Mitch Mustain: Waiting for his Shot

SCPlaybook's Kevin Carden caught up with USC quarterback Mitch Mustain for a one-on-one interview. Hear what Mustain has to say about his transition to USC, the difference between Pac-10 and SEC football and much more.

Q: After leaving Arkansas you could have gone pretty much anywhere you wanted. What was it that made you want to come to USC?

A: I figured if I had to leave and move somewhere I was going to pick the best place. I really looked around at a lot of the places. I liked USC for a long time and really liked what they were doing. Really I thought the opportunity was there for me. I was looking for a whole different set of things this time around versus the first time and looked at this and thought it would be the best place.

Q: Did the fact that you had played against USC and saw how dominant they could be play a role in the decision?

A: Well, you know it did a little bit. I think everybody knew before that how good they were. It was just like I said I was looking for a whole different deal than I was the first time. I had an opportunity the first time around that I didn't feel was the best for me. But the second time, I thought if I'm going to leave I want to go to place where I can learn from the best and I figured this was it. They have had a track record like no other the last couple of years developing guys from Carson (Palmer) to Matt (Leinart) to JD (Booty) and even Mark (Sanchez). I figured this would be the best place.

Q: How has your transition been from SEC country to coming out here to the west coast?

A: It's been good. As far as on the field it has been great to go against our guy's everyday. Really learning the offense is a whole different deal and I have struggled with that a little bit. I think like anybody else has, but I have picked it up and the more I learn the faster I can learn. So it just keeps piling on.

Q: What would you say are the differences from playing in the SEC and the Pac-10?

A: I think it's a different style out here. You see a lot more guys like Dennis Dixon's style that are running around a lot and throwing, like Jake Locker. In the SEC you are seeing a lot more pounding the ball versus guys that can run around like that. So it's different in that regard, but the Pac-10, this year especially has shown that it is extremely competitive. It's played really well and I look forward to it.

Q: How has having Damian Williams here at USC helped you transition?

A: Just as far as getting situated in LA, he has been a great help. He had been out here for a while. Having him back from injury halfway through was great. We had (Brandon)Carswell, and he was doing an excellent job and to throw Damian (Williams) in on top of that was unbelievable. We have been able to do a lot of stuff that most other scout team's can't.

Q: This year you have had to sit out because of the transfer. What have been your goals and what have you tried to work and improve on during this season?

A: Really just learning the offense. So this has been a great help to me just having this year where I don't have to worry about having to go in. That has been a help to me, just giving me time to pick that up.

Q: How has it been playing for Pete Carroll and Steve Sarkisian?

A: I love it. They are great guys. They bring a lot of intensity. That's no secret, that was known everywhere before I even got here and it hasn't changed. It's exactly as it was advertised and they haven't let me down at all. They are great.

Q: How would you describe Pete Carroll's coaching style?

A: It's intense and that is kind of the core deal. From Monday to even our walk-thru on Friday everything is going, everything is upbeat. You don't stop from the time we get out here to the very end, we are going. It's a lot of fun. It's demanding and when you first get here it's kind of overwhelming but really I wouldn't want it any other way.

Q: What would you say is the strength of your game as a quarterback?

A: I don't know if I can single it out. It's kind of hard when you are in a transition year. Probably my deep ball would be the biggest threat.

Q: You have seemed to develop a lot of chemistry throwing to Brandon Carswell. Tell me what you like about his ability as a wide receiver?

A: I think (Brandon) Carswell is a tremendous talent. He has shown on the scout team that he is really raw being a freshman and that is to be expected. I think if he gets a rapport with the quarterbacks he is going to be dangerous and if you throw him in with Rojo (Ronald Johnson) and all these guys we are going to have next year, we ought to be real good.

Q: This year you don't have any pressure on you. How different do you think it will be next year when you and Mark Sanchez battle for the starting quarterback spot?

A: I think it will be a lot different but it will be nice. I had that last year with the expectations of having to play and I get this year off. That was nice at the beginning but now it's getting kind of old. So I am ready to pick it back up and compete and really it will be a defining point for both of us. So we will get to see who steps in and gets that.


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