With Ed Orgeron 7-0 against AP Top 10 teams not named Alabama, it’s a good time to recall Pat Haden bypassed Orgeron for Steve Sarkisian. When I pressed Haden that day, he said, “we’ll see. I might be wrong.” He sure was but where is he to take some accountability for his actions? No one at USC does that. Here is a good example of … Continue reading Pat Haden And Clay Helton Have A Lot In Common
I want to revisit the spin from Graham Harrell that Markese Stepp was too tired to carry the ball more than 10 times last night. Stepp was asked if he was “a bit winded at times” during the game. “Sometimes,” he said. “When you are carrying six people you tend to get winded, that’s a lot of people.” Of course, you are going to get … Continue reading Was Markese Stepp Really Too Tired?
With USC now 3-3, here’s a column I wrote for the Sporting News on Clay Helton’s future. Excerpt: USC has six regular season games left, and Helton probably needs victories in at least five of those games to save his job. That means he needs to beat Colorado, UCLA and at least three of the following teams: Arizona, Oregon, Arizona State and California. Of course, … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Clay Helton’s Six-Game Plan
At least it was close! This the world we all live in under Clay Helton. We’re all surprised he covered and kept it close. The shame is USC had a great chance to win this game. But the defense wilted in critical situatons and the offense took way too long to generate anything. Can someone fire Helton, Graham Harrell or whoever is responsible for keeping … Continue reading Discuss The USC-Notre Dame Game
USC comes back and scores as Markese Stepp barrels through the defense. Notre Dame 30, USC 27. Here comes the onside kick. Well, it’s time to make a stand and USC wilts. The Irish go 75 yards in 14 plays and have rushed for 311 yards as Ian Book caps it off with a TD run. Notre Dame 30, USC 20. Kedon Slovis finds Tyler … Continue reading USC-Notre Dame Live Blog
Two years ago, I picked Notre Dame to blow out USC and was correct as the Irish won, 49-14. A lot of the same conditions exist today: USC players seem to be tuning out Clay Helton; the practices are not terribly hard based on what I hear; the motivation is questionable. Helton is not a leader of men. At the same time, I wonder if … Continue reading Morning Buzz: My USC-Notre Dame Pick
Here is the Notre Dame band entering the Athletic and Convocation Center for the Friday night rally. The crowd size is not great, perhaps because of the rainy weather. Or maybe USC doesn’t excite anyone. Here’s Brian Kelly telling a subdued crowd that it’s a chance for Notre Dame “getting after #USC one more time.” There are 4 USC fans at the rally. Below is … Continue reading Notre Dame Rally Videos
Of course I have to post this picture of the Bush Push, with yours truly in the Nottingham Forest jersey on the left. These final minutes were the most intense crowd atmosphere I ever experienced at a USC game. Being 10 yards from one of the biggest plays in USC-Notre Dame history didn’t hurt either. But the crowd was unbelievable and don’t forget they had … Continue reading USC-Notre Dame Picture Of The Day
Brian Kelly sounds like he knows how to stop USC. “We’ve got to keep the ball in front of us, limit big play,” he said. If Notre Dame eliminates the deep pass, what does USC have left? It can try to run but here’s a stat: USC beat Utah with 4 yards rushing and lost to Washington with 212 yards rushing. Kelly also said USC … Continue reading Notre Dame Is Going To Test Air Raid
It’s an awful feeling if you are a USC fan going to watch the Trojans play a historic opponent in an amazing setting . . . with one hand tied behind your back. That is the burden of rolling into Notre Dame Stadium with Charles Clay Helton as your football coach on Saturday. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly might have his drawbacks but he’s now … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column
I get that a lot of USC fans want Reggie Bush back on campus and I fully expect the university to allow him back in 2020. But I don’t get why they say “he didn’t take any money” or “his parents took all the money.” Let me just point to a Bush quote from last year: “The guy who I took money from was my … Continue reading Reggie Bush Was Not A Victim
USC interim athletic director Dave Roberts, who is also an insider with the NCAA, said Reggie Bush’s ban from the university will end in June, 2020. Roberts said it would then be up to USC to decide if Bush is allowed back on campus in an interview with TrojanSports.com. “The COI, which I sit on — Committee on Infractions — had recently put through a … Continue reading Reggie Bush Could Be Allowed At USC In 2020
If Clay Helton were smart, he would treat the Notre Dame game like his Super Bowl. What does he have to lose by taking risks? USC is a double-digit underdog. A loss will only make the players more uninspired. A win might reverse course on the season. Helton should: Run some trick plays (which Graham Harrell seems allergic to) Fake a punt (Ben Griffiths will … Continue reading Super Bowl In South Bend
USC’s Air Raid offense is doing a great job getting the ball to its wide receivers but Graham Harrell seems to have little use for the tight end. Erik Krommenhoek and Josh Falo combined for six receptions in five games. By contrast, former USC tight end Cary Angeline, who transferred to North Carolina State, has 13 receptions this season in five games. Notre Dame’s tight … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Throw To Tight End!
It’s USC-Notre Dame week, so time to discuss if the Trojans have a chance vs. the Irish? Continue reading USC Podcast Time
With USC facing Notre Dame, it’s worth revisiting this story on former USC president John Hubbard. Hubbard led a colorful life. But this story only adds to the legend. A former USC athletic dept. official told me that after USC played Notre Dame in the early 1970’s, Hubbard flew back to Los Angeles on the team plane. But then he disappeared for two weeks. “They couldn’t … Continue reading Some Colorful USC-Notre Dame Stories
USC traditionally flies Thursday afternoon to South Bend for the Notre Dame game. It’s standard procedure for college football teams making a long road trip. But I’m hearing USC is going to arrive in South Bend on Friday night this week. That’s quite a risk. It feels like Clay Helton is almost admitting he doesn’t want to be in Notre Dame any longer than necessary. … Continue reading USC Is Going To Notre Dame When?
I know Notre Dame will make adjustments Saturday vs. USC. Remember last season? USC came out with its quick-pass offense and JT Daniels passed for 244 yards in the first half. Daniels passed for 105 yards in the second half after Notre Dame adjusted to an offense it had not seen on film before the game. And USC failed to score in the second half … Continue reading What Adjustments Will USC Make Vs. Notre Dame?
So I already mentioned USC promoted that 52 percent of tailback Markese Stepp‘s carries resulted in a first down or touchdown, the highest mark in the FBS for running backs with at least 25 carries. But that did not deter offensive coordinator Graham Harrell on Tuesday, who said Stepp’s role will not “increase or decrease much from what it’s been because we have three guys … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: The Madness Continues
How amazing is this? USC is tweeting out stats that make the coaches look dumb. Markese Stepp is doing something? Then why doesn’t he play!!!!! 52% of @markese_stepp's carries have resulted in a first down or touchdown. That leads all FBS running backs with 25+ carries, per @PFF_College. #FightOn pic.twitter.com/myuI0eQC8s — USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) October 8, 2019 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Clay Helton made it official tonight by … Continue reading Earth To USC Coaches
There’s been some spin emerging that USC would have beaten BYU and Washington if JT Daniels were healthy. Do people forget USC’s offense struggled in the second quarter of its victory over Fresno State? Clay Helton and Graham Harrell constantly bring up Kedon Slovis and Matt Fink throwing three interceptions in their first road starts. But they will never mention Daniels threw a costly interception … Continue reading If Only JT Daniels Were Healthy
Remember during training camp there were so many breathless reports about how freshman tailback Kenon Christon was? He hasn’t played and it looks like he will redshirt. The homers will say USC’s other tailbacks are so good he needs to redshirt. Vavae Malepeai is solid but not a gamechanger. Stephen Carr‘s been disappointing outside of that long run vs. Washington while Markese Stepp seems to … Continue reading USC Morning Notes: Whatever Happened To Kenon Christon?
I originally wrote about this in more detail Monday on USC247.com but thought it was worth reposting some of it here. I ran into a current USC player over the weekend at a high school football game. During the conversation, he told me an interesting story. After the 28-14 to Washington, the USC players filed into the locker room at Husky Stadium. The mood was … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Emotions Ran High At Washington
USC ran a light practice today and as expected, Kedon Slovis is on course to start. ” It’s looking good right now with Kedon,” Clay Helton said on the “Trojans Live” radio show tonight. “Hopefully, no setbacks. Kedon looks good.” Asked how he would beat Notre Dame, Helton said, “you always want to pack your run game” with you. “Obviously, maybe, create some great special … Continue reading Monday Night With Clay Helton
Ayden Hector, a four-star cornerback from Sammamish, Wash., committed to Stanford tonight. Hector is the son of former USC defensive back Zuri Hector, who played from 1989-92 and is No. 15 in the above photo. Stanford already has freshman cornerback Kyu Kelly, the son of former USC star cornerback Brian Kelly. Continue reading Another Son Of USC Player Commits Elsewhere
I first came across this photo in 2017 and it is impossible to forget. In 1927, USC played Notre Dame before 120,000 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The night before the game, an event was held to hype the game and it featured baseball legends Babe Ruth (in a Notre Dame jersey) and Lou Gehrig (in a USC jersey). The event also promoted the Stanford-Yale … Continue reading USC-Notre Dame Pictures Of The Day
USC interim athletic director Dave Roberts sent out a message today that had one interesting passage. Roberts talked about the return of new deputy athletic director Paul Perrier, who came back to USC after several years at Rutgers. “Paul’s first order of business will be an internal review of our sport programs, sport administrators and department policies.” An internal review of sports administrators? That could … Continue reading USC Athletics Conducting Internal Review
The USC-Arizona game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 and be televised by the Pac-12 Network. This is also Homecoming. So it’s a night game for alumni returning to campus. More importantly, Arizona will either be in first place in the Pac-12 South or tied with USC at 2-1 in the South for this game. And it will be on the Pac-12 … Continue reading USC-Arizona Kick Off Set
Is there ever a better time to make a coaching change based on the state of the Pac-12? If USC hired the right coach for next season would there even need to be a grace period? Who scares you in the Pac-12? Who will be markedly better next season? Every season is different but if USC hires a good coach and is able to rebuild … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Conditions For Change Could Not Be Better
USC players celebrate after Frank Jordan (3) hits field goal with 2 seconds left to give the Trojans a 27-25 victory over Joe Montana-led Notre Dame at the Coliseum in 1978. Continue reading USC-Notre Dame Picture Of The Night
It’s Notre Dame-USC week and I recommend any fan who has the time/money attend a game in South Bend if possible. But here we go again with the usual dilemma for USC fans: Of course you want to beat your traditional rival, especially in Notre Dame Stadium. The first time I saw USC beat Notre Dame there in 1997, it was such a big deal … Continue reading The Notre Dame Dilemma For USC Fans
USC received 5 votes in the AP Top 25 poll. Who is voting for USC? Yogi Roth? Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said this morning that USC has “probably the best defense we’ve faced from the USC Trojans since maybe I’ve been here.” I can’t say I agree. Continue reading Brian Kelly Loves USC’s Defense
This item is a tribute to Yogi Roth‘s homage to USC last week. What if I told you the team USC lost to last week would lose to Stanford on Saturday night with its No. 3 quarterback playing the last quarter-and-a-half? What if I told you the team that beat USC last week was “a national contender every year” according to Roth, would muster 13 … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Those Two Losses Are Not Holding Up
The Arizona schools are 4-1? After everyone trashed Arizona for losing to Hawaii? Oregon State is beating UCLA, 21-0, in the first quarter. Check the attendance. UCLA’s two smallest crowds at the Rose Bowl were vs. Oregon State. Fire Chip Kelly? He won’t get a passionate defense from Yogi Roth because Kelly coaches at UCLA instead of USC. Oregon couldn’t score a point in the … Continue reading Around The Pac-12 (Updated)
Kedon Slovis is expected to start against Notre Dame following his concussion vs. Utah. One thing that concerned me this week is when he said he suffered a similar concussion in high school last year because his head hit the ground. So that’s two concussions in a year from hitting his head against the ground. Football is not a contact sport. It is a violent … Continue reading A Concern About Kedon Slovis
USC does not play today and if you are like me, it brings a sense of relief. I won’t be frustrated watching a game with the familiar penalties (unsportsmanlike conduct, personal foul, false start), debatable play calls or defensive breakdowns. And don’t forget the calamaties that are always a possibility on special teams. Saturdays tend to be stressful affairs with USC’s tendency for sloppy performances. … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: A Stress-Free Saturday
Four-star linebacker Jordan Banks of Narbonne committed to Arizona State today, the latest example of a player USC recruited choosing an out of state school. At least Banks didn’t pick an SEC school. Continue reading Meanwhile On USC Recruiting Front
Agustin Huneeus was sentenced to 5 months in prison, the longest prison term handed out in the College Admissions case to date. He was also fined $100,000 and will do 500 hours of community service. Huneeus will have to report to prison on Nov. 4 and requested the United States Penitentiary, Atwater, or at least somewhere within 200 miles of San Francisco. Huneeus paid $50,000 … Continue reading Longest Sentence Handed Out In College Admissions Scandal
If the USC athletic dept. wanted to craft a defense of Clay Helton, it would sound exactly like this: We love when teams respond when adversity strikes…so let’s allow them to respond. Here is my take on #USC football in my weekly Passion Bucket segment. #HowGreatIsBall #Pac12FB @Pac12Network pic.twitter.com/oTDjIYdtLY — Yogi Roth (@YogiRoth) October 3, 2019 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Continue reading A Passionate Defense Of Clay Helton
It’s only five games into the season but I always talk about USC’s ability to deal with adversity when I judge the Trojans. Other pundits pushed the culture change, the new assistants, the new strength coach, the discipline, etc., when discussing this season. I was skeptical of all that and went back to wondering how USC would handle adversity with a coach who cannot lead … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column
A few years ago, I started researching past USC coaching staffs, to demonstrate how many future head coaches/big-time assistants were on the staff. At the bottom, I will recap the 1972 USC staff. But let’s look at this staff: Clancy Pendergast: Zero personality and zero interest from other schools/NFL teams. Graham Harrell: A puffed-up profile from all the offseason hype but has been a bust … Continue reading Let’s Look At The USC Coaching Staff
Here’s an honest question: Did you ever think the explosive Air Raid offense would be stopped simply by taking away the deep pass? BYU and Washington did it, obviously. But where is Plan B? There has to be more than “we need to run the ball.” Does Mike Leach‘s offense shut down when teams try to eliminate any deep passes? I’ve yet to hear Genious … Continue reading USC Notes: Where Is Plan B?
Former USC offensive lineman Bill Fisk, an All-American in 1964, has died, according to Mt. San Antonio College, where he was head coach from 1987-2004. He had a record of 126-64-2 at Mt. SAC. The school announced Fisk died from prostate cancer. He was 75. Fisk, who grew up in San Gabriel, was a member of the USC 1962 national championship team and was voted … Continue reading Former USC All-American Bill Fisk Dies
Whatever happened to the wide receiver rotation promised in the spring and during training camp? The coaches said before the season USC would employ eight wide receivers and that definitely hasn’t happened. Velus Jones hasn’t caught a pass this season. I wonder if he regrets coming back? Devon Williams played so little he transferred to Oregon. Munir McClain drew praise in training camp but caught … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: What Happened To The Wide Receiver Rotation?
Clay Helton said tonight JT Daniels underwent knee surgery yesterday. He got hurt on August 31 so that is more than a month before surgery. Was the swelling that bad? Usually, USC players have knee surgery 1-2 weeks after an injury. “I talked to him literally right after the surgery and he was already in the machine that bends your knee back and forth, going … Continue reading JT Daniels Just Had Knee Surgery?