I hear USC’s sold about 30,000 tickets for Friday night’s game with Washington State. Maybe that’s why it has some specials to sell more tickets like below. Continue reading USC Ticket Count
I will be a guest on the Petros and Money show (AM-570) around 2:45 p.m. today. Continue reading Radio, Radio
Clay Helton used profanity during a post-practice speech Monday apparently because of the loss to Texas and maybe because tailback Aca’Cedric Ware said practices were “slow” and “lazy” the previous two weeks. “The one thing that I’ve learned in 24 years of coaching is your kids are going to react how you react,” Helton said. But during his radio show Tuesday, Petros Papadakis said it … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Should Clay Helton Change His Demeanor?
Why has USC been unable to intercept a pass in three games? Here is a big reason: Clancy Pendergast only plays man-to-man coverage in the secondary. It’s pretty hard to get interceptions when you never play zone. The corners and safeties are running around chasing receivers the whole game and there are never adjustments, which makes it easier for the offenses to find weak spots. Continue reading Why USC Has No Interceptions?
I was curious why JT Daniels, who had more hype than any prep quarterback to come to USC, throws so much off his back foot? Was this missed in high school? Or is this a recent development? So I asked a former USC offensive coach about it: “He is throwing off his back foot because he is looking at the pass rush. He is not … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Why Does JT Daniels Throw Off Back Foot?
Some rankings for USC football: Scoring offense No. 113 Rushing offense No. 117 Total offense No. 93 Net punting No. 121 Rushing defense No. 110 Forced turnovers No. 109 Continue reading USC Tale Of The Tape
In the offseason, there was a lot of chatter about how USC was stronger and working harder in the weight room than in the past. But as I watched the Stanford and Texas games, I never got the impression USC was especially imposing physically. I see a lot of big guys on the defensive line but not a whole lot of production. Porter Gustin always … Continue reading How Strong Is USC?
I’m not sure why anyone needed a Year 3 under Clay Helton to figure out what is happening with USC football. Most coaches require time to improve the program. But USC is actually worse than it was in Year 1 under Helton. Let’s review: Year 1: USC only lost to Stanford (with Max Browne at QB) and narrowly to Utah because Helton decided to make … Continue reading Morning Buzz: USC Going In One Direction
USC coach Clay Helton was his usual self tonight. “I see a team that plays with tremendous effort and tremendous competitiveness,” Helton said. “The thing that stands out is the need for more consistent play.” And then this: “At the end of the day, I believe in this team. I believe we have the men to compete for a Pac-12 championship.” What does that really … Continue reading Sunday Night With Clay Helton
Here is what USC tailback Aca’Cedric Ware said after the Texas loss. “We gotta practice better. Period. Practice this week was kind of lazy, kind of slow. I feel like if we practice harder, we’re going to play harder. We gotta work on stuff like that.” How is practice slow and lazy the week of a huge, nationally televised game? Especially coming off a loss … Continue reading USC Practiced `Lazy’ Week Of Big Game
What an utter joke. Who is defending Clay Helton now? What was the game plan? Can USC run block? Did it even want to run? Can Clancy Pendergast even defend the middle of the field? Can John Baxter coach special teams? What a disaster. But don’t expect Lynn Swann to do anything. He acts like a figurehead. Porter Gustin is ejected for targeting. JT Daniels … Continue reading Discuss The USC-Texas Game
This is quite a game to select a winner. It’s difficult to find a reason to like Texas: Its defense has one sack in two games; the Longhorns lost to Maryland; beat Tulsa by a touchdown and have nothing going for them outside of playing at home today. I think USC is better than Texas. I just don’t know if USC’s coaches will find a … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Pick The USC-Texas Score And My Winner
I spoke to some former USC players for this article on the memories of the 2006 USC-Texas BCS title game. Excerpt: ““It still hurts. Everything was on the line. It was for a three-peat. It’s kind of a bummer,” USC linebacker Oscar Lua said. Full story here Continue reading USC-Texas Rose Bowl: `It Still Hurts’
The last time USC went to Austin, it defeated Texas, 10-6, in 1966. But the part that remains fascinating was the appearance on the USC sideline of legendary actor John Wayne. “He would make a Hook ’em Horns sign to the crowd and they were cheering,” former USC assistant coach Dave Levy said. “But he was saying f—) ‘em Horns.” Levy also remembered Wayne happily … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column
With USC playing Texas, it brings back memories of the 2006 BCS title game. I spoke to former USC linebacker Collin Ashton this week about the game. Ashton, who called the defensive signals on the final series, said he still remembers when he went over to the sideline to speak to Pete Carroll during a timeout. “Is this not the most fun you’ve had in … Continue reading A USC-Texas Memory
Last week, Clay Helton said offensive coordinator Tee Martin calls the plays. “Last year Tee called it and Tyson (Helton) and I would chime in,” Helton said. So I decided to find out who called plays against Stanford? I was told Martin calls the plays but Helton and QB coach Bryan Ellis also chime in too. I don’t think they are calling as many plays … Continue reading About USC’s Playcalling
1.) Coach better This might seem like a joke. But USC needs to up its game from the sideline. It would be stunning to hear USC had the dreaded “ocho package” for wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and failed to get him the ball, but remember a couple years ago how the USC coaches were unable to get the ball to JuJu Smith-Schuster against Alabama … Continue reading 10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Texas
Have you seen the weather forecast for Austin on Saturday? A 90 percent chance of rain with a high of 83 degrees. That means the humidity could be awful. Even if it did not rain, the heat and humidity is a concern for teams that time of the year. If you are going to the game, should be fun. I’m sure Clay Helton will have … Continue reading Weather Concerns?
USC ranked 122nd nationally in rushing yards per carry allowed (6.69 yards). Now, some of you will immediately point to one Bryce Love run and a fake reverse by UNLV for inflating the stat. But then that leads to a discussion on explosive plays allowed. Besides, USC radio announcer Pete Arbogast (and others) said before the season this would be the best defense since 2008. … Continue reading Maybe QB Is Way Down USC’s List Of Concerns
USC did not lose to Stanford because JT Daniels struggled. But the game was revealing when you factor in all the hype that accompanied Daniels’ arrival at USC. The first thing a writer told me when Daniels signed with USC was, “he never faced a pass rush at Mater Dei.” So what happened Saturday? The first big hit Daniels took, he started watching the rush. … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Let’s Analyze The QB Position
Clay Helton said today the bruise on JT Daniels’ right hand, “hurts like heck” but he will play against Texas. And what about his performance vs. Stanford? “He’s going to go through some growing pains and we’re going to live with it and we’re going to move on as an offense,” Helton said. Here is Daniels: “There were things we missed. Things we’ve got to … Continue reading JT Daniels Is OK
I spoke to an NFL defensive coordinator who watched the USC-Stanford game and wondered if the coaches/administration have any idea what the nation’s top programs are doing to be successful? “USC football is in a sad state of affairs. whoever is overseeing the program, they are not paying attention to what is going on at the top of college football,” he said. Forbes magazine has … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Does USC Try To Learn From Programs Like Alabama?
There was no line on the USC-Texas game, presumably because of JT Daniels’ hand injury. But there is a line today: USC is a 3.5-point underdog. So it’s basically the home-field advantage for Texas. Meanwhile, check out this video from the USC-Stanford game and keep an eye on right tackle Chuma Edoga. Harry Houdini or @jtdaniels06? The freshman QB escapes the rush and notches a … Continue reading The Latest Line
Here’s my column for the Sporting News on the Pac-12’s up-and-down weekend: Stanford’s business-like 17-3 victory over USC solidified the Cardinal’s status as a top-10 team. But it also exposed the Trojans as a unit with several weaknesses, especially on offense. That could lead to future embarrassments for the Pac-12’s most recognizable brand, this time in marquee nonconference games against Texas on Saturday and Notre Dame on Nov. … Continue reading USC Isn’t Helping The Conference Of Champions’ Image Either
Someone who was on the sideline during the USC-Stanford game told me they were shocked at the lack of emotion on the sideline during the game. This does not contradict USC’s performance. In the second half, it looked to me like USC had either lost interest or given up as it became apparent the Trojans’ offense wasn’t going to be able to mount a comeback … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Where Was The Emotion?
USC coach Clay Helton said JT Daniels has a bruised hand after he underwent an MRI today. He will be re-evaluated but is expected to play Tuesday. Safety Isaiah Pola-Mao is out at least two weeks with a dislocated shoulder. As for the game, Helton said, “I thought our players competed extremely hard and that was evident on the tape.” Asked again about the lack of … Continue reading Sunday Night With Clay Helton
USC dropped to No. 21 in the coaches’ poll and No. 22 in the AP Top 25 poll. Frankly, I’m surprised USC is still ranked in the polls, especially since everyone could watch last night’s game. But Clay Helton has a vote in the coaches’ poll, so that helps the Trojans. And Helton thought USC “competed like warriors” so why should they drop out? Continue reading USC Drops In Top 25 Polls
If you do not get enough aggravation from watching USC, it gets worse when you hear the post-game explanations. Here’s a few favorites: Why did wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown get only two touches? Clay Helton said USC designed a special package for St. Brown tonight called the “Ocho package.” “We actually had a special package for Amon-Ra tonight. We’re trying to do everything we can … Continue reading USC Sunday Buzz: The Reaction Was As Bad As The Game
UPDATED: It’s not the 17-3 loss to Stanford, but the gutless nature of the performance that should bother Clay Helton tonight. It was so bad and he did nothing to give USC a sense of urgency. Again. USC has no leadership. No energy. No purpose. The coaching is atrocious. And if you think JT Daniels will provide late magic like Sam Darnold, tonight proved otherwise. … Continue reading Discuss The USC-Stanford Game
I could make a case for USC and Stanford to win this game. I think the Cardinal’s pro-style offense actually plays into USC’s hands because it allows the Trojans to play a more conventional defense. USC is also bolstered by the fact this is JT Daniels’ second game and he should be more comfortable with all the receivers. And despite being on the road, Stanford Stadium … Continue reading My USC-Stanford Pick
OK, it’s time to pick the score for tonight’s game at Stanford Stadium. I will offer my pick later today but I feel this is a tough one. It could go either way. Who do you like? Continue reading Pick The USC-Stanford Score
I discuss the USC-Stanford game and talk about the general state of the Pac-12 with Mark Rogers here. Continue reading USC-Stanford Preview
I hear USC center Toa Lobendahn suffered a new injury in practice this week and could be a game-time decision to play against Stanford. Continue reading Toa Lobendahn Questionable?
USC-Stanford is one of the biggest games in the nation on Saturday but what exactly are the stakes? USC beat Stanford last year and the Cardinal still won the Pac-12 North. The Trojans could lose tomorrow and easily win a Pac-12 South that already looks weak after one week: See Arizona and UCLA. So whatever happens, it’s not really going to earth shattering. Tomorrow’s game … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column
Clay Helton said today that Tee Martin is the sole playcaller this season. “Tee’s calling it all,” Helton said. “He does a good job . . . Tee’s doing a great job of calling.” Then Helton was asked if this was different than last season? “Last year Tee called it and Tyson (Helton) and I would chime in,” Helton said. Continue reading Clay Helton Addresses Playcalling
Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey announced his retirement today. He won three College World Series titles, went to the CWS six times and won 900 games. But . . . he is only 59 years old. Casey is not a big-city guy. However, what does it cost USC to make a run at Casey for its baseball job? I can think of two reasons … Continue reading Someone Tell USC That Pat Casey Retired
Former USC coach John McKay did not like Stanford. “Stanford was not his favorite,” said McKay’s long-time USC assistant, Dave Levy. “He felt they were a little arrogant. Stanford gave him the needle. He used to say, `I like (Stanford coach) John Ralston when we beat them. I don’t like him when we lose to them.’ ” McKay’s ire reached in the early 1970’s when … Continue reading John McKay Did Not Like Stanford
Safety Isaiah Pola-Mao did not practice because of an illness. He should return in a day or two. That left C.J. Pollard at safety for Wednesday’s practice. Bubba Bolden remains suspended by the university but could hear his fate by the end of the week on how long he will be out. Ykili Ross has left and there has been some speculation he could return but … Continue reading Safety Depth Remains An Issue
Here’s another example of when does hype meet reality? We keep hearing from everyone at USC that wide receiver Randal Grimes is talented and dangerous. Not to mention tall (6-4). So why doesn’t he play? Is he not good enough? If not, why is there so much praise for him in the offseason? The problem is once the season starts, the coaches do not tend … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: When Does Hype Meet Reality?
USC safety Bubba Bolden did not attend practice, so it appears his suspension remains. Neither was safety Ykili Ross, who might be starting if he had stayed with the team instead of leaving two weeks ago. Continue reading Bubba Bolden Not At Practice
USC’s national title odds were 40/1 last week at the Las Vegas Super Book. But those odds are now 50/1. Do you blame them after the UNLV game? Here are the rest of the odds: Alabama 7/4 Clemson 7/2 Ohio State 6/1 Georgia, Auburn 8/1 Oklahoma, Notre Dame 15/1 Washington, , Wisconsin 20/1 Michigan 25/1 Penn State 30/1 Michigan State 40/1 LSU, Miami, Texas, USC 50/1 Mississippi … Continue reading USC National Title Odds Drop
Suspended USC safety Bubba Bolden was in the McKay Center locker room today. Does this mean he might be coming back to the team? I guess we will find out later today. Continue reading Bubba Bolden Sighting
Here are the grades from the season opener: QUARTERBACK JT Daniels is not Sam Darnold and can’t match the hype from the past nine months. But he can help USC win games especially when he throws to Amon-Ra St. Brown. B TAILBACKS USC rotated three backs and looks like it wants to feature Aca’Cedric Ware. Is he a game-changer? No. If USC wants to beat … Continue reading USC-UNLV Report Card
USC is a 3.5-point underdog to Stanford. The line opened with Stanford a 6-point favorite. Continue reading The Latest Line
I’ve heard some USC media twist themselves into pretzels trying to defend the UNLV performance. Luckily, some former players have contacted me since the game to express their frustations. They were disappointed in the defense, especially the front 7. Some where disappointed in the offensive line. But again, they are more perplexed by the leadership of the program. I want to point to something I … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Does USC Need More Focus?
1.) Coach better Impossible. 2.) Cover the middle of the field. Clancy Pendergast is an autocrat on defense. He plays man-to-man defense and doesn’t like to make adjustments. But USC never covers the middle of the field and Texas figured it out in the second quarter. I’m guessing WSU coach Mike Leach knows it too. 3.) Change special teams Does John Baxter ever get checked … Continue reading 10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Washington State
Here is my appearance on Petros and Money, where I did not hold back on USC football. My segment begins at the 34-minute mark. Listen here. And here is a quote from TCU coach Gary Patterson, who plays Texas this week and watched the films of USC playing the Longhorns. “(It) looked like to me (like Texas) physically beat them,” Patterson said. How far has … Continue reading Morning Buzz: A Memorable Radio Appearance And Unmemorable USC Physical Performance