Welcome. Let's get started.
We all know that the team with the most talent doesn't always win, but doesn't it seem like this whole season we have looked better on paper and in discussion than on the field? What are the coaches doing to evaluate their lack of production?
The coaches have talked a lot about self-evaluation in recent weeks, particularly on the defensive side of the ball after the Oregon game. I thought it was good to see the pitch play a few times against ASU, that's one area of the run game that many people think could have been used more this season.
I've read that ND is now the leader for M Redfield. If true, who else - beside from T Goodman, and L. McQuay - do you see in the mix for that spot? Thanks.
There's a chance Priest Willis could move into the mix but right now I see it coming down to McQuay or Goodman with McQuay seeming to be in the drivers seat right now. Leon will be at USC the weekend of Dec 7th for an official visit, that weekend will coincide with the visits from the 8 committed players who plan to enroll early. Leon also plans to enroll early at his school of choice.
Hello Garry,Still trying to get over that pasting by Oregon. My question is the following.I've read in the days from various sources that we currently have three soft verbals from Nico Falah, Jalen Ramsey and Ediie Vanderdoes. What can you tell me about these three. Redfield already gone how strong are those verbals in your opinion ?Thanks Garry....Fight On
I don't know that I would call any of those soft. All three are planning to take official visits to other schools, I know some scouting services rank a player as a soft commit if that is the case. Vanderdoes has said the only thing that would make him look around is if Orgeron leaves. That's fair enough. The only way I could see Falah heading elsewhere is if someone like Laremy Tunsil pulls a surprise verbal to SC. The SC coaches like Falah a lot and they do not want to lose him. Ramsey is getting a lot of attention from some SEC schools but so far is saying all the right things about sticking with SC. We'll see what happens. Thanks for the message.
Has Lamar Dawson's play been worthy of wearing #55?
If Lamar wasn't wearing #55 I don't think there would be a lot of pressure to put him in the number. That's the danger of giving a recruit a number like that, he has to go through the growing pains of earning the number and I don't think that's happened yet.
Where do you feel Lee fits in with this years current draft class? Assuming he ops to go.
Marqise Lee doesn't have the option to go this year. I saw one report this week saying he would be the top receiver available if he could come out this year but he can't. He'll have to settle for being the top receiver in college football again next season.
What are our chances of landing Trey Johnson or P Willis? Who do you like to see fill in that last spot based on our team needs?
Slim and slim. I think it will be Leon McQuay.
Tough question, Garry, but are you hearing any speculation in your circle regarding Pat Haden pulling the plug on one or more coaches?With the magnitude of talent USC has, the coaching seems to be the reason for lack of anticipated success.
Yes, that speculation is out there but it's not anything specific. I don't think it's a stretch at all to think that there are going to be some very strong conversations in the off-season about elements of the program, and that would include coaches.
Would it be logical to think that with rex ryan and andy reid probably on their way out of their nfl jobs that USC would attempt to lure one of them to USC as either the head coach or defensive coach.
No, although I'm sure Marshall alum Pete Arbogast would be happy to endorse his fellow Barrister Andy Reid.
Is Max Redfield most likely no longer a viable USC target?
He's still a target and he says he will still take a look, I just don't think it will happen unless something changes.
Is LaRue solid or do you see him (or any other commits) going elsewhere?
Larue is still taking trips so you just never know what will happen. He is saying he's still solid but that's what Max Redfield said before his visit to Notre Dame as well. Things can change in recruiting.
How imperative are the next 2 wins for the Kiffins? Safe to say both games are must wins or am I over blowing the situation?
They are huge. Saturday for sure because a loss means no Pac-12 title game and that would really be a blow for this team. After that, the Notre Dame game is going to be a big opportunity on a national stage to show where the SC program is at. That would probably be a good time for the Kiffins to make a good representation for USC.
Once again we are faced with a mobile QB and he is the real deal. What are the chances that Monte has a credible game plan to stop him and Franklin? What about that freak of an athlete they have at TE?
Those are two of the main concerns, along with Franklin. I agree that Hundley is the real deal and SC is going to have to deal with him for a few more years. It wouldn't surprise me if T.J. McDonald has more of an active role in going after him. When SC has faced tall TE's in the past it has usually been Dion Bailey so he will probably draw the assignment again.
Robert Woods did not look happy last week (and understandably so). Are you surprised to see how he has been used this season and what do you think is the cause for his drop off?
I am surprised to see the drop in production. I say that with all due respect to Marqise Lee but I just didn't expect to see the disparity in production between the two. I don't think Robert is 100% healthy but I also don't think injuries are a main issue either. Kiffin talked in his conference call on Sunday about the number of ways they had tried to get the ball to Robert against ASU so it's something he's aware of.
If we do win the South Division, do you see us playing and beating Oregon/Stanford/OSU on Nov 30th?
I think it will be Oregon until proven otherwise and I think there's a reason it's tough to beat the same team twice in one season. USC would not have a fear of the Ducks in that situation but they would certainly need to see a few stops on defense. I would pick the Trojans in that game.
I hate to say it but Jim Mora looks like he can coach his a** off and he is winning games without deflating balls and switching jerseys. How much pressure do you think the Kiffin's (particularly Lane) are under to beat a first yr head coach in Jim Mora?
A lot. You are correct, it has been a real switch in the perception of the two coaches since last summer. Mora was the one making comments about shootings near the USC campus and the state of the program he inherited was not good. Kiffin was on top of the world with a #1 team and all of his issues behind him. I think it's very safe to say that this is the biggest game of Lane Kiffin's coaching career so far.
If Lane loses to UCLA do we pull the cord and fire him? Hear rumors about Kennedy Pola/Orgeron becoming next head coach. Any truth to this?
I don't know if Pat Haden would fire him or not but I wouldn't rule it out. I think there is a lot of pressure on Kiffin right now, his team has underachieved this year and he's made a series of off-field situations that haven't reflected well on the university lately.
Garry-Jim Mora doesn't seem like a clown like the last guy who was at the helm in Westwood...That worries me (especially given the fact that our head coach has looked more like a clown with his antics and coaching this year) My question is how much weight will this game have on our ability to dominate in state recruiting? Because bRuins are trending up, while we have been exposed to a certain degree.
I think it's more of a swing game in recruiting than could have been anticipated. Like you say, all of a sudden UCLA has some momentum and the Trojans are struggling to regain their footing a bit. A victory by UCLA in this game could help swing that momentum even more, something the Trojans certainly don't want to see happen. Of course, the good will built up by Mora and the Bruins lately has been done against teams that aren't the Trojans so the game could be a reminder of why USC has been the dominant program in recent years.
Is Robert Woods upset with how things are going? Do you see him going pro after this season?
I think there has been some frustration with Robert. This season has been a hard one on guys who had high expectations coming into the year, both personally and for the team. I don't know if he goes pro or not, he really hasn't given any kind of indication either way.
Will the Trojans land Leon McQuay? Thx GP
As of right now I say yes.
Garry,This offensive scheme is basically slants and bubble screens to Lee. What happened to our TE's? Any fear that the team is becoming too predictable? How does Kiffen justify the play calling?
I talked to one respected former coach yesterday who said something similar. He said for all the talent the Trojans have, they rely too much on a guy like Lee and a play like the bubble screen. I'm sure Kiffin can gives you stats and reasons of why he chooses that strategy and he will point to Matt Barkley setting conference records and Lee being the No 2 receiver in the country.
Why did we wait till week 9 to start running Curtis McNeal? Silas Redd is a fumble waiting to happen..
I'm not going to go that far. I realize Silas has a few fumbles but he's done some good tough running for the Trojans too. He's earned my respect in his time here. I agree on McNeal though, I know injuries have slowed him a little this year but he gave a reminder last Saturday of just how much he can impact the offense when he plays a big role. It was good to see for him.
There are rumblings that Leon McQuay has cooled on USC. Are you aware of this?
I've seen the message board speculation. Haven't heard that on this end but we will definitely be monitoring the McQuay situation.
What's your prediction of our final record for the year and which bowl game does USC end up playing in?
10-3, Rose Bowl
Do you think the Trojans will be able to seal the deal with Leon McQuay which would then hopefully keep Jalen Ramsey in the fold since they're very good friends?
I think there's a very good chance of that happening.
How cool is it to have this match up mean so much this year (Pac 12 championship and possible Rose bowl berth)? There is a lot of pressure in this game and this season hasn't exactly proven it can handle big game / must win situations. How much faith should I have in Kiffin and Barkley's ability to rise to the occasion and pull out a victory?
I couldn't agree with you more. I wrote a story for tomorrow with "5 story lines" for the game. One of the storylines I chose was asking the question if this is the biggest game in Barkley and Kiffin's careers? I think you can make a real good argument that it is for both guys. This could be a real statement game, particularly for Barkley. This rivalry is always a great one but even more so when there is so much on the line like this year.
Mark Banker is a good DC thats been sitting at Oregon State for years. He does a lot with little talent. What are your thoughts on him as an DC?
Wow, I talked with someone yesterday who mentioned his name as well. He's got a good rep. If there are any changes at SC, I have to imagine Ed Orgeron would get a look and a name like Joe Barry could get tossed around as well.
Is it safe to say that Kiffen is worried about stats so much that it has hurt SC winning couple more games? Example over 1000 passing vs Oregon and Az no wins
I don't know if that has cost games but there's no doubt Kiffin pays attention to stats, no matter how many times he says he doesn't.
Few month ago, Vernon Hargreaves was favoring USC over other schools but he choose Florida. Robey will be gone in 2013 and I thought he will be a perfect replacement for Robey. Do we have any chance with him?
I haven't heard anything lately that would make me think there is a chance with Hargreaves. I think that ship has sailed.
Garry, Robert Woods has completely fallen off the radar. Last week he was wide open at least 3-4 times, yet Barkley forced the ball to other places, what gives? The obvious answer is Lee's develoment, but it has to be more then that.
Kiffin brought this up in the Sunday media call. He listed the different ways they tried to get the ball to Robert, about plays that were designed for him but didn't work out or other factors. The fact that he brought it up means he understands it's out there and he can tell Robert is feeling it. It wouldn't at all surprise me to see Robert have a big game this weekend.
If USC Wins it's last two games, wins the Pac12 South, then, Oregon beats Stanford, loses to OSU, but still wins the Pac12 North via the Stanford win, and loses to USC in the Pac12 Championship, will USC then be invited to the Rose Bowl?
OK, I think I followed that. USC would be the winner of the Pac-12 title game and would go to the Rose Bowl.
Hellooooo Garry!!! So when I watch the games that UCLA lost, I noticed that Oregon State and Cal was focused on stopping the run and forcing Hundley to throw. They were willing to give up the big pass plays, which there weren't many since Hundley isn't the most accurate passer under presser and doesn't seem to be able to make decisions quickly. Do you think you'll see the same from my D this weekend?
Hundley is completing 77% of his passes over the last three games coach so I think it's fairly safe to say he is an accurate passer. He's a legit dual-threat quarterback, in the mold of guys who have given your defense trouble lately like Matt Scott and Marcus Mariota.
Gary,Thanks for all you do. Can you see Jack Del Rio as the USC coach in the next couple of years and how do you think this years recruiting class shakes out?
I think USC would be fortunate to have Jack Del Rio as head coach, if things should ever work out that way. So far it looks like things are holding tight in the class, the departure of Redfield doesn't seem to have had an impact on anyone else.
We are a confusing team to watch. Pro Style offense with spread components with the personnel of a Spread minus the athletic QB. Whats up? Why are we trying to be mix and match the two? Seems like an identity crisis.
You seem to have hit on one of the biggest criticisms of this year's offense. Who are they? Do they have an identity? Through 10 games I don't think you can truly give an answer to that.
Any chance we pull Tim Williams (DE) or Ruben Foster (MLB)?
I would say it's an extreme longshot on either guy. But at this time last year I would have also called Leonard Williams an extreme longshot so you never know.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but could Hundley be the best QB in college by 2014? I'm really impressed with his development.
He's pretty impressive and he's in a system that seems to fit him. I don't know where he will be in 2014 but he deserves to be mentioned in a select group of first-year quarterbacks to watch for in the future.
If Starr was still playing, do you think he would be pushing Dawson for playing time yet?
No. The move I'm surprised hasn't gotten more consideration is Pullard in the middle. I thought he really brought a spark to the defense when he played in the middle early in the year.
Hi GP,Do you think we see more of an attacking SC defense with man-to-man coverage outside for the rest of the season?
Good question. A lot of SC fans would hope so but I don't get any indication that such a change is going to drastically happen. The coaches don't seem to have the confidence in the corners to execute like they did last year with Wiley in the line-up.
How dissapointing has Uko been this year? Seems like the coaches and all the people in the media thought he was going to have a breakout and be VERY GOOD. On the opposite side, seems like Woods has outplayed him and performed better than thought. Thoughts, comments?
I think it's very fair to say that more was expected from George this year. There's been a few flashes but nothing at the level of what was projected for him as the next big-time USC defensive lineman. Woods has been solid but I wouldn't put him ahead of Uko just yet.
I hate to be the guy that said I told you so. During spring time and all the hype surrounding USC as the number 1 team I made a comment here stating to hope for the best and prepare for the worse. I said that USC had a problem with the secondary, sure enough that's exactly what we have seen this year. USC has no seconary Robey is decent but not great and the rest are below average DBs. I love SC but they need to do an LSU type recruiting or developing of a secondary.
The back seven was supposed to be the strength of the USC defense this year. Those units have been fairly productive but it hasn't been at the level that was expected. One thing to note is that both position groups have new coaches, you never know how players will respond to a new coach.
Do we have a list of what recruits are going to be at the Notre Dame game next week?
We will post it on the site early next week. It is shaping up to be a very good group, as would be expected.
Forgive my boldness, but if I could cut to the heart of the matter, does anything less than the Rose Bowl place the Head Coach in jeopardy?
I think the answer to that is yes. Not to say that Haden would automatically make a move but I think it's fair to say that Kiffin is under some heat right now and the results of the next few games will naturally play a role in how his status is viewed by his boss.
If Tedford is let go at Cal, do you see Lane pursuing him as a possible OC QB coach?
I've heard the rumor. I guess I can't dismiss it entirely but there are too many variables now to know how realistic it is.
So what does USC have to do to beat ND,besides show up?
Playing crisp football would be a good start. USC seems to get in trouble when they commit turnovers and penalties, if they can eliminate those two issues I'm sure they would feel pretty good about going up against the Irish.
Is there a surprise recruit on signing day for USC?
There always could be. I'll throw out Montravious Adams right now as a longshot but that is always subject to change as we get closer to signing day.
That's all the time we have for today. See you next week.