4. It’s fair to say USC’s performance at Hawaii was mediocre, and calling the Washington State game mediocre would be charitable. How surprised are you at how the offense has played so far, and do you see any optimistic signs in the near term?
MC: I’m extremely surprised. When a team has a terrible performance in a bowl game, while finishing an underachieving season and playing without a star quarterback, you can make the argument they were uninspired and lacking confidence, making it an isolated incident. So when the Sun Bowl debacle carried over into this season and appears to be reality and not an anomaly, it’s mindblowing. I don’t think anyone expected an offense as potent as the 2005 team by any means, but an above average offense didn’t seem like too much to expect given that Marqise Lee and Silas Redd were returning, along with five linemen and two tight ends. They bottomed out against Washington State and with all of the talent on the team, it’s got to be safe to assume they’ll improve at least somewhat, right? Who knows.