Time to pick the score for tonight’s game. Will Utah win for the first time at the Coliseum or is USC going to put together an inspired performance and bounce back from last week’s loss? Meanwhile, you can watch the inauguration of USC president Carol Folt here. Continue reading USC-Utah Pick The Score
I wouldn’t put much stock into any reports that USC president Carol Folt has made any decisions regarding Urban Meyer. Or that Rick Caruso is pushing her to hire Meyer. Folt was hired to clean up USC. And that means not taking orders from any one person, whether it is Caruso or Wayne Hughes or someone else. Caruso, an aspiring politician, also knows trying to … Continue reading Carol Folt Theories Already?
Special teams coach John Baxter is a lightning rod for criticism . . . for many, many reasons. Before this season, one of my favorite moments was that he had only eight men on the field multiple times to defend extra points in the 2016 USC-Stanford game. Then came this year’s Fresno State game with the two No. 7’s on the opening kickoff. With such … Continue reading Don’t Question John Baxter
Here are 10 things USC needs to fix before it plays Utah on Friday night. 1.) Help Kedon Slovis All you hear from the coaches is how the offense does not need to change because a true freshman is at quarterback. But if he is getting passes deflected at the line or over the middle, try throwing more to the sidelines. Or even, dare we … Continue reading Morning Buzz: 10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Utah
Cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart (concussion) is questionable for the Utah game. Chris Steele will start in his place. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is day-to-day with a sore foot. Cornerback Greg Johnson (concussion) is cleared to play. Defensive end Christian Rector (ankle) will be a game-time decision. “He’s been medically cleared to practice and play but there’s also a confidence level,” USC coach Clay Helton said. … Continue reading USC Injury Report
One more thing on the defense. A big problem vs. BYU was players being out of position . . . and poor tackling. “If USC worked on fundamentals and techniques for 40 minutes a day, they would be so much better,” said an NFL scout who attends practices. “They spend little or no time on fundamentals.” Continue reading USC Needs More Fundamentals
College football analyst Phil Steele had USC as his No. 6 most-improved team in the nation entering the season. He also had USC as No. 3 in his “best buy” category, which is teams ready to make a big jump back after a disappointing season. But that does not mean he is picking USC to beat Utah on Friday. “I think with the defensive line … Continue reading Who Does Phil Steele Like In USC-Utah Game?
With Clay Helton fighting for his USC coaching life, it might help if Clancy Pendergast would abandon his well-known stubborness during games. Pendergast prefers to play man-to-man coverages but against BYU, USC actually had its most success during some short stints of zone coverage. Unfortunately for USC and Helton, Pendergast didn’t use too much and BYU prevailed. Pendergast does not like to listen others and … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Clay Helton’s Not Getting Help From Staff
Under Clay Helton, USC is 1-12 outright and 2-11 ATS as a dog. 11 of the 12 losses have come by double digits, 8 of the 12 losses came by at least 17 points. Avg margin of defeat in SC’s last 12 losses as a dog – 18.8 PPG. USC is currently a 3.5-point home underdog vs Utah. — Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) September 18, 2019 … Continue reading Clay Helton As Underdog
Why isn’t anyone talking about how gassed the defense looked Saturday? At one point, I thought it was semi-embarrassing. Especially since it was still the first half. So the apologists will claim it was the altitude of Provo (4,551 feet). If that is the case, why didn’t USC do extra running last week in practices? Or hydrate more? We have all been sold the con … Continue reading USC Almost Vanished Into Thin Air
QUARTERBACK I wonder if ABC analyst Todd McShay wants to take back his Sam Darnold comparisons? Kedon Slovis probably did as expected for a true freshman in a first road game. But did Graham Harrell or Clay Helton help him? Not really. And he still has not gotten hit. That could happen Friday. Grade: C- RUNNING BACKS Can someone fix the rotation? Markese Stepp is … Continue reading USC-BYU Report Card
Some observations on USC’s offense from an NFL coach: “Did you notice they ran better without No. 84 (Erik Krommenhoek) in the game? The defense figured out alll you had to do was follow him and you knew which way the ball was going.” “If you use the running backs right, you start No. 30 (Markese Stepp) and wear down a defense, then you put … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: An Outside View Of Air Dud Offense
USC practiced Monday because of the short week. Graham Harrell actually spoke two days after he ducked the media. Asked what he can do to help freshman QB Kedon Slovis, Harrell said: “Call plays the quarterback likes, not plays that I like,” Harrell explained. “My first year at North Texas, I called all the plays that I liked when I was a player. I learned … Continue reading Bru McCoy Goes To Practice
If you think USC-Stanford has been a decent rivalry the past 10 years, it was really something in the John McKay era. And a big part was his rivalry with Stanford coach John Ralston, who died Sept. 14, at age 92. Ralston was the oldest living College Football Hall of Fame coach at the time of his passing. “Stanford was not his favorite,” said McKay’s … Continue reading John Ralston, One-Time Nemesis Of John McKay, Dies At 92
Where does Graham Harrell get off ducking the media after the BYU game? Does he think he is still at North Texas or Texas Tech? Is is he too good to explain himself after a shoddy offensive performance? It’s inexcusable for a highly paid offensive coordinator to avoid the media after a 12:30 p.m. PT game. Remember, the media is the way the fans get … Continue reading USC Notes: Is Graham Harrell Too Good To Talk?
I’ve already written that a source at Mater Dei told me quarterback Bryce Young might decommit from USC and go to Alabama. Now I’ve heard from another source that Young spent some time at UCLA over the weekend, presumably Sunday. Young is still officially committed to USC. But with all the uncertainty regarding Clay Helton, JT Daniels redshirting and Kedon Slovis starting, would anyone be … Continue reading The Rumor Mill On Possible Decommit
Remember all the offseason propaganda duly lapped up by the sycophants about the culture change and newfound discipline at USC? Let me just give two examples from the BYU game that show things are similar to 2018. I hear a USC player committed a team rules violation before the game . . . and still started. Remember when Clay Helton bragged that USC had only … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: The Lack Of Discipline Continues
Clay Helton confirmed what I wrote earlier today: Graham Harrell called the plays. “Ultimately, Graham is making all the calls,” Helton said. Asked about the ill-fated pass play on third down of the overtime, Helton said: “The right play was called. They made a play. One more play than us.” Helton said Harrell, “called a great game.” Actually, BYU made quite a few more plays … Continue reading Sunday Night With Clay Helton
How bad was USC’s offensive line vs. BYU? I’ve questioned the effectiveness of offensive line coach Tim Drevno since he returned to USC and yesterday the line looked overmatched trying to block three down linemen. Center Brett Neilon was repeatedly overmatched. I can’t even remember how many times I pointed out in the offseason the offensive line would be a weak link. One fallacy emerging … Continue reading USC’s Offensive Line Is Meeting Expectations
Graham Harrell has pretty much gotten a free pass in the media since being hired. But in USC’s first three games, the Trojans’ offense was outscored by Fresno State and BYU. USC’s scored three touchdowns in each of those games. That’s not something to make any Air Raid offense proud. Someone will blame it on Kedon Slovis being a freshman but wasn’t Slovis a Heisman … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: The Air Raid’s Consistent All Right
This is clearly a game USC did not need to lose . . . did you hear me Clay Helton? Whether it was the poor offensive line play (thanks, Drevno!), penalties, poor tackling or the play calling, USC didn’t do what it needed to do. Of course, USC wins by losing if it gets rid of Helton. That was an atrocious offensive series in OT. … Continue reading Did USC Need To Lose?
It’s 17-10 BYU as the defense gives up a 3rd-and-14 conversion. Kedon Slovis throws another interception. Both interceptions, BYU had eight defenders back, which is how Washington defends Washington State’s Air Raid offense. USC and BYU are tied, 7-7. Kedon Slovis led the Trojans on a TD drive and threw his first career interception. Will this be a high-scoring game? Looks like BYU is testing … Continue reading Discuss The USC-BYU Game
Here is my column on Lynn Swann for the Sporting News: Excerpt: “Where does USC go from here? It needs someone to clean up the mess: an outsider who has no ties to the years of cronyism and ineptness present in the program.” Full column here. Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Lynn Swann’s Swan Song
USC women’s volleyball is hosting the Trojan Invitational at the Galen Center starting today. One of the teams just happens to be Villanova. It will be interesting to see if Villanova A.D. Mark Jackson, who would like the USC job, just happens to be at the tournament. Usually, an athletic director won’t fly 2,700 miles to accompany the women’s volleyball team to a tournament. There … Continue reading USC Notes: Will A.D. Campaigning Take Place This Weekend?
With an early kickoff, you can pick a score for the USC-BYU game today. USC is a 4-point favorite. I will make my pick tomorrow. Is this a “trap” game as Clay Helton said earlier in the week? Continue reading Pick The USC-BYU Score
A part of me still finds it hard to believe Lynn Swann is no longer athletic director. After the way former president Max Nikias celebrity-worshipped Swann and interim president Wanda Austin chose to ignore his shortcomings, Carol Folt is a totally foreign entity for USC’s administration. Witnesses from Monday keep emphasizing how blindsided Swann was by his dismissal. Remember, he wanted to be USC athletic … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column
Clay Helton finally spoke about wide receiver Devon Williams entering the NCAA transfer portal. “Great kid, good player, wish him nothing the best,” Helton said. You mean he isn’t a part of Helton’s family for life like Jack Sears? This is why Helton should not make ridiculous statements like that because they sound insincere. John Jackson and Velus Jones will replace Williams, per Helton. Of … Continue reading Clay Helton Speaks On Thursday
Bovada actually has USC athletic director odds. Not good odds, but odds. When you have Urban Meyer as the No. 2 candidate, how serious can this be? Or O.J. Simpson? But at least it is a start. Candidate Odds Pat Chun +100 Urban Meyer +280 Dave Roberts +400 Rick George +800 Desiree Reed-Francois +1100 Joe Parker +1100 Jamie Pollard +1100 Mark Jackson +1100 OJ Simpson … Continue reading USC Athletic Director Odds
I met with a USC donor today, who said he believed Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens is going to pursued by the university. “I don’t think (Nike owner) Phil Knight will let him go,” the donor said. I think fans will be surprised USC is not more popular with the oddsmakers when it comes to winning the Pac-12 basketball title. Here is what BetOnline has … Continue reading USC Notes: An AD Candidate
A former USC player who graduated last year said one of the happiest players is wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. “He’s really happy with (Kedon) Slovis,” the player said. “Everyone thinks he is JT’s guy because they have always played together. But he’s never pushed for JT to start. He’ll say no one is his guy.” Continue reading Happy With Kedon Slovis
USC has completed 59 passes in two games and exactly one went to a tight end as Erik Krommenhoek has a 5-yard reception. If USC is 2-0, maybe it doesn’t matter. But a tight end is a weapon in any offense. Apologists will say a pass was thrown at Josh Falo vs. Stanford. Hurray! And I don’t care where Falo lines up, he is a … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Do Tight Ends Matter?
Here is what Clay Helton said about wide receiver Devon Williams entering the NCAA Transfer Portal. Oh wait, Helton does not speak to the media on Wednesdays. I wrote before the season it would be interesting who speaks for the program when news happens on a Wednesday. Not Helton. Meanwhile, I heard from a source today that Lynn Swann signed a non-disclosure agreement with USC. … Continue reading Clay Helton On Devon Williams
A USC administrator told me they were surprised in late July when Lynn Swann skipped Pac-12 media day. “There was national media there, Larry Scott was there and it was an opportunity to deliver a positive preseason message,” the administrator said. “But he was on a planned vacation or something.” I doubt this had anything to do with Swann getting fired. But it just showed … Continue reading Another Lynn Swann Story
Wide receiver Devon Williams, who has been considered a bright prospect the past two seasons, has entered the NCAA transfer portal. I first reported this was about to happen at USC247.com this morning. Williams caught only one pass for 11 yards in two games and was unhappy with his playing time. He fell victim to USC’s big three (Tyler Vaughns, Michael Pittman, Amon-Ra St. Brown) … Continue reading Wide Receiver Devon Williams Enters NCAA Transfer Portal
Do you think Lynn Swann knew he was getting fired Monday? Well, here is what happened: Swann showed up at USC on Sunday and met with USC coach Clay Helton, which is a normal occurence during football season. There were no indications anything out of the ordinary was going on, per sources. Swann arrived at USC on Monday morning and met with the women’s golf … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Lynn Swann Didn’t Know What Was Coming
I hear USC is seriously considering Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith. He is the one of the best-known athletic directors in the country. Did I mention USC president Carol Folt is from Akron, Ohio. But would Smith want it? He certainly would be ideal if USC wants Urban Meyer, which remains to be seen. There are a big three, I believe, out there: Smith, … Continue reading USC Dream A.D. Candidates
Former USC linebacker Jack Del Rio went on the Will Cain Show today and had this to say about his interest in being the Trojans’ coach. “I love USC. I think it’s one of the top tier programs in the country. I’m fully supportive of Coach Helton. I’m supporing him. I’m not undermining him. “If and when there was ever was anything, yeah I would be … Continue reading USC Notes: Jack Del Rio Supports Clay Helton/Wants His Job
Finally, some non-Lynn Swann news: QUARTERBACK Kedon Slovis not only had the stats he rallied the entire team. Let’s see what happens when he gets hit and faces some blitzes. Grade: A- RUNNING BACKS Lost in the Slovis glow, the running game sputtered. Why won’t USC play Markese Stepp? I don’t get it. Grade: C- WIDE RECEIVERS The big 3 (Vaughns, Pittman, St. Brown) produced … Continue reading USC-Stanford Report Card
Lynn Swann‘s departure from USC left a laundry list of transgressions. Here are a few: He gave Clay Helton a five-year contract extension. He didn’t fire Helton. He presided over the FBI investigations into the College Admissions scandal and basketball program. He banned the song girls from basketball games. He attended an autograph show in Virginia during the admissions scandal and the same day USC … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Lynn Swann’s Many Transgressions
Here are my thoughts on today’s removal of Lynn Swann along with Kedon Slovis and the BYU game. Continue reading USC/Lynn Swann Podcast
Why did Lynn Swann become the third straight USC athletic director to be forced out after Mike Garrett and Pat Haden? And why did it happen after a 45-20 victory over Stanford? People within the university tell me this is just USC president Carol Folt’s systemic housecleaning of upper management. Folt has hired a new provost; a new vice president of student affairs and created … Continue reading Analysis On Lynn Swann’s Firing
Lynn Swann is out as USC athletic director. USC president Carol Folt made the announcement today (below). No way Swann made this decision. And Folt is actually going to have a proper search committee. This is bad news for Clay Helton because new athletic directors like to hire their own coaches. Here is the statement from Folt: Dear Trojan Community, I am writing to share … Continue reading BREAKING: Lynn Swann “Resigns”
Stanford coach David Shaw defended USC coach Clay Helton after the Cardinal lost, 45-20, on Saturday night. “Clay Helton has heard a lot of crap from a lot of people for a lot of things,” Shaw said. “He’s one heck of football coach, and he’s got a really good football team.” But Shaw did a bigger favor for Helton during the game when you consider … Continue reading Morning Buzz: How Will Teams Defend USC Now?
Clay Helton was typical Clay Helton tonight. “As much success as Kedon (Slovis) had, a lot of it came from JT (Daniels). I give him as much credit as Kedon” Helton said USC was not worried when it trailed Stanford in the first half. “A whole team pulling for each other and pushing each other. Even when things weren’t going exactly right. I must have … Continue reading Sunday Night With Clay Helton