Spring practice starts, and all of our waiting is finally over. Got questions? Here's your place to ask. Got some great input? We want to hear it. Want to sound off? Go for it.
April 19th, Spring game. Tentative time is 11:30 am PST.
April 26th, UCLA Spring game. Why is this important to us Trojan fans? Two words: Norm Chow.
Some questions on the table for Trojan fans (with my takes.)
1- Who replaces JD Booty?
As much as it looks like Mark Sanchez is the heir apparent, I'm not so sold on him yet. First of all, Mitch Mustain has eight games of starting experience versus Sanchez' three starts. Then there is Aaron Corp, who would be starting on any FBC team right now. He's mobile, has a rocket arm, and unlike Sanchez, doesn't tend to side-arm his passes on the run. While Sanchez throws hard, he doesn't have the same touch as Booty had. It should be an interesting fight for the role of starting quarterback.
2- Will the receivers improve from last year?
The inexperience and youth of our wide receivers was readily apparent last season. Ausberry, Hazleton and Turner had less-than-stellar performances with plenty of dropped passes. Then again, didn't Keyshawn and Big Mike Williams have horrendous starts? Look for the QB to depend on Chris McFoy, the TE, as a possession receiver in critical situations....it worked last year with Fred Davis. (I miss him already) Another youngster to look out for is Damian Williams, the Arkansas transfer who sat out last year. He was an all-SEC freshman team member and has very soft hands and remarkabale speed. He's also got that freak show thing going on....watch for him to make incredible, highlight reel catches this year.
3- Tailback starter? This one is certainly a problem most teams wish they had, and USC is still loaded even with Emmanuel Moody bolting to the Gators. C.J. Gable and Stafon Johnson proved their worth last year, and Joe McKnight added the excitement factor in play-actions and screens. I really don't see anything changing unless Marc Tyler shows up to practice completely healed from his broken leg (high school injury) and blows everybody's doors off.
4- Who fills Rivers', Lojack's and Ellis' shoes? I'm pretty high on Chris Galippo to fill in for Keith Rivers, but after his back surgery last year, the red shirt freshman will not get the nod to start. Maualuga and Cushing return, which leaves Maiava as another Senior backer. Filling Lojack's shoes could be more daunting, but Everson Griffin, the five star prepster, seems like the logical choice. Then there's the pressing problem of regrouping after Sedrick Ellis' departure. Averell Spicer seems like the only logical choice, but since he's a junior, this spot could be up for grabs in Spring practice, especially if he misses Spring practice due to nursing a knee injury.
5- Will this year's crop of song girls improve after real mediocre crops over the last two years? For you guys, this is an important question. While it's true each of the girls must have dance background to be on the team, it seems as though the last two crops have been, well, average, for USC song girl standards. This is completely unacceptable, and I encourage all of you to send Pete Carroll an email volunteering your services to be a judge for this year's song girls. We expect nothing less than perfect.
Next blog: Looking at the O-line holes, special teams and that pesky problem in Westwood.
I am the host of this awesome blog; my name is Lisa Horne. I know you must be thinking, "a chick is hosting this blog?" Yep, and you can bank on it being the best damn Trojan blog out there. I have some professional sportswriting experience; I am a contracted writer for FOXSports.com (college football) and MSN.com (MLB and NFL) and recently did live commentary for the 2008 Super Bowl on MSN.com. College football is my life, and I promise to bring you everything-Trojans as the season gets closer. I'm a newbie here on fannation.com, so bear with me as I get the kinks out of inserting pix and formatting this blog perfectly.
Fight On, beat the Cavaliers.