Pete Carroll: Sanchez Will Start

Pete Carroll made the obvious official, when he announced that Mark Sanchez will be starting for the Trojans on Saturday. USC takes on the University of Arizona at the Coliseum, 12:30 p.m. PST on ABC. Carroll stated that Sanchez will get the start, but released both John David Booty and Sanchez from practice early so they would not be overwhelmed by the sea of reporters covering this development.

USC PRESS RELEASE

Mark Sanchez Quote

"I'm excited about the opportunity. I'm approaching it the same way I have all week, with focus and preparation. I'm glad John David and all the quarterbacks have supported me and are in my corner. I'm just trying to get us a win on Saturday. The coaches have prepared me well for this. I've watched film and studied the plays, and now I'm ready to play."

John David Booty Quote

"I'll be right there next to Mark the whole way and help him along. He'll do a great job. He's prepared himself well, he's waited his turn and now he's ready to play.

I'll be suited up for the game and be available in a worst-case scenario. I'll make do if needed. But right now it's best to give my finger some rest and get it better."


QUOTING CARROLL: Coach Carroll's Comments

"I don't want any more stuff, they've been with you (the media) all week long and they've been talking to you all week long and answering all of your questions. I know you'd like to talk to them, but I want to get them out of here. In particular get Mark (Sanchez) out of here so he can be on his own and get settled down."


Pete Carroll's Official Announcement

"Our idea is to go with Mark and we're counting on him to play a heck of a football game, he had a very, very good week. He's been waiting for this for years and I just don't want him to think he has to do everything the first time he gets out there. So we want him to play a nice, calm football game, and get the ball to the players who need the football and see if we can execute the football like we always want to."

"John David (Booty) will be available to us in the game, he can throw the football a little bit, he did a couple of things we know he can. He's not 100%, but if we need him by Saturday, we can call on him. I would love for him not to have to play and get him a weekend without having to mess with his finger."

"In the meantime, we're all supportive of Mark's efforts and excited for his opportunity. I know how excited he is, we need to calm him down."

"So we'll see how this goes and we're looking forward to it and we've had a very good week of work. It's spirited, the guys want to bounce back, they want to get on track they want to do all the right things. So they've worked hard to earn that feeling during this week."

Who's the Number Two Quarterback?

"Mike (McDonald) would go in immediately if we had an issue, if it's a sustained amount of time then we might call for John. If Mark had to come out for a quick one, Mike would jump right in, he's ready to do all of that. He's been on the ready all year, then we'd make a decision when we see what's going on with the game."

Calming Down Mark Sanchez

"(We need to) keep him away from (the media), keep him away from all the other attention, let him be with his family and be quiet Thursday night. Friday, he's got school, then we're together from that point on. I just want to make sure that we can control the environment around him right now as best as possible."

"He's ready for this, he's waited, he's been in games, he'll be pumped up too so it'll be fun to watch him."

Making Changes in the Offense for Mark Sanchez

"We just have to be careful with everything, the whole approach. We don't want to get him over-hyped or worked up. We want him to make good decisions. He's been around this offense for years, he knows what he's doing. He's run the whole football team for an entire spring. It was the full installation. We're just going to play the game and see how we do."

"We have a lot stuff available like we always do. We have balls going to everybody and every style throwing game that we've always had. We'll just see what we need in the game. And see what they're giving us and try to take advantage of that."

"He has a huge arm. He can throw the ball a mile and he loves to air it out. He's always been a guy that's looking for his chance to make a big play and look down field. That's always been Mark's (style) and we've always loved that about him."

"He is a big arm guy and he loves to wing it, he's apt to take some shots if they're there. He throws the ball real well, he's always been good at the out of pocket stuff."

Who's Playing Center

Note: Keith Byers has worked at center all week to give Matt Spanos time to recuperate from a hand injury suffered in the Stanford game.

"Matt (Spanos) worked early in practice and he's got a hand full of stitches. When they tighten it all down and tape him and protect him, he's going to play. We're counting on Matt to play in the game."

Stafon Johnson's Availability On Saturday

"I need to talk to him. He's not able to go full speed today, he worked hard at it and came out in full pads to practice with the rest of the fellas and he ran pretty well. Did much better today than he did yesterday as far as making his cuts and things, but they say they're not sure if he's ready or not. Right now we're holding back on him until we see tomorrow and we'll go all the way to Saturday and see where he is."

Strong Side Linebacker Injuries

"Both those guys are ready to go (Clay Matthews and Thomas Williams), they're both going to play in the football game, we'll figure out who's starting later."

"Thomas has been in a tough situation for a while. Playing behind guys that are really good football players. Guys that have been good frontline guys since the day that they walk in here. It's always been a real struggle for him."

"Whenever he's played, he's played really well and whenever he's started he's done a nice job. We'll totally count on him. He's the smartest player we have on defense, he knows everything that's going on. He's playing fast, he's very aggressive and he's a playmaker."

"We're very fortunate to have him. He's played a lot more than Clay has. He's got a lot more experience, he's played all three linebacker spots. He's been in games for years, that gives us a lot of confidence in him."

"We're real excited about Clay as well. It's two really good guys at that spot. They'll both play in the game."


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