Sticky post

Discus The USC-Utah Game

What a turgid game. It was obvious this was Utah’s first game, especially the awful quarterback play. Kedon Slovis still far from his 2019 self. You can say there were some positives but how many were because of Utah’s ineptness. Tell me what Big Boy programs USC would have beaten tonight? They still look vulnerable against the run (and the pass). The offense is not … Continue reading Discus The USC-Utah Game

Sticky post

A USC-Utah Hot Take

Pac-12 Network analyst Yogi Roth is writing a weekly notebook for the conference website with his take on every game. Here is an excerpt from USC-Utah: “Grit is defined as having passion and perseverance, and in two games, USC has proven to have both And another: “I expect USC to play its most efficient game of the season this weekend.” That should keep USC’s coaches/administrators … Continue reading A USC-Utah Hot Take

Sticky post

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

It’s so hard to convince people who don’t watch USC games closely how ordinary the program has become. They see the 2-0 record, even if it is vs. the mediocre Pac-12. They see Clay Helton is a below-average coach. But they don’t fully realize the “nothing special” roster at so many spots. Look at the linebackers: You have some workman-line players who might be reaching … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

Sticky post

Can Todd Orlando Stop the Clancy Pendergast Imitation?

USC ranks No. 101 nationally in run defense, allowing 208 yards per game. It’s not just yards gained, the Trojans have given up plenty of long runs too (more than 15 plays of 10-yards-or-more). That means Todd Orlando has four problems: 1.) Front mechanics 2.) Alignments 3.) Run-fit integrity 4.) Tackling Now maybe two games is not a good sample size and I’m not prepared … Continue reading Can Todd Orlando Stop the Clancy Pendergast Imitation?

Sticky post

Clay Helton On Dodd Trophy Watch List (Really)

USC coach Clay Helton is one of 19 coaches on the midseason watch list for the Dodd Trophy, which “celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity.” This is 2020. Helton’s only coached two games and is on a watch list. Brandon Pili (finger) and Brett Neilon (ankle) are both possible … Continue reading Clay Helton On Dodd Trophy Watch List (Really)

Sticky post

USC Morning Buzz: Commitment To Run Remains Shaky

USC obviously likes a tailback-by-committee approach, which is pretty fitting give Graham Harrell’s approach to the running game. If he won’t even snap under center on fourth-and-1, and says it takes too much practice to try snapping under center, what does he care about a successful running game? I wrote about this nearly two years ago how at North Texas, some offensive coaches objected to … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Commitment To Run Remains Shaky

Sticky post

JT Daniels Expected To Start for Georgia On Saturday

Former USC quarterback JT Daniels will finally get his chance to start for Georgia on Saturday when the Bulldogs face Mississippi State, according to multiple reports. This has been a long time coming for Daniels, given how Georgia’s quarterbacks have struggled lately. We will also get to see how he does against SEC defensive linemen. “Since he’s been here, he’s done some nice things,” Georgia … Continue reading JT Daniels Expected To Start for Georgia On Saturday

Sticky post

Here’s Why Coaching Matters At USC

Earlier today, I ran this Todd Orlando quote on Chris Steele: “You want guys to be aggressive. If you get too much into a corner’s head and make them soft, you’ll never get that back.” You know why this is a bad quote? Because it means you don’t know how to correct it. It means you are not coaching. If USC cornerbacks are holding and … Continue reading Here’s Why Coaching Matters At USC

Sticky post

Petros Papadakis On Clay Helton’s Response To Kedon Slovis Passes

Petros Papadakis has weighed in on the Kedon Slovis controversy, specifically Clay Helton’s different answers when asked about Slovis having problems throwing a spiral. “It’s been very difficult for our friend, Clay Helton, to answer the question,” Papadakis said. “Just answer the question honestly. “Whatever the truth is, he doesn’t say it. There was no wind (a Arizona).” Continue reading Petros Papadakis On Clay Helton’s Response To Kedon Slovis Passes

Sticky post

Who Came Up With This Answer? Clay Helton Or Todd Orlando?

In a normal program, the head coach has a philosophy that filters down to the staff. But in this case, I’m not sure Clay Helton didn’t ask Todd Orlando for an answer about Chris Steele and just repeated his answer. Here is what Helton said about Steele, who has five penalties in two games. “I don’t want to take that aggressiveness away from him.” Here … Continue reading Who Came Up With This Answer? Clay Helton Or Todd Orlando?

Sticky post

USC Morning Buzz: Observations From A Pac-12 Coach

Here’s a couple quick observations from a Pac-12 coach on the USC-Arizona game: “Their defensve alignments didn’t look right both games this season.” “They just don’t look like a clean team. They have a ways to go.” “They got outcoached by Arizona and I’m not sure people expected Arizona to outcoach too many teams this season.” On running the shotgun in short-yardage situations: “I would … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Observations From A Pac-12 Coach

Sticky post

USC’s McClain Brothers Enter Transfer Portal

Munir and Abdul-Malik McClain intend to enter the transfer portal. Frankly, this only bolsters what I said this morning about 2021 because the brothers would be more valuable next season. Munir is currently suspended after receiving pandemic unemployment benefits. Abdul-Malik has played a bit but his mother has been critical of Clay Helton on twitter. The story was first reported by the L.A. Times. Continue reading USC’s McClain Brothers Enter Transfer Portal

Sticky post

USC Coaches Live On Earth 2

Why do USC coaches make it so easy to criticize them? Clay Helton and Graham Harrell were totally divorced from reality this morning when discussing Kedon Slovis and his arm troubles. “There’s nothing wrong with Kedon’s mechanics,” Harrell said. “I don’t know where he pulled that out of.” Fair enough. But then Harrell kept speaking. “I think the ball slipped out of his head once … Continue reading USC Coaches Live On Earth 2

Sticky post

Morning Buzz: Can USC Get Off Treadmill To Oblivion?

I was already asked by a Pac-12 coach on Monday night if USC might make some staff changes after the season? That tells you how others view the 2-0 start. Graham Harrell just signed a three-year deal at $1.2 million. He is not getting fired. Todd Orlando is on a multi-year deal, for around $1 million. He is not getting fired. Clay Helton is pulling … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Can USC Get Off Treadmill To Oblivion?

Sticky post

Recruit USC Stole From Notre Dame Flips Back To Irish

Philip Riley, a four-star cornerback who switched his commitment to USC in September after originally committing to Notre Dame, flipped back to the Irish on Monday night. Maybe he watched the first two games. LOVE THEE IRISH! ☘️🤞🏽@CoachMickens pic.twitter.com/d4RTrTghtu — PhilipRileyJr (@Riley18Philip) November 17, 2020 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Continue reading Recruit USC Stole From Notre Dame Flips Back To Irish

Sticky post

USC-Arizona Report Card

QUARTERBACK Kedon Slovis might have an injury but you wouldn’t know it listening to USC. If he has a mechanical problem, what have QB experts Clay Helton and Graham Harrell been doing about it? Grade: C+ TAILBACKS There are good moments for the backs but there is little consistency, which boils down to play calling and the offensive line. And short-yardage situations are a nightmare. … Continue reading USC-Arizona Report Card

Sticky post

USC Morning Buzz: Winners And Losers Of The Week

WINNERS Marlon Tuipulotu  At least someone is performing above expectations. Joel Klatt You can tell it pains the Fox announcers to criticize USC but things got so bad Saturday that even Klatt (and Gus Johnson) had to gently point out what a farce the coaching has become. That’s courageous since he might have to hear from the South Bay mafia in the athletic dept. Raymond Scott … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Winners And Losers Of The Week

Sticky post

Sunday Night With Clay Helton

Clay Helton had this whopper of an answer for snapping out of a shotgun on 4th-and-1: “Right now, it’s just not us. It’s sad that the fourth-and-1 we had a missed assignment . I don’t think it was from a lack of scheme, but we did have a missed assignment.” Reaction: It’s not just one play. USC has a lot of problems converting short-yardage downs … Continue reading Sunday Night With Clay Helton

Sticky post

USC Fans Have Had It But When Will Mike Bohn?

USC fans are not suprised by the lackluster victories the past two weeks. And I’m seeing some parents of players are starting to become more vocal on social media. But what does Mike Bohn think? If someone cornered Bohn, he would whisper that he knows Clay Helton is not a great coach. But . . . Bohn and his minions hired Todd Orlando, Donte Williams … Continue reading USC Fans Have Had It But When Will Mike Bohn?

Sticky post

Discuss The USC-Arizona Game*

Is USC worse than last season? I’m pretty unimpressed with Todd Orlando and Donte Williams. I was already unimpressed with Graham Harrell. This was to be expected. USC played awful but was good enough to beat Arizona, a terrible Pac-12 program. What would happen if USC played in a real conference? It’s scary to ponder that. The bad red zone play. The endless penalties. The … Continue reading Discuss The USC-Arizona Game*

Sticky post

USC Tweet Of The Night

Interesting response here from the mother of USC players Munir and Abdul-Malik McClain. Her original tweet is below this tweet. Right On! Ray Charles & Stevie Wonder Can See It! ♥️💛✌️✌️ — Shan McClain (@Shan_Mc4) November 13, 2020 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Tomorrow is game day for USC. #2 Is Still Suspended from football. Munir McClain is creating a narrative as to where the next generation of Young … Continue reading USC Tweet Of The Night

Sticky post

The Pac-12 Season Is Reeling

What a day for the Pac-12. Utah-UCLA is canceled. Cal-Arizona State is canceled. And the conference apologized to Stanford (and apparently QB Davis Mills) because a player had a false positive. Remember all those breathless media reports about the testing procedure of Quidel Corp.? Maybe their CEO should apologize to Stanford. My take: If Utah actually plays USC next week, it will be the Utes’ … Continue reading The Pac-12 Season Is Reeling

Sticky post

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

I suspect USC will cure some of its ills when it plays Arizona, who hasn’t beaten the Trojans since 2012. I’ve criticized defensive coordinator Todd Orlando through the week, but you know who flew under the radar? Cornerbacks coach Donte Williams. There could have been some pass interference calls in the game and an NFL coach told me the corners “were misaligned a lot.” But … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

Sticky post

An Eagle-Eyed Complaint From Some USC Fans

I hear USC received a few complaints this week after some fans objected to a decal on the back of the helmets featuring a logo for Black Lives Matter. The decals were difficult to spot on TV so I’m not sure if the fans were eagle-eyed or heard about the decals elsewhere. You can see the small decal on the back of the helmet in … Continue reading An Eagle-Eyed Complaint From Some USC Fans

Sticky post

The Daily: Is This Season Foolproof For Clay Helton?

Can you imagine last January telling USC that Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon and Washington would be removed from its schedule? A lot of fans think the Pac-12 gives USC short shrift, and in some cases in does, but man did it rig the schedule this season or what? USC didn’t even have to play well last weekend to beat the best team on its schedule. … Continue reading The Daily: Is This Season Foolproof For Clay Helton?

Sticky post

Thursday Reader Forum: What Explains Kedon Slovis’ Uneven Start?

It was really strange watching Kedon Slovis struggle and flutter some of his passes Saturday. But I’ve heard Slovis was throwing passes like that during the previous month of practices. Is it possible there is some lingering effect from the injury Slovis suffered in the Holiday Bowl? USC certainly hasn’t said anything about his health. But he definitely didn’t look the same on all his … Continue reading Thursday Reader Forum: What Explains Kedon Slovis’ Uneven Start?

Sticky post

USC Band Under Investigation

The Daily Trojan has a lengthy story today on the USC band that includes sexual-assault and racial allegations. Full story here. Excerpt: “In early August, a letter questioning the same culture was drafted and signed by 135 current and former marching band members. It detailed sexual assault allegations from three anonymous sources directed toward a tenor sax player who graduated in 2019, as well as … Continue reading USC Band Under Investigation

Sticky post

Maybe This Explains Why USC Played Flat Against ASU

I’ve heard from a USC player there was little-to-no emotion in the locker room before the Arizona State game. This surprises me because USC and other Pac-12 teams have not played a game. for 11 months. And there was no emotion? Not Todd Orlando’s yelling/square jaw routine fired anyone up? Maybe that explains why USC played the way it did. Time to fire more hype … Continue reading Maybe This Explains Why USC Played Flat Against ASU

Sticky post

Wednesday Reader Forum: Different Opinions Before/After ASU

Six days ago, Clay Helton said this about USC linebacker Palaie Gaoteote. “I’ll tell you the one I cannot wait to see play, I’m expecting big things from (Gaoteote). He has just had an amazing six weeks.” Who could question Helton with all practices closed because of the pandemic. But here is USC defensive coordinator Todd Orlando today talking about how the linebackers played vs. … Continue reading Wednesday Reader Forum: Different Opinions Before/After ASU

Sticky post

The Coliseum Is Available For Weddings . . . Seriously

USC is obviously looking for ways to make money during a pandemic. And now you too can have your wedding at the Coliseum . . . believe it or not. For $10,000-10,500, you can have a 10-person “petite wedding” at the Coliseum, and “following your I Do’s, you will be escorted to a Luxury Suite to nibble on chocolate-covered strawberries and sip bubbly.” No word … Continue reading The Coliseum Is Available For Weddings . . . Seriously

Sticky post

Is Kedon Slovis A Heisman Candidate Or Not?

Do you think Kedon Slovis is a Heisman Trophy candidate? Right now, he is not even on the board with BetOnline. I think his woeful first half would hurt him but I doubt it. More people probably saw the TD at the end on ESPN. But maybe it shows more how irrelevant USC is right now until it proves something. Here are BetOnline’s odds: 11/2/20             Current … Continue reading Is Kedon Slovis A Heisman Candidate Or Not?

Sticky post

Tuesday Reader Forum: What’s Up With The Safeties?

I thought it was a quiet opening performance for USC’s much-ballyhoed senior safeties — Talanoa Hufanga, Isaiah Pola-Mao — but I’m not blaming them. If the safeties are mostly playing man-to-man coverage, it’s difficult for them to make plays. Or maybe they were tied up because Todd Orlando loves to blitz so much? The safeties, who are seniors, are one of USC strengths. The dilemma … Continue reading Tuesday Reader Forum: What’s Up With The Safeties?

Sticky post

Pac-12 Coach: “I Don’t Know If He Knows What He’s Doing”

Long-time readers know I like to speak to coaches. So I called a Pac-12 coach today about the USC game regarding defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. “(Orlando) is feast or famine. He’s going to blitz and either have a tackle for loss or give up a big play. “It’s almost like he blitzes to blitz. I don’t know if he knows what he’s doing. I’m thinking, … Continue reading Pac-12 Coach: “I Don’t Know If He Knows What He’s Doing”