Conquest Chronicles’ Joey Kaufman hosted Troy Talk on Twitter today at 12 PM (PDT). Troy Talk is an hour-long discussion on USC athletics that attempts to unite Trojan fans and foster interaction and discourse. We encourage everyone to participate and follow along with hashtag #troytalk. 

Let’s recap the topics and our position on the various items. 


TOPIC 2- Biggest news of last week for USC was the Stanley Havili-TJ Bryant altercation. Was the response too harsh, not enough?

At first, I thought Kiffin went a little too easy on Havili. He broke a teammates jaw and caused him to miss serious practice. However, Havili showed serious contrition and made up with Bryant nicely. Moving forward, USC needs to put negative distractions behind them, and this would have been a lingering issue. In the NFL, teams love when their players mix it up because they feel it creates some camaraderie and shows the players are passionate about the game. Yes, Havili took it too far by breaking a teammates jaw, but there is nothing wrong with a little scuffle here and there as long as its building chemistry and not destroying it.

TOPIC 3 With two-a-days starting this week, Kiffin’s been emphasizing a walk-through approach. Will this hurt in the long run? 

While conditioning may take a slight hit, there are some positives to take from this. First of all, the players can really focus their attention on the fundamentals as they go through it at a slow pace. This will give them a more thorough understanding of the schemes. Secondly, the team will be fresh. With only 70 players on scholarship, USC needs to limit injuries and stay healthy. This appears to be the best way to do it as USC can still practice while keeping bodies refreshed.

TOPIC 4- One of the surprising stories to emerge from camp is Mitch Mustain outplaying Matt Barkley. No big deal now, but later?

Matt Barkley will benefit from being pushed by the veteran Mustain. It always puzzled me how Mitch fell into the doghouse with Pete Carroll. Mustain was undefeated in his short time at Arkansas before transferring to USC and has shown a lot in practice. At this point, it is too late to install Mustain as the starter and sit Barkley. Matt is the unquestioned leader of this team with his charisma and passing ability. However, the interceptions must come down and he needs to make strides to avoid riding the bench. Unfortunately for Mustain, his situation is the result of Pete Carroll’s adoration for Barkley. Mustain probably could have started a year ago, but Carroll was in love with Barkley. However, it is great to know that the backup situation is set should Barkley not be able to play (see: Washington).

TOPIC 5 – Switching to the folks across town, UCLA has lost two lineman for the year this week due to injury and academics, what kind of third season can we expect from Rick Neuheisel and the Bruins?

We touched on it in our preview of UCLA earlier. Despite Rick Neuheisel being in his third year, there isn’t any real reason to believe in this team. For starters, the team is changing offensive schemes to the pistol offense. The pistol is a gimmicky offense that is put in place when coaches run out of ideas and need some sort of spark on offense. Bottom line: You can’t win if you can’t score and UCLA will have that problem all season. The Bruins stuggled mightily in conference play a year ago and they haven’t improved in relation to any of the teams above them. An eight place finish is like with six wins being the apparent ceiling. 5-7 wouldn’t be a shock as Houston and Texas are two losses in the non-conference. People love to point out its Neuheisel’s third year, but tenure doesn’t matter if the coaching staff is ineffective.