That's all changed. Sanchez was named the starter after the spring, but the gap was seemingly narrow between the competitors. Sanchez then dislocated his kneecap in a freak injury, creating the most golden of golden opportunities for Mustain to take the job and possibly never look back. Handed the world, Mustain appears to have balked, badly. Says longtime USC reporter Steve Bisheff, formerly of the Orange County Register:
[I]nstead of being aggressive and taking control, he seemed to back off, appearing tentative and unsure of himself. In the first of three scheduled preseason scrimmages at the Coliseum, Mustain was outplayed by Aaron Corp, the redshirt freshman who had been the star of the spring game. Some said it was because Corp was playing with the first-team offense for most of the scrimmage and that things would change in the second scrimmage.
Except that wasn't really the case. Most observers rated Mustain and Corp even in scrimmage No. 2, although some felt Corp had come out slightly ahead again.Carroll hasn't said anything officially, but in practices this week, Corp, the more mobile of the two, has appeared with the first-team offense more often than Mustain. That is not a good sign for the Arkansas transfer.
Clearly. Sanchez has recovered remarkably fast and may be ready in time for the Virginia game, but he's now a marked man making it important for USC to determine his backup. Many observers at this point think USC may just settle for athletic but inexperienced redshirt freshman Corp. So much for Mustain's 8-0 record in SEC play!
With the expected arrival of No. 1 quarterback recruit Matt Barkley next year, things are looking bleak for Mustain if he can't even hold on to the No. 2 job. Heading to USC was a good choice for Mustain, away from a bad situation and onto a good and stable team. Unfortunately something appears to have gone horribly wrong in the process.