USC-Stanford Report Card

QUARTERBACK

JT Daniels looked like he never got hit before after Stanford got some pressure on him early. He started watching the pass rush instead of looking downfield. When he didn’t do that, he locked on to a single receiver.

Again, he is going to be a good quarterback. But no one should compare him to Sam Darnold. This is where I remind everyone the quarterbacks coach is 27-years-old and played at Western Kentucky (Bryan Ellis).

D

RUNNING BACKS

Clay Helton would rather go down with the ship playing his three-back rotation than going with a hot hand. Stephen Carr is the best tailback but he can’t get enough carries and the coaches love Aca’Cedric Ware. This is where I remind everyone the running backs coach is actually an offensive line coach (Tim Drevno).

D+

WIDE RECEIVERS

For whatever reason, Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman are not playing like they did last season. USC’s best receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown, fell victim to the “Ocho package,” which Helton said was designed to get him the ball and resulted in two touches. This is where I remind everyone the wide receivers coach is actually an ex-quarterback (Tee Martin).

D+

OFFENSIVE LINE

They did OK when running the ball, and for some reason, USC did not commit to running the ball. But the pass protection is often a disaster-in-the-making and causing JT Daniels to run for his life.

D

DEFENSIVE LINE

Did anyone see this group get any pressure on K.J. Costello? Or contain the edge?

C-

LINEBACKERS

I can’t really remember what John Houston is doing. Or most of the other linebackers. Cameron Smith’s effort is good, though the offseason hype was a bit much.

C

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Google some of the spring practice articles that said Iman Marshall was a completely changed player. Does USC cover anyone on third-and-deep or cover anyone over the middle? The secondary is shaky, as predicted. They are just lucky Stanford had a conservative game plan.

D+

SPECIAL TEAMS

What’s the point of alternating punters? Chris Tilbey had a good first punter than disappears but returns later. I suppose this is some clever thing from John Baxter. I thought Amon-Ra St. Brown was the punt returner and then Tyler Vaughns returned punts.

C

COACHING

Did it ever look like USC was capable of making a comeback? Did the sideline inspire you? There was no emotion on the bench. There is no identity. No leadership. USC took its playmakers (St. Brown, Carr) out of the game with few touches.

We’ve all seen this before but now Sam Darnold isn’t around to bail everyone out.

F

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19 thoughts on “USC-Stanford Report Card

  1. That’s two Fs in a row for the Staff. Time for Scooter to have a parent conference with Helton’s mom & dad. This next game Vs. Texas will tell a lot about the true state of the team. The optimist in me is holding out hope that they can right the ship.

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  2. SCooter,

    You are way to generous with your grading off the curve. I reported my report and I gave anyone and everyone that is associated with the USC Football team a F- -. They totally sucked. The oline has had the same results for the last three years, sacks and more sacks. The lbers were no where to be seen on passing downs. Biggie took the inside rush when Love ran for a million miles. He was outside containment. The dbs were playing in the end zone on passes to the te. The o coordinator does not deserve to coach junior high football let alone USC. WHERE WAS HELTON WHEN THE USC RECEIVERS WERE BEING MUGGED AND HELD BY THE DB’S? He did not make a peep about it. The season is over. NO fire in the belly, no dominance, when SC got hit in the mouth, they said sorry for being in their way. I have had it. Until Martin goes, Until Calloway goes, Until the db coach goes, USC will lose another four games. No leadership from Helton.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Helton needs to go and take his staff with him. Saturday’s loss was a total “F” effort. Why bother showing up ? I’m sorry, the team did not show up. Stanford plays UC Davis ( Cal Aggies) on Saturday night. This game is going to be broadcast regionally on the west coast. Davis has been rolling up over 500 yards of offense each game. The game is at Stanford. If the UC Davis Aggies win over Stanford (Dan Hawkins is the Aggies coach), it will drive me absolutely nuts and I will not stop criticizing Helton until he and Lynn Swann are tossed from the program.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We ARE SC!..the talent is there, the coaching is NOT!-IF not for an unusually GREAT talent in Sam Darnold, this coaching staff (Mr Helton) would be gone! Now, after new contracts are given out(Whaaat?!) the true coaching talent will come through. I remember, and have lived through, the Smith, Tollner and Hackett years,…I think the next years may be similar! Only good outcome will be improvement in seating.

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  3. #10 Houston allowed the Stanford 26 yard pass gain immediately after USC’s failed 4th and two….at this stage of his career to have no clue in pass coverage is evident….USC’s failed 4th and 2 fell victim to Stanford’s same rush scheme as the one that got JT Daniels hurt….right up the middle stunt..Stanford’s Alfieri #32…..

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  4. Defense was fine. 17 points was a good performance. Yes there were some head scratching third and Kong’s that got converted, and they shouldn’t get an A but overall they did enough to win. Offensively and coaching, ugh. F’s are deserved.

    I like coach Helton more than most, but we are all pretty certain of who he is now. We are an 9-3 or 8-4 team with 11, or 12 win talent. That’s a little too tough to ask the fan base to put up with.

    I am hoping for the absolute best, run the table and surprise us all. But feeling that this may go the other way.

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    1. Adjustments can change everything. Does Coach have the will and way to make them? We’ll see. I thought he did, but now I’m just hoping…

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  5. Hey Houston was a 5 star he cannot be crumbed on. Cameron is a 1st round pick. Tee is just such a talented play caller. Clancy has the D playing down hill …..blah blah blah…. after this next loss let’s see what the AD does.

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  6. Just read that Gomer has the team leaving for Texas AFTER practice on Friday, why ? Would you not to get a walk through at the stadium on Friday ? This isn’t a trip to the Bay area, it’s a 2 1/2 flight. Gomer is a F’ing joke who deserves wore than an F grade.

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  7. What disaster this year is going to be .. no Darnold to save the day for Gomers sorry ass. Effort is already at last year at ND level. #70 probably got a hug and another cheeseburger from Gomer after that stellar play that almost got his qb killed.
    The Kiffin years were painful, Snark years laughable, Gomer years just tiresome. For Christ sakes get it right or 35,000 will be your home crowds .. no one wants to watch this crap.

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  8. There is a reason that Daniels acted like he had never been hit before — he hadn’t. Mater Dei had a offensive line that was so much more talented than any defensive line it faced, Daniels had all day to throw (and also had fantastic receivers to throw to). He is talented, and an accurate passer, but the question has always been how he will perform when he is not protected by a vastly superior offensive line. Eventually he should perform well, but it will definitely be a learning experience

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  9. This is like what the Dems faced. They called Bush Jr., McCain, and Romney the devil, and when Trump came down the pipe, Devil didn’t work any more. Nobody believed ’em. So when you give crap grades last week, and they win by 20, your crap games on a disaster game ring hollow. Got to be real each week. Don’t advocate – report and analyze.

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  10. They are doing to JT what PC did to Barkley. Freshman having never been in a college game and now getting his butt kicked is a dangerous thing to do. Anyone remember Barkley and his “happy feet” that he got as a freshman and was never able to overcome? Now JT is watching the pocket, not his progressions, not a good thing.

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