receiver's spot away from N Agholar?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:16 PM)

I haven't seen enough yet to make me say that. Right now Nelson is simply making more plays than George. It will be up to George to change that.

SCmiker (West Hills)

Since Holmes and Markowitz are both seniors, who do you think will be the front runners for center next season? Do you see any linemen changing positions?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:18 PM)

There is a chance Markowitz could come back for a sixth year. There is still a lot of faith that Cyrus Hobbi has a good future at center, even after his rough game against Stanford. There is also the chance that John Martinez could get a look.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

With so much talk already about Oregon, I'm worried that Saturday is definitely a trap game against Arizona. Would you agree? Are the players minds firmly on Arizona Garry and not looking ahead to next week?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:19 PM)

I think you are 100% correct. That could be one of the biggest traps of this game and it seems like the focus is there. I don't think it's a case of having to fake a focus either, I think the players understand that Arizona poses a real challenge here. The season is far enough along to look at their body of work and know that they can play.

William (Montana)

The backup players have been able to get in some playing time. Thats good to see. I thought they did great against a poor Colorado team. Do you think they have improved enough to provide significant relief for the starters in the tougher games coming up, or will we need the starters playing more?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:21 PM)

I think Kiffin will look to get them a few reps here and there. It will be critical, particularly on defense, against teams like Arizona and Oregon with their hurry-up offenses. I think Kiffin will be a little more comfortable with guys like Kevin Greene, Anthony Sarao and Ryan Henderson after what they did last week.

MJ (Davis, CA)

On offense, what is our team's identity? Are they a pass first team, or do they need to establish the run for the passing game to take off? How does this play into MB7's chances of winning the Heisman?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:23 PM)

I don't think it's clearly established yet. It looked like the run game was going to be a primary element but last week the passing attack took over (for good reason with all the records being established). I think the Trojans know they can go to the run when needed with two backs they trust but if the aerial game is working it is too good to go away from. I still think Barkley has every chance to win the Heisman with the high-profile games in front of him.

Chad (Southern Cal)

Hi Garry,It seems that we as Trojan fans have lost a bit of perspective. Two years ago the thought of us being a top 10 team this soon probably seemed like a pipe-dream. I am impressed with where this team is given the cards they've been dealt. I'm hoping for a Rose Bowl for Matty Trojan and TMac!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:25 PM)

Agree. There's no denying that USC fans would have found it very satisfying to go undefeated and leave no doubt about unfinished business but that didn't happen. It doesn't mean that was the only goal for this season. Like you say, the Trojans are in the middle of a fantastic Pac-12 conference race with a Rose Bowl berth on the line, an outside shot at the national title and a quarterback who has a legit shot for the Heisman. That is special stuff.

hawaii guy (kailua)

Hey Gary, would you agree that coaches for the rest of the season have to game plan on whether to plan for run game, pass game or both. That seems an advantage as we have been anything but predictable this year and have won ugly and pretty.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:26 PM)

Yes, I do think that is part of Kiffin's plan. He has shown the ability of the USC offense to succeed in a lot of different ways, and that gives something for opposing defenses to think about. Kiffin has definitely coached this year with an eye toward planning for these final games.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

So little of Dion Bailey last week. Is he or was he nursing an injury or was Kiffin simply spreading almost all of his playing time around?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:27 PM)

Spreading the time around. Dion was just one of many starters who got pulled real early once the game was in hand. Kiffin said it was something he paid more attention to than he has in the past.

FightOnSC (Orange County)

With LSU, UW, and Notre Dame all pushing hard, Redfield in his words is now a "soft commit" to SC. What is your gut feel on whether we win the battle? With only 75 restrictions, versatile stud athletes like Redfield are huge to have on board.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:28 PM)

I still think he ends up at USC. I think he took a trip and was impressed, that will happen. But there are still a lot of reasons why he committed to USC in the first place and those will win out in the end.

Geno Smith (West Virginia)

After finally having to play decent teams and the result being two blowout losses in two weeks, I've fallen as fast in the Heisman race as my buddy Matt did earlier in the year. Will we both at least make it to New York?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:28 PM)

Yes, I think both of you will be there.

MJ (Davis, CA)

Though we have 18 commitments for 2013, by the time Feb 2013 rolls around, we may see some changes in that list. Name your top ten USC recruits for the 2013 class that we definitley need to keep in ascending order. Thanks

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:31 PM)

That is a really tough question and I don't think I could answer it. I could give a few players who would definitely be there; Bigelow, Browne, Su'a and Vanderdoes but it would be really hard to differentiate on a complete list. Too many good players to consider.

Nick (LA)

With no room available but three top DB's still out there in Goodman, Willis, and McQuay would CLK consider allowing a player or two to choose another school to make room for anyone of these players?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:32 PM)

Let's just say I think Kiffin would be well prepared to get one of those three if a spot were to open up, no matter how it happened.

Jay (Pasadena)

HOw do you think we will perform agaisnt UA? If we continue to win our, what bowl game do you see us playing in?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:33 PM)

I think it's going to be a shootout. These are two really good offenses but I think the difference is the fact that the USC defense is a lot better than the Arizona defense. If the Trojans win out, I think it is either Rose Bowl or BCS title game, depending on how other teams finish out.

Chad (Southern Cal)

Who do you think would become the #2 receiver if Woods or Lee went down during a game?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:33 PM)

Nelson Agholor

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

How much no huddle to you foresee us running this week?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:34 PM)

It wouldn't surprise me to see it quite a bit.

Oscar (Irwindale CA)

If USC has wins agianst Oregon, Notre Dame (and for some reason Oregon State pulls of the upset in the Civil War) Oregon State for the PAC 12 CCG will the Trojans have enough juice to get them in the NCG and do they have to be blowout wins or just wins? Thanks Gary!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:35 PM)

If that scenario played out I think there would be enough "juice". you would be talking about wins over 3 top 10 teams in that span (Oregon, ND and OSU). That should be enough for the Trojans to make their case.

hawaii guy (kailua)

What are your thoughts of trying George Farmer on D, say at the corner spot, he is big, but who has his closing speed anywhere in cfb?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:36 PM)

I don't think George has the change of direction to play corner. He has amazing speed when he is going straight but lateral movement is not his strength.

Nervous in Newport (Newport Beach)

I feel evil at the thought but, through all the games this season, Aundrey Walker has seemed to be the weakness in the offense. Based on what you've seen in practice, any chance: 1.) Max Tuerk kills it this weekend as starting LT; and 2.) Is he ready to take the starting job for the stretch run and into the future?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:37 PM)

I think Max is right on the brink of making that happen. I honestly don't know if it will happen or not because Walker is trying to hold him off, but there is a lot of thought that Tuerk is a potential star at the position.

kody (Redondo Beach)

Is everyone getting overly excited about the CU game or is the offense stating the get its mojo back from last year? With the UA D no stellar by any means, will we see another offensive show case from the men of troy? Fight ON!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:40 PM)

Honestly, I don't think it mattered much that the CU defense was so bad, that offensive explosion for the Trojans was really needed for the team. Whatever it takes to get their confidence at the highest level for this stretch run is a good thing. I do expect the offense to put up big numbers again this weekend because they will need to score some points against this defense, which has not been good against the pass.

Amir (Sherman Oaks)

If you had your choice who would you take? McQuay or Redfield? Willis or Ramsey?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:40 PM)

Redfield/Ramsey.

Matthew (Newport Beach)

Obviously the 'Cats were able to throw up some points vs. the Stanford D we struggled against. Do you think our D has a definite advantage compared to Stanford's due to our speed? If so, do you see us being able to contain Arizona or are you predicting more of a shoot out?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:41 PM)

I do think the SC defense is built more for Arizona than Stanford's defense was. The SC defense was basically built for Oregon and the Arizona offense is the one in the conference that most closely resembles Oregon. I think that's an advantage for the SC defense this weekend in a shootout.

RRae (Santa Clara, CA)

Hi Garry,Does Shaw start at CB for the remainder of the year? Also, your prediction on what the RB rotation looks like next year? (Don't forget Madden!) Thank you!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:43 PM)

I don't know if it will be Shaw or Harris, it could be either one. I'll say Redd-Morgan--Madden-Isaac-Davis.

Ian (New Orleans)

Does TJ McDonald project as a first rounder? (I'd sure love to see him in black and gold) How do you see Bailey and Madden's game translating to the NFL? Although I don't mind working outside the spotlight, when is USC's defense going to be acknowledged as one of the nation's best?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:45 PM)

I do think T.J. is playing well enough to be in the first round range. If he finishes strong, it would go a long way toward cementing his spot. I think Bailey translates well, I would guess that Madden would be an effective NFL style back based on the limited time we saw him in spring but would certainly want to see him more. I think a lot of people are still pretty wary of believing in SC's defense this year, no matter how well they are playing.

steve (east bay)

WIth Kennard taking a redshirt how does that effect recruiting numbers for next year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:46 PM)

it shouldn't. The Trojans will still be able to sign a full class and they should have no problem meeting the 75 man roster limit next fall.

Luis (Culver City)

Garry, what happened to Gerald Bowman? The guy was heavily recruited and hyped but has yet to make a solid contribution.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:48 PM)

It's a pretty good safety group ahead of him. T.J. is playing at an All-American level and Jawanza has stepped up his game as much as any player on defense. On top of that there are a couple experienced reserves in Demetrius Wright and Drew McAllister, just not a ton of opportunities for Bowman to make an impact.

Matthew (Newport Beach)

Heard rumors earlier today that M. Adams recruiting and interest in USC has shot up significantly lately. Obviously he and Bigelow have been tweeting, but are you also hearing he's becoming a USC lean?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:49 PM)

There hasn't really been much beyond the thoughts he shared on those Twitter messages with Bigelow, although they certainly seemed to indicate that he is looking more at USC. He said Orgeron is coming after him hard.

trevor (l.a.)

I know outside of getting to play Stanford, it's a little out of their control, but are you concerned that USC has not beaten a winning team this year? And in the process, they haven't made it look easy moving through the lighter part of their schedule?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:50 PM)

I'm not concerned about that. If USC wins this weekend, they will enter November in the top 10 with some high-profile games remaining and plenty of opportunities to make a huge splash.

stevie w (idaho)

any chance max browne starts freshman year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:51 PM)

I would say very slim. Max Wittek and Cody Kessler are both real good and they've been at USC for two years. That will be tough for Browne to overcome.

rico (newps)

UA?s offense is arguably the best USC has seen all season. With USC?s defense seemingly on the cusp of being among the nation?s ?elite?, will the Trojans be able to snuff out the Wildcats? potent attack (a la Oregon?s ?elite? D), or will Arizona put up gaudy numbers (e.g. Stanford?s ?elite? D) as many folks expect?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:52 PM)

I do expect Arizona to put up some numbers because, as you say, they are really good. But I also expect the SC defense to rise up with some key stops because they are pretty good too. As you mention, the Wildcats offense is a lot like Oregon so it will be good for the Trojans to see that kind of attack before the welcome the Ducks next weekend.

raul (los angeles) [via mobile]

Who will be the starting qb for usc in 2013?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:53 PM)

I still think there is a lot of competition left to go but if I have to answer now I will say Wittek slightly over Kessler.

stevie w (idaho)

is it just me or is bailey and breslin not getting the respect they deserve nationally?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:56 PM)

It's not just you. Bailey is one of the more underappreciated players around when you consider how consistent he has been over the last two years. I think Breslin has to get a lot of consideration for conference newcomer of the year.

Ken (Palmdale)

Gary do you see the OL really starting to come together and improve? seems like that will be the key as we go up against the tougher part of our schedule.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:57 PM)

I think the coaches were hoping things would be a little more settled right now, particularly at LT. This is the time when they wanted to have a clear starter but that's not the case with the recent injury to Walker and the fact that Tuerk has been pushing him so hard anyways. I don't think the line is far off from being really solid because there are so many other good pieces in place.

rico (newps)

Regarding the backup QB switching jerseys during the Colorado game for the conversion attempt, I?ve heard a few takes and am wondering the official policy on this practice: Is it (a) an illegal switch that should have drawn a flag (or post-game reprimand); (b) technically legal per the rulebook but borderline unethical; or (c) CLK creating a competitive (although gimmicky) advantage the same as if he were calling a trick play?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:59 PM)

The key wording when it comes to the rule is the attempt to deceive an opponent. The changing of jerseys during a game is legal, it just isn't supposed to be done to deceive. Kiffin is claiming it was done within the rules. Not sure what the competitive advantage was with the holder but you know he has his reasons.

Rich (The OC)

Garry,Your thoughts on the video tribute to Matt after breaking the record last Saturday? I thought it was as well done as any I have seen in a while, and I think Matt (and a lot of us that saw it) will remember it for a long time.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:01 PM)

Agreed. Terrific stuff, especially Carson and Leinart. You simply can't get much better for that moment and I think it really got to Barkley. Those two were among his biggest heroes growing up.

Kalven (Bay Area)

Predict USC record had they played in the SEC, vs LSU,BAMA,FLORIDA,Scar,Dawgs,Miss St.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:01 PM)

I have no idea, that would be a heck of a schedule though.

rico (newps)

You are a GM during the 2014 NFL draft. Marqise Lee and DAT are still on the board and its your pick. Who do you take (and please dont give us USC fans false hope by saying Robert Woods)?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:03 PM)

If I'm an NFL GM choosing between those two there's no doubt I'm taking Marqise. As much as I admire the talent of Thomas, the size factor in the league makes Marqise the more likely player to have an impact. Of course, the fact that Marqise is an amazing athlete helps too.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:03 PM)

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