The Pac-One Dominates Ohio State and All of College Football

Stanley Havili scores Trojans first TD

Stanley Havili scores Trojans first TD

It was a pretty horrible day for most of the Pac-9 with UCLA and Washington getting slammed and Cal losing out to a questionable Maryland team.

However, the powerful Pac-1 with USC, its flagship team, further separated itself from the Pac-9 and remained at the top of the College Football universe with a drubbing of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Number1 team from the Big Ten.

But it was the Big Ten and not the Pac-1 that struck first to open the match up.

Buckeye head coach, Jim Tressel decided to mix it up to confuse the USC defense by alternating quarterbacks Todd Boeckman and true freshman, Terelle Pryor on nearly every play.

Tressel mixed up the playcalling as well with the Buckeyes driving from their own 19 with Boeckman throwing and Pryor and Boom Herron running down to the USC 5.

There the Trojan defense stiffened, and Ryan Pretorius kicked a 29-yard Buckeye field goal.

Despite all the Trojan speed from their stable of running backs and wide receivers, instead it was fullback Stanley Havili who scored the games first touchdown on a 35-yard pass from Mark Sanchez to put the Trojans up 7-3.

Ohio State went three-and-out, and USC took over on their 40.

After a first down pass to Patrick Turner, Joe McKnight rattled off a 24-yard run. Then Havili slipped out of the backfield again and Sanchez found him for another first down. C.J. Gable took it down to the two. Then Sanchez hit true freshman tight end Blake Ayles on a play action pass for a 14-3 lead.

A facemask penalty against Kyle Moore gave the Buckeyes a first down on their 48 and new life.

A third down pass to Robiskie and a 13-yard run by Pryor brought Ohio State to the USC 20. But two holding penalties negated an Ohio State touchdown and pushed them back beyond the 35. Ryan Pretorius missed a 46-yard field goal.

After the Buckeyes forced the Trojans to punt, they were Maualugaed. The fierce Trojan linebacker intercepted a Todd Boeckman pass and would not be denied as he ran it back 50 yards to give the Trojans a 21-3 lead.

After Clay Matthews sacked Boeckman, causing a fumble, the Trojans drove to the Buckeyes 10, But Chimidi Chekwa intercepted Sanchez in the end zone.

Going in at halftime, Tressel complained about his teams penalties, “We had touchdowns called back, big plays called back…But our kids are hanging tough. That was a big play (Chekwa’s interception) at the end of the half for us.”

Pete Carroll was asked about Terrelle Pryor breaking acouple big runs against his defense. “We made a couple of mistakes on the sidelines, the coaches did,” Carroll said. “We’ll get that cleaned up, so he doesn’t have much room.”

After a Trojan drive stalled on the Buckeye 30 to start the second half, Woidneck punted the Buckeyes inside the five, and the defense forced a three and out.

The Trojans took over on the Buckeye 40. After runs by Joe McKnight and Stafon Johnson, penalties backed the Trojans up. But Sanchez threw a lazer to Damian Williams splitting the seam on a slant for a 24-yard TD strike and a 28-3 lead.

At this point, ABC lost all of its viewers in the South.  It wasn’t Hurricane Ike but the Trojan storm that turned off all the SEC viewers.

The Trojan defense battered Todd Boeckman to force yet another Buckeye punt.

With three different running backs touching the ball, the Trojans offense shifted into high gear. Sanchez finished the drive hitting Damian Williams again as he looped around a perfect pick by Patrick Turner and was wide open in the end zone.

The third period ended with the Trojans up 35-3 and charging downhill.

The fourth quarter started with the Buckeyes secondary getting away with a pass interference. But the Trojan defense quickly turned things around with Kevin Ellison intercepting a very hurried Boeckman pass on the Buckeye 35.

The Trojans got down to the 15, but on a 4-and-3, Marcus Freeman tracked down Sanchez back on the 29.

Offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, can scratch that one off the books.

From that point, Pete Carroll inserted Aaron Corp at quarterback along with the second and third units to give his reserves some game experience.

Mitch Mustain came in for mop up duty, and the game ended with the Pac-1 USC Trojans destroying Ohio State, 35-3.

After the game, Mark Sanchez, who threw for four touchdowns, said it was a testament to the offensive coaches. “It was another game in a row. They did it in Virginia. They did it at home. The receivers making big time catches, the offensive game plan going into this match up. I felt like I played this game a million times already.”

As far as his knee is concerned, Sanchez said, “It’s good…I’ll be ready for our game in two weeks against Oregon State.”

Sanchez said he felt like he left a few plays out on the field and they didn’t play at a hundred percent.

On the other side, Jim Tressel said, “We played a good football team tonight. We didn’t do the things we needed to do to beat them. Our guys will be disappointed, but we have a lot of faith in them. They go back to work and get as good as we can. We can’t lose sight of the fact that it’s September.”

James Laurinaitis, the Buckeye All-American linebacker We’ve got some good leaders on this team. We really do. We’ve got some guys that I think are going to be mature…As much as this hurts right now, we’ve got a lot of games left to play.”

Damian Williams, who caught two TD passes, paid his respects to the USC fans. “There’s a lot of fans cheering us on. We’re excited to be here. We couldn’t wait to get back to the Coli.”

Williams also talked about why the Trojans passing game was so effective. “Our offensive line did a great job protecting. We did a great job in the running game. And it made it a lot easier to throw the ball.”

Defensive end Kyle Moore spoke about the defensive adjustments in the second half. “After halftime we always count the game as 0-0. We want to come out there. We want to keep pounding. We want to keep the pressure on. We don’t want to give them anything.”

And keep the pressure on they certain did. The Trojan defense held the Buckeyes to just two yards net in the third quarter.

All in all, it was a complete ball game for USC and the Pac-1 on both sides of the ball.  Next up, the Beavers of Oregon State in Corvallis in two weeks.

Mark Sanchez was 17 of 28 for 172 yards with 4TDs and 1 interception.  Joe McKnight was the leading rusher with 106 yards on 12 carries.


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WEEK 3: The New Top 25, Pops and Drops

Week Three of the 2008 College Football season is in the books.

Check out which teams popped in the rankings and which ones dropped.



Oklahoma crushing Washington jumps over idle Florida from No. 3 to No. 2.

Missouri jumps from No. 7 to No. 4.

Penn State pops from No. 15 to No. 8.

Wisconsin moves up from No. 11 to No. 9 with a tough 13-10 win over Fresno State (a lot of missed opportunities for the Bulldogs).

Alabama pops from No. 14 back to No. 11.

South Florida pops from No. 21 to No. 13 with a dramatic win over Kansas.

Oregon pops up one spot with their second half comeback and OT win over Purdue.

After a controversial win over luckless Washington last week, BYU is back in the top 20 at No. 18 with a 59-0 shutout of UCLA.

Oklahoma State moves into the Top 20 at No. 19 with a big win over Missouri State, followed closely by Big 12 rival Nebraska at No. 20 with a win over New Mexico State.

Iowa popped into the No. 21 slot with a win over rival Iowa State.

Finally, Vanderbilt slides into the Top 25 at No. 24 with a win over Rice.



Idle Florida is nudged from No. 2 to No. 3 by Oklahoma’s decisive victory over Washington.

Georgia drops from No. 4 to No. 7 (I don’t care if they are 3-0. I haven’t been impressed with any of their wins).

Ohio State drops out of the Top 10 from No. 8 in my Week 2 poll to No. 13.

Kansas drops from No. 10 to Nol. 17 with its loss to USF.

East Carolina won, but drops from No. 12 to No. 14 with a close call against Tulane.

Auburn drops from No. 9 to No. 15 with only a 3-2 win over Mississippi State.

Fresno State drops from No. 19 to No. 23 with a loss to Wisconsin (No. 9).

Illinois falls from No. 23 back to No. 25 with a poor showing against Louisiana Lafayette.

Arizona State, Arizona and Cal all drop from the Top 25 with losses. UCLA falls from 25 into oblivion.


1. USC (1)

2. Oklahoma (3)

3. Florida DNP (2)

4. LSU (4), Missouri (7) (tie)

6. Texas DNP (6)

7. Georgia (4)

8. Penn State (15)

9. Wisconsin (11)

10. Texas Tech (16)

11. Alabama (14)

12. South Florida (21)

13. Ohio State (8)

14. East Carolina (12)

15. Auburn (9)

16. Utah (18), Oregon (17) (tie)

17. Kansas (10)

18. BYU (25)

19. Oklahoma State (UR)

20. Nebraska (UR)

21. Iowa (UR)

22. Wake Forest DNP (22)

23. Fresno State (19)

24. Vanderbilt (UR)

25. Illinois (23)

 Offensive Player of the Week: Max Hall (BYU) and Chase Daniel (Missouri)

Defensive Player of the Week: Rey Maualuga (USC)




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Mark Sanchez Rewards Pete Carroll’s Trust

Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez

Call it a special knack or perhaps a sixth sense that Pete Carroll has, but the winningest coach in college football is able to recognize that winning edge that a player or a recruit has.

After going 6-6 in his first year and a 10-6 loss to Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl, Carroll threw out the offensive scheme he and Norm Chow had designed and created a new pro style offense to fit Palmer’s skill set.

The result: Carson Palmer completed 309 of 489 passes for 3942 yards and 33 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions during the 2002 season and led the Trojans to an impressive 38-17 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Orange Bowl. His completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns were all USC single season records, and Palmer went on to win the Heisman Trophy.

The following year, neither Matt Cassell nor Matt Leinart set himself apart in the quarterback competition. In fact, both were mediocre at best. But Carroll recognized that winning edge in Leinart and named him the starting quarterback before the end of Spring practice. The rest is history.

USC went on to win two National Championships and Leinart, like Carson Palmer, won the Heisman Trophy.

Jump ahead three years. After the departure of John David Booty, the Trojans were again faced with what many thought would be a very close quarterback competition.

This time it was fourth-year junior, Mark Sanchez, facing off against Mitch Mustain, the 2005 Gatorade, USA Today and Parade Magazine Player of the Year and a transfer from Arkansas, where he started 8 games for the Razorbacks and went 8-0. Aaron Corp, a speedy redshirt freshman, was thrown into the mix as well.

The competition was supposed to go down to the wire. Many figured it would last beyond Spring practice and well into Fall Camp. It didn’t.

Pete Carroll again recognized that winning edge in Sanchez. Carroll was impressed by Sanchez’ leadership qualities and command of the offense. So, like he did with Leinart, a week before the annual spring “Huddle” scrimmage at the Coliseum, Carroll named Mark Sanchez the Trojans starting quarterback.

But Carroll’s trust in Sanchez didn’t end there. Three weeks before their opener with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Mark Sanchez dislocated his knee. Carroll immediately brought in his other two quarterbacks to share time running the first unit offense. But he didn’t lose faith in Sanchez’ determination and ability to recover.

While some coaches might have panicked or become overly cautious and went with one of his reserves, both fine quarterbacks in their own right, Carroll stuck with Sanchez.

Today, Mark Sanchez rewarded that trust. He showed the 61,000 at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville as well as a national audience on ABC exactly what Carroll had noticed in Sanchez long before anyone else.

Sanchez completed 26 of 35 passes for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns with only one interception on a pass that the receiver tipped into the hands of the defensive back. Sanchez wound up with a quarterback rating of 177.

Incredible, yes. But even more incredible was Sanchez’ command of the Trojan offense. His reads were perfect. His audibles were perfect. He looked off receivers like an experienced NFL quarterback, consistently finding the open man. Most of his passes were thrown to a spot where only his receivers could make the catch.

He showed excellent mobility and athleticism, rolling out and throwing perfect strikes on the run. He knew the pass routes so well that time and again he hit the receivers in full stride, twice to Patrick Turner, one for a 20 yard gain, the other for a 42-yard TD, and a 49-yard TD strike to Ronald Johnson.

So, what can we call that special ability that Pete Carroll has to see players with that winning edge? Maybe it’s the “Heisman Eye.” In Sanchez’ case, time will tell. And the clock has already started ticking.

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Trojan Storm Drenches Virginia, 52-7

Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing celebrate a defensive stop

Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing celebrate a defensive stop

The ominous clouds that had smothered the rolling hills beyond the campus the day before finally parted and gave way to a clear late summer sky. Below, the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium was packed with over 61,000 faithful.

Their enthusiasm for their Wahoos was as bright as the skies above. They cheered wildly as Saber rode in, leading the Wahoo football team onto the field. But storm clouds were quickly moving in to spoil the day for the Virginia faithful.

The Trojan storm brought the thunder in the form of #58 Rey Maualuga and #4 Kevin Ellison. They struck the Virginia offense and forced a three-and-out.

Next the lightning struck quickly and often. Joe McKnight sparked off a 18-yard punt return. Then quarterback Mark Sanchez went to work, hitting McKnight, Vidal Hazelton and Damian Williams on consecutive tosses. With a first down at the Cavs 20, the running game kicked in, first Gable then Stafon Johnson picking his holes took it in from the three.

Then the thunder struck the Cavaliers once again. Maualuga forced the Cavs line into two successive false starts then stormed in on a third and long forcing quarterback Peter Lalich to rush his pass. That resulted in a punt from the end zone, and the Trojans took over on the Cavs 47.

A pass to McCoy for a first down, one to McKnight for another first down, and again to McCoy to set up a first and ten at the 14. Stafon Johnson reeled off four yards. Finally Sanchez threw a 10-yard screen to McKnight and it was 14-0 Trojans.

A Trojan high pressure area again engulfed the Cavalier offence, and ended with Clay Matthews, Jr’s sack of Lalich. The Cavs were forced to punt once more from their end zone.

Once again USC had a short field made even shorter by C.J. Gable’s 33-yard scamper into the end zone, putting USC up 21-0

An excessive celebration penalty enforced on the kickoff gave Virginia their first crack of daylight and decent field position. Then three successive Trojan penalties and a couple of nice first down completions by Lalich set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Mikell Simpson around left end to narrow the USC lead to 21-7.

But that would be all the daylight, the Cavaliers would see before the Trojan cloudburst drenched the home team.

USC took the ensuing kickoff and marched down inside the Virginia two. David Buehler kicked a 20-yard field goal to end the first-half scoring with USC up 24-7.

Lightning quickly struck again in the second half.

USC started on their own 17. A short run by Gable, and a nice 13-yard catch by Ronald Johnson set up a first down at the 34. Then a quick strike to Patrick Turner, hitting him right in stride and Turner took it down to the Cavs 20. Sanchez hit Turner again on a post route over the middle to increase the USC lead to 31-7.

With the humdity climbing and Rey Maualuga on the sideline with leg cramps, both teams rolled off first downs but were forced to exchange punts.

The Cavs took over on their own 29 and rolled off a couple more first downs with Peerman and Simpson doing the bulk of the running before the Trojan defense stiffened once more.

A tremendous sideline catch by Ronald Johnson almost went for naught as Sanchez had two consecutive passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. So, Offensive Coordinator, Steve Sarkisian called for a roll out, and Sanchez threw a direct strike to Damian Williams. This time Sarkisian called for a another roll out, this one off a play action fake, and Sanchez hit Ronald Johnson on a 49-yard bomb to up the score to 38-7 USC.

Both teams exchanged interceptions with the Cavs getting the best of field position to end the third quarter.

But the Trojans got the best of the Cavs on a direct snap to the running back, Simpson. Maualuge stormed over the center, causing a low snap and slammed into Simpson. Clay Matthews Jr. recovered the fumble at the Cavs 45.

Running backs Johnson and Gable accounted for a first down. Bradford powered for another first down, but a holding penalty nullified the run. After another Bradford run, Sanchez pump faked to hold the safety and clear the way for another Damian Williams’ catch at the two. Bradford took it in from there to make the score 45-7 USC.

After Clay Matthews, Jr. tattooed John Phillips causing Phillips to fumble a flat pass, the Trojans took over once again on the Virginia 47. Second unit quarterback, Aaron Corp, took over but kept the ball on the ground. Bradford and Gable did most of the damage but the drive stalled on the ten. The Cavs took over there, but Clay Matthews, Jr. smacked Lalich once again causing the Cavs fourth consecutive turnover.

Broderick Green took the ball down to the three with Mitch Mustain at quarterback. A bad snap brought the ball back to the 10. On a fourth and nine, Mustain threw a flat pass to Wendell Tyler who pounded his way in to the end zone to complete the 52-7 rout.

When the clock mercifully ended the Trojan storm, USC had handed Virginia their worst defeat since 1987.

Here are the stats…

USC Passing

Mark Sanchez 26/35 338 9.7 avg. 3TDs 1 int

Aaron Corp 1/2 2 1.0 0 0

Team 27/37 340 9.2 3TDs 1 int


Virginia Passing

Peter Lalich 18/35 155 4.4 0 TDs 1 int



USC Rushing

CJ Gable 9/73 8.1 1TD longest 33 yds

Joe McKnight 6/60 10.0 0 23

Allen Bradford 7/38 5.4 1TD 15

Stafon Johnson 9/28 3.1 1TD 8

Marc Tyler 2/18 9.0 1 1TD 0

Mark Sanchez 1/6 6.0 0 6

Stanley Havili 1/5 5.0 0 5

Broderick Green 1/0 0.0 0 0

Team 39/215 5.5 4TDs 33


Total Yards: 555 yds.

Virginia Rushing

Cedric Peerman 8/32 4.0 0 longest 20

Mikell Simpson 6/18 3.0 1TD 9

Raynard Horne 3/7 2.3 0 8

Peter Lalich 3/-22 -7.3 0 0

Team 21/32 1.5 1 20

Total Yards: 187 yards


USC Receiving

Ronald Johnson 3/78 26.0 1TD longest 49

Patrick Turner 2/62 31.0 1TD 42

Damian Williams 5/49 9.8 0 19

Vidal Hazelton 5/33 6.6 0 9

Joe McKnight 4/24 6.0 1TD 10

Anthony McCoy 2/21 10.5 0 11

Allen Bradford 2/15 7.5 0 11

Stanley Havili 1/14 14.0 0 14

Blake Ayles 1/2 2.0 0 2

Team 27/340 12.6 3 49


Virginia Receiving

Cary Koch 3/40 13.3 0 21

Jared Green 3/40 13.3 0 16

John Phillips 5/33 6.6 0 12

Kevin Ogletree 4/21 5.3 0 9

Maurice Covington 1/14 14.0 0 14

Cedric Peerman 2/7 3.5 0 5

Team 18/155 8.6 0 21


USC Kick Returns

Ronald Johnson 2/25 12.5 6 0

Team 2/25 12.5 0 0

Virginia Kick Returns

Kevin Ogletree 4/66 16.5 0 0

Cedric Peerman 1/17 17.0 83 0

Brendan Lane 1/23 23.0 23 0

Team 6/106 17.7 0 0


USC Kicking

David Buehler 1/1 100.0 20 7/7 10

Team 1/1 100.0 0 7/7 10

Virginia Kicking

Yannick Reyering 0/1 0.0 0 1/1 1

Team 0/1 0.0 0 1/1 1


USC Punting

Greg Woidneck 2/72 0.0 0 0 37

Team 2/72 36.0 0 0 37


Virginia Punting

Jimmy Howell 8/306 0.0 0 0 49

Team 8/306 38.3 0 0 49


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I consider the first week of college football action to be Patsy Week as the top ten teams try to extend their Fall Camp at least one extra week by scrimmaging against either a Division II team or a very weak one from Division 1.

Of course, that’s not true of all teams. There are a couple of games between ranked teams. Missouri – Illinois and Clemson-Alabama stand out as “Can’t Miss” TV games.

On that very rare occasion, that patsy turns into a very formidable foe. I don’t think anyone will forget last year’s Appalachian State upset of Michigan. And Appalachian State, the top Division II team, is at it again. This year they are really going in over their heads to face LSU. Can they possibly do it again?

Let’s have you make the call. Except for Missouri – Illinois and Clemson-Alabama, which Patsy team will fare the best against it’s ranked opponent? And which will fare the worst?

Below are the current spreads. From the looks of it, Villanova should fare the worst since the oddsmakers haven’t even put a line on their game with West Virginia.

The University of Virginia looks like it will fare the best as they are 19.5-point underdogs at home in their game against USC.  Both Florida and USC face teams that were major bowl teams last year.  Virginia played in the Gator Bowl, and Hawaii played – correct that – showed up for the Sugar Bowl.  But both Virginia and Hawaii have lost most of their starters from their bowl squads.

Here are the lines.  What do you think?

1.Georgia –33  Georgia Southern

2.Ohio State –34.5  Youngstown State

2.USC –19.5  Virginia  O/U 45.5

4.Oklahoma –48.5  Chattanooga

5.Florida –35.5  Hawaii  O/U 70.5

6.LSU -24  Appalachian State

7. Missouri –9  Illinois  O/U 59.5

8. West Virginia vs. Villanova  No Line

9. Clemson –4.5  Alabama   O/U 47.5

10. Auburn –26  UL Monroe  O/U 48

10. Texas –24  Florida Atlantic  O/U 65.5


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Pete Carroll, USC

Pete Carroll, USC

While the success of USC Football in the Pete Carroll era has put the Athletic Department in the black, the team itself remains solidly in the red or actually cardinal.

Despite black USC football jerseys selling like hot cakes, Pete Carroll and Athletic Director, Mike Garrett have rung up a NO SALE on fans clamoring to have the Trojans actually don the black jerseys for one of their games.

Citing the proud tradition of Cardinal and Gold, Carroll and Garrett have refused to be swayed by all the noise, and the Trojans will remain in Cardinal for all of their home games.

So, if you want to root for a team in black jerseys, may I suggest the Oakland Raiders.  The color is appropriate since they are on a Death March to their sixth straight losing season.

Notes from Virginia:

The word from USC’s advance crew in Charlottesville is that most Virginia fans are not expecting an upset this weekend. Could poor recruiting be a major reason?

When a the local L.A. radio station that carries all the Trojan games tried to set up an interview with Virginia head coach Al Groh, Virginia’s Sport Information Director didn’t exactly sound enthused. He seemed to feel that it didn’t matter because Virginia doesn’t try to recruit in Southern California.

Wait a minute! They don’t even try to recruit in So Cal. It’s only the Mecca of high school recruits along with Texas and Florida. Maybe they should hire me. I’d be willing to give them a hand.

It has been raining today in Charlottesville, and thunderstorms and showers are expected tomorrow. However, the prediction for Saturday is USC – 19½. Oops, wrong prediction! Partly cloudy with a high of 84. That could be the over-under as well.

Virginia fans should get out there and do some rain dancing or hire some crop dusters to seed the clouds. What they need is rain and lots of it. Though Mark Sanchez has been given the all-clear by doctors, his football skills and conditioning are both a little rusty after his nearly three-week layoff. He threw two interceptions at practice yesterday.

Perhaps, some rain might increase the rust and the Cavaliers ability to do some damage against the nation’s Number 1-3 ranked team, depending on which poll you read.

For all the latest news on the Trojans and their trip to Virginia be sure to read Ben Malcolmson’s blog at

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GARRETT GREEN: USC’s Secret Weapon

Well, maybe he’s not much of a secret after last year’s Rose Bowl.

Garrett Green, a 2005 Prep Star All-American from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, came to USC as a quarterback but was switched to safety early in the 2006 season. He played in 10 games, mostly on special teams.

Last year, he was moved to wide receiver. He appeared in all 13 games, again mostly on special teams. He did not have any tackles or receptions, but he did have the Trojans longest TD pass in the 2008 Rose Bowl.

In the first quarter with USC ahead of the Illinois, 7-0, and the ball at the Illinois 34, Green lined up as a slot receiver. On the snap, he stepped back and John David Booty tossed him the ball as though the play were a bubble screen. With a defensive end coming hard, Green calmly threw across the field and hit a wide-open Desmond Reed for a touchdown.


This year, he started out as a backup wide receiver once more. Throughout the spring and most of Fall camp, he was catching passes from Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp. Now he is competing with them at quarterback.

On August 10th, the day that Mark Sanchez dislocated his knee, Green was switched once again. This time back to his original position as a backup quarterback. His progress has been nothing less than remarkable.

No, he won’t be starting anytime soon. And when Mark Sanchez returns, Green will probably be moved back to the wide receiver pool. Believe me, it’s quite a pool with the likes of Damian Williams, Patrick Turner, Travon Patterson, Vidal Hazelton, David Ausbery, D. J. Shoemate, and Brice Butler.

But what is so remarkable about Green is his versatility. In his first scrimmage of Fall Camp at the Coliseum last Saturday,

Mock Game at Coliseum

Mock Game at Coliseum

 Green went 6-for-10 for 63 yards with a touchdown and an interception that C.J. Gable should have caught.

Then at that Sunday’s practice, Green hooked up with Jordan Cameron for the longest play of the day, a 50-yard touchdown. At the team’s next practice, Green led a touchdown scoring drive as the team practiced overtime situations.

There are two things that are immediately noticeable when you watch Green practice, his composure and his mobility.

Of the three backup quarterbacks, Green has the best composure under fire. He has much better mobility than Mustain. While he lacks Corp’s top speed, he has more staying power. Whereas Corp will immediately take off when there’s any kind of pressure, Green will stay in the pocket long enough to go through his progressions. When the defense finally brings the heat, he can scramble with the best of them and not lose sight of his receivers.

That was evident in yesterday’s mock game at the Coliseum. Working behind a service team line, he was on the run most of the day. Yet, the first-unit defense, regarded by some as the best in the nation if not the best of the Pete Carroll era, only got to him one time (a Kyle Moore sack).

He started off the game with a 21-yard pass to Jordan Cameron and followed it with another short pass and a scramble across midfield. The drive finally stalled on a third-and-three when Kyle Moore stopped Marc Tyler for a two-yard loss.

But Green’s most remarkable play was a now-they-have-him, now-they-don’t scramble that had the first-unit defense grabbing air. Maintaining his composure, Green saw Cameron break into the clear and threw a 48-yard strike for the longest completion of the game. A couple plays later, Green hit Brice Butler for a seven-yard score to knot the game at 7-7.

Not quite done, today, Green threw two more touchdowns to put an exclamation point on the final practice of Fall camp, hitting receiver Sean Calcagnie on an 18-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone and later connecting with freshman phenom, D.J. Shoemate, for another touchdown.

So, the question is, or rather, the dilemma for Pete Carroll is – how does keep Green off the field? Next to Joe McKnight, he is the most versatile player in camp. Just sending him in a game and putting in the slot will create a dilemma for the defense.

Should they look for the quarterback lateral and the slot receiver pass? What about an end around? Green runs the rollout as though it were invented for him? Or what if he just catches the ball on a bubble screen and runs?

The possibilities are virtually endless. He could lineup in the backfield and take a direct snap. Or what about on special teams? A fourth-down punting situation. With Green on the field anything can happen. The punter could lateral to Green, and Green could run with it or throw downfield. Green could also line up to block and take a direct snap.

So, for Coach Carroll and offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, Garrett Green presents a very pleasant, if not intriguing, dilemma. The only thing more intriguing is the thought of McKnight and Green lining up in the backfield at the same time. Good grief!

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