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USC Morning Buzz: Recruiting Keeps Getting Stranger

With Signing Day on Wednesday, USC is certainly busy. It made a later offer to defensive back Mark Perry of Rancho Cucamonga, who announced he would still sign with Colorado. It tried to get offensive lineman Arase Mose of St. Louis in Honolulu, who announced he would still sign with Hawaii. It made a very later offer Monday to defensive back Titus Toler of St. … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Recruiting Keeps Getting Stranger

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Don’t Take My Word On USC Recruiting Class

You already know USC’s recruiting class is not up to the usual standards but the Trojans still have around 10 open slots to land some prospects. But don’t take my word for it. Here is what Mike Farrell, the national recruiting director for Rivals, said in an article on the early signing day: “The Trojans are ranked outside the national top 25 and have an … Continue reading Don’t Take My Word On USC Recruiting Class

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The Clock Is Ticking On Discipline

Before the NCAA had football players sign a letter of intent, they were not bound to a college until the first day of classes. At USC, the coaches used to take it easy on the freshmen during training camp and then on the first day of classes, legendary USC assistant coach Marv Goux (pictured) would tell them, “no more prime rib or apple pie at … Continue reading The Clock Is Ticking On Discipline

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Could UCLA Defensive End Jaelan Phillips Be A USC Target?

UCLA defensive end Jaelan Phillips announced he was withdrawing from school because of multiple injuries and because UCLA does not offer a major in music production/technology. USC does have a music production major that “combines a rigorous course of study in music with an emphasis in computer and studio based music production.” So is Phillips considering USC? He sent a tweet today that said, “Next … Continue reading Could UCLA Defensive End Jaelan Phillips Be A USC Target?

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USC Sunday Buzz: NFL After Kingsbury?

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports said this morning that some NFL teams are interested in USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury as a head coach. “Teams are actually looking at his contract to see if maybe we can lure him before he really starts at USC,” Glazer said. From going 35-40 at Texas Tech to head coach in the NFL. What a country! Meanwhile, here is … Continue reading USC Sunday Buzz: NFL After Kingsbury?

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

Former USC defensive backs coach Greg Burns is returning to the Trojans. He was at Oregon State last season. I haven’t been around Burns since 2005 but I know Pete Carroll talked Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin into taking him off his hands in 2006. That was a disaster and Burns last only one season. He has since been at schools like Kansas State, … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

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USC Recruiting Is Something Else, Part IV

Mater Dei linebacker Mase Funa announced today he would honor his commitment to Oregon. Funa recently visited USC, which made a late push. The four-star prospect is the highest-rated linebacker to ever commit to Oregon. So here is the question: Why did USC have to make a late push? USC got three players from Mater Dei last season and usually seem to get who they … Continue reading USC Recruiting Is Something Else, Part IV

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Cameron Smith Named USC MVP

It probably says something about the season that linebacker Cameron Smith could miss two games and play only eight snaps against Utah but still was named USC’s most valuable player Wednesday night. There was no player of the game awards vs. UCLA or Notre Dame. In the past, USC would give out this award even if it lost the game. But not any more. A … Continue reading Cameron Smith Named USC MVP

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USC Recruiting Is Something Else, Part III

I never underestimate USC’s ability to put together a top recruiting class with its tradition. But these are not the headlines I normally see: USC offers defensive back committed to Colorado Cornerback committed to Georgia Tech will visit USC this weekend Top USC offensive line prospect decommits from North Carolina State Like I said, anything is possible in recruiting but it would be nice to … Continue reading USC Recruiting Is Something Else, Part III

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Kliff Kingsbury Will Face A Real Dilemma At USC

Kliff Kingsbury has so much power right now he has to be the coach to decide who starts on offense. That means he has a big decision to make at quarterback. What could complicate the decision is how vocal many of USC’s wide receivers have been the past six weeks about wanting Jack Sears to be the starter. Several players have told me since the … Continue reading Kliff Kingsbury Will Face A Real Dilemma At USC

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Are USC Fans This Easy To Please?

I’m sure social media is not a great way to gauge how fans feel on an issue but so far USC fans seem desperate to approve of what’s happened with the coaching staff since the season ended. Three facts: Clancy Pendergast is an average-to-below average defensive coordinator. John Baxter has been a below-average special teams coach the past three seasons. The strength and conditioning program … Continue reading Are USC Fans This Easy To Please?

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USC Officially Hires Mike Jinks As Running Backs Coach

At least we know Clay Helton had nothing to do with this hire: Mike Jinks, who was Kliff Kingsbury’s running backs coach at Texas Tech from 2013-15. He was also associate head coach in 2015. He lasted 31 games as head coach at Bowling Green before getting fired with a 7-24 record. So now he will be USC’s running backs coach. In 2014, Texas Tech running … Continue reading USC Officially Hires Mike Jinks As Running Backs Coach

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USC Morning Buzz: Coaching Staff Gets Tweaked

Joe DeForest, who was a USC defensive analyst last season, is going to become a linebackers coach next season. Among the schools DeForest has coached at are Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Duke. He was the linebackers coach at Duke when Clay Helton was a graduate assistant there (of course). Now Johnny Nansen was the linebackers coach last season so it’s possible they may … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Coaching Staff Gets Tweaked

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USC Keeps Raiding Smaller Schools For Coaches

What was mentioned yesterday looks official tonight as Boise State defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a has agreed to come to USC. Is he a better coach than Kenechi Udeze? Definitely. But why does USC go after someone who worked at Utah State, Oregon State and Boise State instead of going after a top defensive line coach in the SEC or NFL? Because Clay Helton has no … Continue reading USC Keeps Raiding Smaller Schools For Coaches

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Someone Should Be Thankful For Clay Helton

All the turmoil with football takes even more spotlight off the USC basketball program. Even under the best of times, few care about basketball. But Andy Enfield is really living with no scrutiny right now. No one cares he is 3-19 against ranked teams. No one cares he just lost to TCU, 96-61. Arizona State and Nevada had more fans at Staples Center on Friday … Continue reading Someone Should Be Thankful For Clay Helton

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Tee Martin To Maryland?

Former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin could be headed to Maryland as offensive coordinator according to FootballScoop.com. But will he call the plays? That’s a key question because Maryland’s new coach, Mike Locksley, was the offensive coordinator at Alabama. He is also trying to hire Butch Jones as associate head coach to oversee the offense, according to FootballScoop. So Martin could find himself in familiar … Continue reading Tee Martin To Maryland?

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USC Going After Defensive Line Coach

USC is interested in Boise State defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a, according to FootballScoop.com. Kauha’aha’a was an assistant to Gary Andersen at Utah State, Wisconsin and Oregon State. Andersen is reportedly trying to him back to Utah State. The bigger question is whether Kauha’aha’a will be a yes man to Clancy Pendergast. He better figure that out before he decides if he wants the USC job. Continue reading USC Going After Defensive Line Coach

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USC Really Wants Quarterbacks

Does USC really need to sign two quarterbacks this year? JT Daniels will be a sophomore and the NFL after junior season scenario seems ridiculous today. But USC is not only signing QB Kedon Slovis, it is actively recruiting at least two more quarterbacks: Maverick McIvor, who originally committed to Texas Tech, but decommitted. USC is also recruiting Dillon Gabriel of Mililani, Hawaii, who was … Continue reading USC Really Wants Quarterbacks

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USC Morning Buzz: Sunday Notes

USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury was one of three Trojans coaches at the Mater Dei-De La Salle game Saturday night. Kingsbury offered Mater QB Bryce Young, a USC commit, a scholarship to Texas Tech when Young was in the eigth grade. In case you missed it yesterday, I reported for USC247.com that Clay Helton wanted to hire a defensive backs coach that Clancy Pendergast does … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Sunday Notes

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USC Defensive Backs Coach Update

I am told USC coach Clay Helton offered the defensive backs job to another Pac-12 assistant. The details are here. Meanwhile, a USC athletic dept. source said Clancy Pendergast made a “courtesy call” to Mark Carrier about the job. Why just a courtesy call? Because Pendergast doesn’t want someone with a big reputation or might question the schemes. He wants a non-threatening yes man.   … Continue reading USC Defensive Backs Coach Update

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Randal Grimes Transferring

Wide receiver Randal Grimes is transferring from USC. USC coaches committed malpractice with Grimes and he is smart to leave. In 2017, he was thrown on to the field for the Notre Dame game, which was Game 8, and burned his redshirt year. This season he played in only 3 games and did redshirt. Who does that? Grimes probably can’t leave fast enough. He was … Continue reading Randal Grimes Transferring

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Former USC Great Tim Rossovich Dies

Tim Rossovich, an All-American defensive end in 1967 and member of that national championship team, died Thursday after a long illness. He was 72. Rosssovich was in the NFL from 1968-76 and played in the 1969 Pro Bowl. He then turned to acting where he had nearly 50 credits. He was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame in 2015. Rossovich was selected with the 14th pick of … Continue reading Former USC Great Tim Rossovich Dies

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

King Kliff Kingsbury “coached” the following QBs in college: Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Johnny Manziel, Case Keenum and Davis Webb. Mayfield transferred and is critical of Kingsbury while Webb ended up spending his senior year at Cal. But for the sake of argument, we will give him all of those quarterbacks. Now a couple warning signs from Kingsbury’s recruiting at Texas Tech. His class a … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It Must Be Time For A USC Notes Column

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Remember Kenny Bigelow?

Former USC defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow, who played at West Virginia this season, was named to the Pro Football Focus All-Big-12 first team. He barely could get on the field at USC but became a key contributor at West Virginia. This shows you that the Clay Helton-Clancy Pendergast-Kenechi Udeze trio wasn’t getting the most out of linemen. I thought the defensive line was a huge … Continue reading Remember Kenny Bigelow?

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When Does Change Mean Change?

I just asked an athletic dept. source about Clancy Pendergast, John Baxter and the strength and conditioning program. The response was “status quo at the moment.” I’m not sure why Clay Helton thought he needed to fire three coaches last week but not touch defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator or strength and conditioning. Maybe he felt he needed to keep things together through the early … Continue reading When Does Change Mean Change?

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USC Morning Buzz: King Kliff Coronation Continues

There is already a T-shirt on Kliff Kingsbury coming to USC. Not an attractive shirt but a shirt. How many national titles have been won by teams running an Air Raid offense, by the way? Like I said, he is a good hire, but there is such a desperation among a segment of USC fans they are going overboard over his arrival. Also this: Clancy … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: King Kliff Coronation Continues

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Will Clay Helton Get Any Credit For Kliff Kingsbury?

When a coach hires a big-time offensive coordinator, he is not supposed to worry about who gets the credit because the head coach always benefits from winning. That was apparent when Pete Carroll co-existed with Norm Chow until Carroll eventually got tired of Chow getting credit and wanted to prove he could do it on his own. Big mistake. But Carroll got tons of credit … Continue reading Will Clay Helton Get Any Credit For Kliff Kingsbury?

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Kliff Kingsbury’s Dual Roles Leave Little Room For Clay Helton

This is interesting. Besides becoming USC’s offensive coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury is taking the role of quarterbacks coach. This means Clay Helton won’t even have a stooge to weasel into the set up for drawing schemes or setting up plays like in past years. He had Tyson Helton looking over Tee Martin’s shoulder for a couple years and then Bryan Ellis last season. Remember last year … Continue reading Kliff Kingsbury’s Dual Roles Leave Little Room For Clay Helton

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Morning Buzz: Does USC Need An Urban Makeover?

There is already specutlation that a year from now Urban Meyer will replace Clay L-ton. What happens to Kliff Kingsbury in that scenario? Does he move on? USC fans are so excited right now about Kingsbury they act like he is the greatest offensive mastermind in football history. Meyer to USC would be something. He is not a yes man, which would be rough for … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Does USC Need An Urban Makeover?

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Kliff Kingsbury Got Hired, Now What?

USC fans are pretty happy that Kliff Kingsbury accepted the offensive coordinator’s job. But the program still needs someone to instill discipline, which almost has to be an outside source because Clay Helton isn’t really respected enough to put fear into the players. And it needs to address the strength and conditioning. Practices also need to get a lot tougher. Let’s see if those changes … Continue reading Kliff Kingsbury Got Hired, Now What?

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The Pac-12 Shows USC Little Respect

Did you notice USC plays two Friday games next season? Can you imagine Michigan or Ohio State playing two Friday games in the Big Ten? Can you imagine those schools putting up with it? Does the Pac-12 care about USC fans? Two week day games? I hope none of you have kids that play high school football. Or are cheerleaders that attend Friday night games. … Continue reading The Pac-12 Shows USC Little Respect

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USC Recruiting Is Something Else, Part II

USC offered a scholarship to Riverside City College defensive end Nick Figueroa today. No problem there since Figueroa has at least 18 other offers. But what took so long for USC? It seems like USC recruiting is in a bit of a panic mode right now. Half a coaching staff gone. An unimpressive recruiting class. This is not how USC should be in December. Continue reading USC Recruiting Is Something Else, Part II

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An Unpopular Opinion On Kliff Kingsbury

With USC fans continuing to worship the idea of hiring Kliff Kingsbury, just a contrarian view that an NFL coach shared with me. “He couldn’t win with Patrick Mahomes,” the coach said. Texas Tech was 12-13 with Mahomes starting the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Now it should be said the offense was ranked in the top 6 nationally both seasons and Kingsbury won’t be coaching … Continue reading An Unpopular Opinion On Kliff Kingsbury

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USC Morning Buzz: Time To Add Stars To Recruit Rankings

Last night, offensive guard Tilini Livai of Narbonne was literally a zero-star prospect by Rivals.com. Livai then committed to USC and magically is a two-star prospect. I’m surprised he wasn’t suddenly give three stars. So Livai was offered months ago by Iowa State, which went 8-4 and has a coach with a good reputation (Matt Campbell) and was zero stars. But then he gets offered and … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Time To Add Stars To Recruit Rankings

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USC Recruiting Is Something Else

USC just received a commitment from Narbonne offensive guard Tilini Livai. His other offers were from Hawaii, Iowa State, New Mexico and Portland State. USC offered a scholarship to safety Deland McCullough II, the son of former Trojans running backs coach Deland McCullough. McCullough II is currently committed to Miami, Ohio. This is another reason why Clay Helton needed to be replaced. He can’t win with … Continue reading USC Recruiting Is Something Else

Who Won The California State Championship?

Remember in 2017 when Clay Helton said USC was state of California champs after it defeated Stanford, Cal and UCLA? Is Stanford coach David Shaw making the same claim this year? No, because he is not insane. Meanwhile, Fresno State beat UCLA and Arizona State. Is Jeff Tedford making a claim to the Pac-12 South title? In other news, USC has set Oct. 19 vs. Arizona … Continue reading Who Won The California State Championship?