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

Clay Helton said this week USC linebacker Porter Gustin works from sunrise to sunset since undergoing knee surgery last week for a torn meniscus. Does anyone wonder if this is part of the problem?

Gustin’s known for spending a lot of time in the weight room and working out harder than anyone. But he also played in only four games last season and might miss the season-opener vs. UNLV. Could it be Gustin works out too hard or overtrains?

  • JT Daniels is way ahead in the USC quarterback derby. But sometimes he is human. During Thursday’s practice, Daniels threw an interception, was sacked twice and went 2 for 5 passing in an 11-on-11 drill.
  • Earlier this week I noted the 60th anniversary of the death of UCLA football coach Red Sanders.

USC coach Jess Hill resented Sanders, who was more glib with the media than the reserved Hill, who was known for saying everything was “mighty fine” and rarely provided colorful quotes.

I’ve never heard of Hill carousing with reporters at Julie’s restaurant like I recounted Sanders frequently mingling with them at Scandia in the 1950’s.

  • Speaking of Hill, he was no fan of NFL scouts. When he was athletic director, he made scouts sit in the end zone and refused to let them sit in the pressbox.
  • Among the speakers at Willie Brown’s recent funeral: USC athletic director Lynn Swann; Brown’s coach at Long Beach Poly and assistant coach at USC, Dave Levy; and former USC players Darnell Bing and Darrell Rideaux.
  • One staple of USC training camp: Internet reports raving about third-or-fourth string linemen. And once the season starts, not so much.

15 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. Yep. J. T. threw an interception in the 11 on 11. But guess what? Sears threw two interceptions in the 11 on 11—and another one in the 7 on 7.
    Sears is falling further behind. It’s all going to come down to Saturday —if J. T. throws for three or four T.D.’s again, it is over: J. T. will be named starting quarterback for the UNLV game.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree Michael, but what if Fink throws for 4 touchdowns and zero pics. These three guys are giving it everything they have for sure and it has been a great competition, no matter what happens. I keep thinking how many people are going to scream about firing Helton if he doesn’t name JT #1. Of course it is a staff decision but he will take the heat.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Steveg —-Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of great kids —good athletes with great work ethic—–not win starting roles (cuz someone came along who was a better fit at the position). Fink is destined to be one of those great kids who gets passed up. As far as Sears, he looks a shade less accurate than J. T. in all the film I’ve seen (and I think I’ve seen everything). And Sears has probably reached his ceiling. J. T. is gonna just keep getting better. The smart pick, both from a short and long range perspective, is J. T. Daniels —even if J. T. & Sears both throw 3 touchdowns on Saturday.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I think he’s gonna close the deal with a solid performance and Helton will have to play the best this time instead of going with a player who’s been around putting in time and eventually getting the seniority/character vote of confidence. These Mater Dei boys are going to work!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Sam!
        Yeah, I think we’re right about this, Sam —- it’ll be over on Saturday. And that’s good —not just for J. T. —-(but) for the whole team. To establish the kind of team identity we’ll need to beat Stanford and Texas [in back to back away games, no less] we need to get this quarterback question settled ASAP. Helton owes it to the team to be ‘Col. Kurtz- style’ ruthless (Apocalypse Now) in his quarterback decision this time—-no sentiment, no hand wringing —-otherwise, he risks getting off to a bad start.


      2. The sooner the better for a decision to be made. Daniel’s will be QB playing in the 2nd half against Stanford. Might as well just name him this week.


  2. Scandia? Yeah right up the ‘limousine lib-tard’ play script. Sunset Blvd..actually it was a fun place to go but it is telling that Sanders hung out there… mingling with a lot of Hollywood stars was Sanders desire. Sanders sounds a lot like…’Jack our Jack….JFK” and his flunkies smooching with the 4th estate. It’s a smart thing to do especially with a corrupt press corp i.e. the 100% cover-up by the Times and Herald-Examiner per Wooden and Gilbert


  3. “Darnell Bing.”

    Haven’t heard that name for some time. He was one of the greatest of the Jackrabbits. I hope he’s making a decent living away from football.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. SCooter,

    Man I hate this, but I agree with u regarding Gustain. Is he over training? However, the injury was on the field. But if u over train, your ligaments and tendons wear out. If he is lifting and squatting too much weight or for too long, he could be prone to injury. He personally could also be prone to more injuries because he might have weaknesses in the muscles and joints. I just wish him well and can’t wait to see him on the field

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jess Hill was a multi sport star and coach for SC and AD… but he lost most games to Red…so no wonder but I was at the only win in’52…
    SC this year…3,4,5 losses unless a running q/b , the ‘O’ line is not getting all the full pad practices allowed and will be like last year…no time for receivers to get open unless lots of 10-15 yarders and use tight ends and running backs…plural…I guess if defense has 3-4 pick sixes every game ,it could be a great year….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I know you’re joshing —-but wouldn’t it be weird, Tim, if —-with all our 5 star receivers and our 5 star quarterback —-we won games this year via pick sixes?

      Liked by 1 person

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