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USC FOOTBALL FYI

USC quarterback Mitch Mustain sees limited opportunities

He appears to fall behind Aaron Corp and Matt Barkley in competition for starting job after scrimmage drills.

April 15, 2009|Gary Klein

And then there were . . . two?

USC coaches insist the Trojans quarterback competition remains wide open.

But on Tuesday, after a weekend scrimmage during which Aaron Corp and Matt Barkley each led three scoring drives, Mitch Mustain was the odd man out.

The junior from Arkansas took only one snap during the final two extended team scrimmage drills, including an overtime period.

Mustain acknowledged disappointment.

"Obviously I'd like to keep going," he said. "I've still got two weeks left.

"I don't know if it's an indicator of anything, but the opportunities I do get, I'm going to keep firing."

After reviewing tape of Saturday's scrimmage at the Coliseum, Mustain reiterated he thought he played well.

"I just didn't have quite the opportunity, so I'll take it for what it is and keep going," said Mustain, who completed seven of 10 passes for 42 yards with an interception.

Asked by a reporter whether he was getting a fair opportunity compared to Corp and Barkley, Mustain said, "Again, it's just one day. It's not going to be an indicator of what's going on, I hope."

Quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates said, "I'm not counting snaps," and Carroll explained Mustain's limited participation as "just the way the thing came off."

Corp, however, remains the leader in the battle to replace Mark Sanchez. The third-year sophomore entered the spring ahead of Mustain and Barkley, the strong-armed freshman, and has not had a pass intercepted through nine workouts.

"The situation really hasn't changed at all, other than we know a lot more about Barkley right now," Carroll said.

Carroll is expected to select a starter before the spring scrimmage April 25, but he said the competition could resume during training camp.

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Quick hits

Running back C.J. Gable (hip) was awaiting results from an MRI exam, Carroll said. . . . The Trojans are off today but will practice Thursday.

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gary.klein@latimes.com

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