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10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat UCLA

1. Start Jack Sears Clay Helton can’t even decide if Sears is No. 2 or No. 3 on the depth chart but Sears gives USC a better chance to win because he is mobile. 2. Don’t fake field goals Was that the worst fake field goal ever? Yes. And it could have gotten the kicker hurt. Not a good idea when the starting kicker already tore his ACL against Texas. 3. … Continue reading 10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat UCLA

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USC Morning Buzz: Clay Helton Knows More Than You

Clay Helton was asked how he knows he is starting the right quarterback: “I’ve been doing it 24 years. I know from experience that right now JT (Daniels) is playing good football . . . right now JT is our starter. Last week’s (offensive) stall was not the act of a quarterback. I don’t put that on the quarterback.” Do you feel better now? Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Clay Helton Knows More Than You

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Morning Buzz: Are USC Or UCLA Fans Happier?

UCLA is 2-8. USC is 5-5. Neither is having a good season but that is a difference of three games. But are UCLA fans happier right now about their future with Chip Kelly than USC fans would be if Clay Helton returned next season? We all know UCLA will consider their season a success if the Bruins beat USC on Saturday. This is the difference … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Are USC Or UCLA Fans Happier?

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Clay Helton Does Not Worry About Job . . . Sure

USC coach Clay Helton confirmed linebacker Levi Jones is no longer on the team. I will have more on the reason why later. But here are some real quotes on Helton’s job security: “I feel very secure in where I am right now. I have a lot of support.” That must be why there are so many empty seats at the Coliseum on Saturdays. Here … Continue reading Clay Helton Does Not Worry About Job . . . Sure

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A Sign Of Why USC Is 5-5

There was an ugly scene on the sideline Saturday night when cornerback Isaiah Langley went after quarterback JT Daniels following Cal’s safety on an errant snap. It wasn’t Daniels’ fault. The snap was high and wide. But the fact Langley went after Daniels would bolster what I’ve heard about players being unhappy with the decision to start Daniels over Jack Sears after the Arizona State … Continue reading A Sign Of Why USC Is 5-5

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Does One School’s College Search Mirror Another?

If USC fires Clay Helton, the immediate names will be Jack Del Rio and Kyle Whittingham. But here is who Bovada is listing for the Louisville job. Some would appear on a USC list. The hard part is realizing USC does not like to go outside for coaches and whether Lynn Swann would ever change that. Who will be the next full-time head coach for … Continue reading Does One School’s College Search Mirror Another?

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USC Morning Buzz: Confusion Reigns During Games

So get this: Remember how frustrating it was that USC did not have any timeouts left at the end of the game against Cal as the Golden Bears simply ran out the clock? Here is how USC burned one in the third quarter: It was fourth-and-2 at the USC 44-yard line with 3:12 remaining in the quarter. The logical move is to punt. But USC … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Confusion Reigns During Games

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USC Quarterback Evaluation Is Simply Awful

Clay Helton’s expertise is with quarterbacks. He played QB at Houston for his father. He has been a quarterbacks coach. So let’s ponder his evaluation: 1.) Max Browne starts over Sam Darnold. 2.) JT Daniels continues to start over Jack Sears. 3.) Sears is the No. 3 quarterback to start the season, not even the backup. He is Matt Fink’s backup. Does this guy really … Continue reading USC Quarterback Evaluation Is Simply Awful

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Morning Buzz: Where Is The Courage At USC?

Can anyone imagine Clay Helton yanking JT Daniels at halftime of the national championship game? Granted, USC will never play in one with Helton as coach, but imagine Helton doing what Nick Saban did last year? It. Would. Never. Happen. Helton can’t even pull the center from a game. Or a cornerback who talks trash and gets penalized. Clemson chose true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Where Is The Courage At USC?

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Sunday Night With Clay Helton

Clay Helton might be fighting for his job but the same answers keep coming Sunday night. “Those mistakes are my responsibility,” Helton said. “I own it.” Helton was asked about keeping the Victory Bell, which goes to the winner of the USC-UCLA game? “We will all work like heck to keep it,” he said. Golly gee. Helton said again Toa Lobendahn is the starting center … Continue reading Sunday Night With Clay Helton

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USC Morning Buzz: Put A Tent On This Circus

Here is a delusional quote from Clay Helton last night: “I’ve seen programs across the country have a Rose Bowl, win a Pac-12 championship, and then have an off season and come right back. As a matter of fact, we’re going to compete against one of them (Notre Dame) in about two weeks.” Does anyone think Helton is capable of turning it around? Is Sam … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Put A Tent On This Circus

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Discuss The USC-Cal Game

Will it be underachievement as usual? Or can USC finally put a good game together? UPDATED: What an utter debacle! Clay Helton keeps playing Toa Lobendahn and loses 2 points. Helton keeps playing JT Daniels and the offense gains 41 yards in the second half. All the sycophants said this week how great Iman Marshall was and he gets a ridiculous penalty on the Cal … Continue reading Discuss The USC-Cal Game

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If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

So how is JT Daniels doing? The Los Angeles Times interviewed his “performance coach” Scot Prohaska about Daniels’ inconsistent freshman season. “Because he came from that high of having so much influence on the program,” Prohaska said, “so much influence on the play-calling and the offensive scheme, and he had so much influence on the players and their development. To have that kind of omnipotency to … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

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USC Injury Report

Iman Marshall (foot and ankle sprain) practiced today and will be a game-time decision. That means he is likely to play. Cornerback Greg Johnson (shoulder) will be available next week. Michael Pittman will have more tests on his shoulder next week. “Hopefully by next week he’ll be ready to roll,” Helton said. Helton on Utah losing tailback Zack Moss and quarterback Tyler Hundley: “That’s two really … Continue reading USC Injury Report

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10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Cal

1.) Put in some new plays Cal coaches Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon know the USC offensive schemes backward and forward. Assuming the talent gap isn’t enough, USC needs some different plays to keep Cal’s defense off balance. 2.) Play smart Every week USC looks undisciplined and disorganized. This is why it can never put teams away. It’s an open secret at Heritage Hall but … Continue reading 10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Cal

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USC Morning Buzz: Another Questionable Personnel Decision

I often disagree with Clay Helton’s personnel decisions. I don’t know why Jalen Greene started last year over Tyler Vaughns, Max Browne over Sam Darnold, etc. But this week the coaches are complimenting cornerback Jonathan Lockett and Helton said last week was the senior’s best game of the season. But where has he been? Lockett started five games in 2016 and was hurt last season. … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Another Questionable Personnel Decision

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Randal Grimes To Redshirt, But Markese Stepp May Not

USC wide receiver Randal Grimes, who always seems to be buried on the depth chart, will concentrate on academics and redshirt this year, according to Clay Helton. Grimes actually played a couple weeks ago and burned his redshirt last year with an ill-timed appearance against Notre Dame. Freshman tailback Markese Stepp might have to burn his redshirt to play in place of Stephen Carr, Helton … Continue reading Randal Grimes To Redshirt, But Markese Stepp May Not

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USC Assistant Johnny Nansen Is Finalist For Broyles Award

USC assistant coach Johnny Nansen is one of 53 coaches who are finalists for the Broyles Award, which goes to college football’s top assistant. Nansen is well-liked and a friendly person so this is not about him. But why is anyone from USC a finalist? The staff’s reputation is finally becoming a well-known problem this season. Nansen coaches the inside linebackers and is USC’s recruiting … Continue reading USC Assistant Johnny Nansen Is Finalist For Broyles Award

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USC Morning Buzz: Faith, Family and Football Goes So Far

Did Jack Sears ever start a game for USC? It seems a little odd that Clay Helton hasn’t even been pushed on the fact he discarded Sears so quickly after the Arizona State game. Faith, Family and Football might be Helton’s motto but he didn’t show much faith in Sears or treat him like family after his debut. That is because Helton has a slavish … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Faith, Family and Football Goes So Far

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USC Injury Report

Wide receiver Michael Pittman (shoulder) is expected to miss the Cal game. Cornerbacks Iman Marshall (ankle) and Greg Johnson (shoulder) did not pracice Tuesday. Marshall wants to play but must be cleared by doctors. Johnson is out. Amon-Ra St. Brown and Devon Williams will replace Pittman. Freshman linebacker Raymond Scott practiced at safety Tuesday. He would be a real emergency option. Continue reading USC Injury Report

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USC-Oregon State Report Card

QUARTERBACK JT Daniels had two beautiful throws, including one where Michael Pittman dropped it after getting hit hard. But otherwise he had three passes tipped; was slow in the pocket and looked like usually does with long stretches of unmemorable play. But Clay Helton will play him over Jack Sears at all costs. Grade: D+ RUNNING BACKS If Aca’Cedric Ware could play like he did … Continue reading USC-Oregon State Report Card

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USC Morning Buzz: Clay Helton’s Blind Spot

Now that Clay Helton “fixed” the USC offense last weekend, I’m wondering why the defense gets a free pass? The apologists will immediately claim injuries are the issue. But do they ever watch the schemes? Oregon State exposed the pass defense, which has never covered the middle of the field this season. USC led 21-0 and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast let Oregon State get back … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Clay Helton’s Blind Spot

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Former USC Golfer Draws Plenty Of Attention

Doris Chen, who won an NCAA golf title at USC while she was at USC, was disqualified from the LPGA’s qualifying tournament last weekend when she played a ball her mother moved back into play after her tee shot went out of bounds. Alex Valer, Chen’s caddie, told Golf Channel: “Doris did the wrong thing.” Chen did an interview with Golf Channel on Monday: “I feel … Continue reading Former USC Golfer Draws Plenty Of Attention

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USC Needs Defensive Backs

How desperate is USC for defensive backs following the decommitment of five-star prospect Chris Steele? USC offered defensive back Chris Roland-Wallace of Knight High School in Palmdale on Sunday. Roland-Wallace has no offers and no ranking according to Rivals.com. Prior to that, USC offered Marist Liufau of Honolulu. He has 10 offers. The best one is Oregon. The others are Arizona, Boise State, Hawaii, Utah, … Continue reading USC Needs Defensive Backs

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Morning Buzz: Why Doesn’t USC’s Performance Match Its Reputation?

A common question is how does USC have the nation’s fourth-best roster according to 247.com’s composite rankings but one of the most average teams in the nation? Here is why: How do you make a good player better if he only has average coaches? USC players actually regress, if you want my opinion. Did USC look any better with Cameron Smith back Saturday night? For … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Why Doesn’t USC’s Performance Match Its Reputation?

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Sunday Night With Clay Helton

Clay Helton confirmed my report earlier today about Stephen Carr by saying he has a “significant” ankle sprain. Other injuries: Michael Pittman needs an MRI on his shoulder.  Iman Marshall sprained his ankle. Greg Johnson injured his shoulder. And now for some quotes that may or may infuriate you. “Tee Martin is the best developer of wide-outs there is in the country,” Helton said. On … Continue reading Sunday Night With Clay Helton

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Discuss The USC-Oregon State Game

Can you believe this? USC is playing a really bad team and up 21-14 at the half and 28-21 as I write this. What is Clancy Pendergast doing? He never covers the middle of the field. It’s such a joke. UPDATED: USC wins, 38-21. Another ugly win. The defense looked below average and isn’t it funny Clay Helton made some changes (taking snaps under center, … Continue reading Discuss The USC-Oregon State Game

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If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

Usually, when a coach is on the hot seat, you hear the argument, “we can’t destroy the recruiting class,” as a reason to keep the coach. But USC’s current class, which recently lost its only five-star prospect (Chris Steele), is so unremarkable that little would be risked by making a coaching change. The Trojans’ class is ranked No. 29 by Rivals despite having 15 commitments. … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

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USC Coaching Staff Cat Fight?

Did an accidental text message from Neil Callaway’s wife lead to his firing? Here’s the story from Chris Swanson of USC247.com. Meanwhile, if you think USC can keep Clay Helton and have him good assistant coaches next season, consider this: Why would a good assistant coach come if he believes it will be a one-year deal with Helton fired next season? Continue reading USC Coaching Staff Cat Fight?

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10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Oregon State

Before I start, I just want to mention I wrote about a crazy development with the coaching staff here and a huge problem the coaches told me exists next year right here. Now on to the list: 1.) Be honest Can anyone believe Clay Helton? In September, Clay Helton said Tee Martin calls every play. This week, Helton said he called 3-4 plays a game. … Continue reading 10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Oregon State

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USC Morning Buzz: Lynn Swann Owns This Mess

Let’s look at the big picture for a second. Pat Haden’s legacy at USC is toxic: He kept Lane Kiffin too long; he hired Steve Sarkisian and then hired Clay Helton. At one time, Haden felt like he was vindicated with Helton making up for his other disastrous decisions. But Lynn Swann is athletic director now and he can no longer blame Haden for Helton. … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Lynn Swann Owns This Mess

Does The USC Injury List Ever Get Shorter?

Do you remember Marcus Allen rushing 46 times for 243 yards against Cal in 1981? Or 44 carries for 289 yards against Washington State? I mention it because 90 carries is more than what either Vavae Malepeai (74) or Stephen Carr (81) have all season. Aca’Cedric Ware barely has more with 106. But look at the USC injury report this week: Carr is out with … Continue reading Does The USC Injury List Ever Get Shorter?