Coaches' Corner: Steve Sarkisian, Wednesday

Transcript from Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian's comments after Wednesday Practice. Sarkisian addresses John David Booty's recovery, Stafon Johnson and more.

With Just two days left before a major showdown with PAC-10 Conference foe, the Oregon Ducks, the coaches will have to decide who the starting quarterback will be on Saturday. Steve Sarkisian discusses the decision process. The key factor will be John David Booty's recovery. Sarkisian also discussed Stafon Johnson's injury and briefly outlined USC's offense going up against the Oregon Ducks defense.

Steve Sarkisian

On John David Booty:

"As the practice wore on I think he grew strong, I think he's learning to deal with it (the injury) and learning to deal with the pain of it…and where the threshold and where his accuracy is at. And that's what we need to evaluate off of the film tonight. Is it the same throw in John David Booty as he was with the finger being healthy."

"The key is how he continues to respond, last week he couldn't come back after a day of throwing. Now, a week later, can he come back after two days of throwing? And how much does that affect how he's going to be 2-3 weeks from now? Because obviously we have a long road ahead of us, this isn't just about this Saturday. Obviously that's the ultimate goal, we have to win the game Saturday, but we have some tough games still ahead of us. We're going to need some healthy quarterbacks."

Booty's Taking First Snap after 2 weeks:

"You know in fairness to him (Booty), it was more of our center situation (last week) that we didn't take any snaps. Mark (Sanchez) didn't take any snaps either."

Does Experience Factor In Quarterback Decision?

"Of course. It's a hostile environment, it's a big game. Obviously, that calming effect in the huddle. To take nothing away from Mark (Sanchez), he's got a lot of starts under his belt. I think they both bring a lot of great qualities to the game, obviously I would like to have both of them healthy. It's great to have two very good quarterbacks on your side."

When will the decision (on starting quarterback) be made?

"I think by tomorrow night (Thursday), through tomorrow's practice, we need to know. That starter needs to know Thursday night, Friday morning, what we're doing, the first fifteen and all that stuff. I am sure we'll have something finalized by tomorrow night."

On Stafon Johnson's Recovery from Injury

"He's getting there, he's getting there, he's fighting through it. Obviously, when you're a running back and you have a hurt foot, that's not a great thing to have. You'd rather have a hurt middle finger, wish we could swap injuries there."

"I think he's coming around. I think he's learning to deal with the injury, just like J.D. (Booty) is. He's starting to figure out, this is the extent of it and this is how I can deal with and handle it. You know what, I can play pretty good with it."

"We'd like to have variety back there because you want to feel different. I want to have the ability to have Chauncey (Washington) back there to hammer you and pound on you and we'd like to sprinkle in Stafon (Johnson) and his elusiveness and shiftiness and sprinkle in Joe (McKnight) and things hit a little quicker because he's a quicker player. You'd like to have that change up and have the defense have to deal with that stuff."

"I understand the advantage of giving a guy 35 carries, but there's also an advantage when three guys can share 35 carries and give the defense different problems."

USC's Offense Against Oregon

"I think our offense in general, we need to execute really well, in all facets. One is obvious, you have to take care of the football, not give them a short field. We need to do a great on 3rd down to maintain drives, we need to keep our offense on the field. When we're in the red zone we have to score a touch down, we can't settle for three points. We have do a nice job on third downs of executing in the red zone and put the ball in the endzone."

 


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