USC Morning Buzz: That Was Quite A Game

I picked USC to beat Washington State, 31-27, so I was close on the margin of victory as the Trojans actually won, 39-36.

But what a performance to analyze:

  • USC is utterly incapable of putting pressure on the QB with its front seven.
  • USC is also unable to provide consistent pass-or-run blocking.
  • USC also comes up with some really sloppy penalties.
  • I’ve written since August (and not really seen it elsewhere) that the secondary was a problem. It gave up 344 yards passing and looked shaky the entire game.
  • I think USC was fortunate Mike Leach tried a field goal near the end of the game. Washington State was 3 for 3 on fourth down.
  • A mild surprise was USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast playing some zone defense. But it was obvious the players didn’t know what they were doing in an unfamiliar coverage.
  • The question is where USC goes from here? Perhaps fairly far within the Pac-12. The teams USC plays are so bad that it doesn’t matter if USC is undisciplined and doesn’t have an identity. It can still squeak out a victory over Washington State.

41 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: That Was Quite A Game

  1. So here’s what we know about ’18 SC football team from the first four games:

    – SC is better than UNLV
    – SC is much worse than Stanford
    – SC is considerably worse than Texas
    – SC is a field goal block better than Washington State

    Should we be satisfied with this? I know I’m not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, that’s the real current address of SC football this season so far, and it’s not exactly glorious. In fact, it really hasn’t been for some years now with all these not-so-stellar former assistants.


  2. We won and somehow came back from 30 -17 down in the 2nd half.
    Coach finally showed some emotion on the sideline.
    The O line is going to be a issue all year.
    The D is going to be an issue all year.
    Penalties are going to be an issue all year.

    I do think Trojans have talent. I don’t think it’s being utilized properly or assessed correctly. I cannot help but think a change in coaching would def get more out of this group.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Poor coaching = sloppiness

    Sloppiness = penalties, missed assignments, easy 3rd down conversions for opponent

    All the above = pathetic state of a once proud program

    Pathetic state of program = R.O.I. for Helton’s $6M salary (makes me sick!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The brain dead rah rah’s will be thrilled with the win. They’ll say SC has turned the corner, WSU is hard to defend, blah blah blah.

    Anyone with a clue sees the same poorly coached mess, just the opponent was average at best.

    If winning the PAC 12 south is the only goal, then Gomer is the man for the job.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. According to sources Aca Cedric Ware was seen at the Yoshinoya eating a combo bowl and leaning on his southern cal issued girlfriend’s shoulders and crying that coach Clay Helton yelled at him and hurt his feelings… He would transfer but does not want to go somewhere they will make him practice hard.



  6. Breaking News!!!!

    As reported by the Wolfman, Helton reportedly screamed at the team and questioned the work ethic of at least one player.


    He was the one that threw the team under the bus saying “team needs to practice harder.” Seems though Helton was getting back at him for the statement!



    1. For all the people who say Helton is a nice guy. This is how he treats the one player who was man enough to fess up that the practices were sloppy. Helton is just a pure bum of a human being – petty, stubborn and nepotistic. JT Daniels is possibly going to become a remarkable QB and bail Helton out again and again, but even JT is not good enough to take this team to the national playoff stage.


  7. If the game had been played in Pullman, oops…. With Helton at the helm, SC isn’t SC…. sigh…. If SC had lost, maybe Helton would be sure to leave…. I hate these thoughts…


  8. There is far too much wrong with this team to have any positive prognosis for the season. We will be lucky to finish 6-6. Even with an extra +1 day to prepare, the game next week in Tucson against a woeful Arizona team is probably a toss-up. This is a truly sad state of affairs at Troy…


    1. actually I fear that JT is going to get so good and really in sync with this receivers that they end up 9-3 or 8-4 and helton gets to stay. helton is wrong on so many levels. i dont care if helton yells at the kids, but he isnt yelling at his coaching staff, which is where the blame lies, or maybe he needs to yell into a mirror, where the real problem lies. Congrats to the players for pulling this out.


      1. I think you’re right about the final record, 9-3 or 8-4 is what I’m thinking. I wouldn’t be spiteful enough of Helton to kick a 10-2 out of bed either.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Are you saying Leach should have gone for it on 4th and 6 with under 2 minutes left facing a decently easy FG that would have tied the game? Are you kidding me Scott ? Some of your criticism is valid (although USC did show a nice balance in the second half), but USC is fortunate yes that they blocked the field goal, but to suggest they got lucky Wazzu didnt try to win the game instead of making a decision every single coach would have made it silly.


  10. Reminded me of that near hit last year against UT – one play one wide sweep failed run by the UT qb that cost the Utes a victory at the Coliseum. There is nothing to garner confidence until this regime is gone…Helton is a disaster when it comes to preparing for top tier opponents and is very lucky the recruits he admirably does secure have the talent to beat average Pac-12 squads.


  11. Maybe Helton turned the weight room into his player/family meet and greet dining hall because I see Trojan players that keep getting pushed off the ball and tossed around like rag dolls all over the place and it’s Gawd Damn embarrassing…it really is.


  12. I yearn for the days when USC DB’s made one-on-one tackles every time they were tested. I also yearn for days when our DT’s disrupted the other team’s backfield.
    Offensively, our offensive line is not very tough. And finally, this USC football team has no leadership, and they take on the personality of the soft spoken head coach.


    1. You SHOULDNT be able to tackle one on one in the open field. Any offensive player, who is a player, relishes one on one in the open field. The offensive player has the advantage and SHOULD get by an individual defender most every time in my mind. I could get up off the couch now and juke Cam Smith out of a ligament one on one. If a guy is able to stop you one on one in the open field, you screwed up and missed an opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The WSU game is one I’m always happy to see in the rear view and I think it was a good win. There was more than enough to complain about, but that game could’ve gotten away given the patterns that were developing. The team needs to pack that resolve in a suitcase and take it with them when they travel.

    I really just want to give props to Iman Marshall for what I’m seeing from him. What I’m seeing is a guy who is going about his job like a professional. He’s a different guy than he was last year and I can tell by his play, bearing and manner that he is serious business this year. He gives me the sense of a mature, buttoned-up guy who is totally committed to his craft, and it’s great to see. I think he’s improving his draft status every time he plays and I might be the only fan that notices, but I’m sure I’m not the only person that notices. He looks like he should be showing up on game day in a suit and tie and carrying a briefcase. I don’t want to say too much, but if he can keep this up and find a few ints out there, I think he can get the kind of contract he’s obviously playing for. I’d love to see 3 or 4 picks when the season is done, but I’d take 2. Anyway, DB should stand for Double Breasted the way Biggie is playing it. I might have to start calling him Mr Marshall if this keeps up.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Steve, that seems to be a team-wide issue to me. However, if I’m constantly having my cornerback tackle in open space, my problem isn’t my cornerback.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Also, let’s remember we’re talking about a cornerback and not a linebacker. People who play CB generally don’t like to tackle that much. It’s fine for Porter Gustin to be dirty, bloody and snotty coming back to the huddle, but not your corner. Your corners are like cheetahs and you want to keep them fairly neat. Biggie is a more than willing, physical, run-supporting corner and that’s rare. In addition to that, OCs are targeting the other corner when they play us and it’s for good reason. We’re missing Jack Jones and we’re lucky to have Biggie.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Seriously? “…a good win”? Admittedly any win is a good win but this was so close to a loss as so many were last year. The team won in spite of the lousy coaches that are supposed to prepare them for their match-ups….was Stanford a ‘good’ loss because they only tanked by 11? Not trying to be too sarcastic but this head coach is the reason such as you, throw to him and the players, this is a ‘good win’….

      It isn’t a good win…it’s a desperate win just as the UT game was last year.

      USC is a true legacy program – Helton is a great recruiter….problem is he’s also the head coach and regardless of his recruiting prowess he’s a lousy incompetent coach.

      OR just hit Stanford for a 7 – 0 lead on their first (OR) possession. The OR linemen are blowing the Stanford linemen off the line. When’s the last time USC did that?

      BTW Costello is a 1st year coach for OR as is Herm Edwards (AZ St.) a stark contrast to bel-iar tech (Kelly) and AZ (Sumlin)…..OR has created a strong recruiting prowess and backs it up with assistants who know their job.

      As long as Helton is the head coach of USC they (USC) will be a pathetic mess cowering when they face top tier programs and that is all thanks to this back end of a horse Clay Helton – nothing absolutely nothing will change as long as Helton is the head coach of USC.

      He is the worse since Paul Hackett – Helton sucks.


      1. I understand your point of view and I don’t blame you. I just never try to quantify or make a qualitative judgements with WSU games. I just want to get out of them with a win and healthy. Beyond that, It was a good win for me because the team was down and there was no indication we could stop them or score with them. I feel like the season was hanging in the balance at 30-17 and all 3 units responded. The defense finally stopped them, the punter got us out of a deep hole after a ridiculous 3 and out, and the offense moved the ball and scored when they had to. It was a good team win when the team really needed one. I’m good with the win because they HAD to win and they did. I really feel like the season could’ve ended last night and they answered the bell.

        None of that is to say I didn’t see the penalties, bad snaps, bad play calls, poor execution, porous defense and what not. It’s a lot easier to work on those things as a 2-2 team than it is as a 1-3 team.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. How many penalties does it take to get a player benched? Sounds like the beginning of a joke doesn’t it? Unfortunately the answer isn’t known because crappy players aren’t benched. In fact if you are crappy enough you get to snap the ball anywhere you want to put it near the quarterback.
    Accountability for actions are not weighed into playing time unless you criticize the coaches publicly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 100% right….those illegal procedures (offside) calls against the USDC linemen should have warranted an immediate ‘pull’ by the ‘O’ line coach…I watched the GA Tech assistant light a linemen up for an identical screw-up as the guy came off the field.

      Fire Helton and his ‘let’s all go Dr. Oz or some other he/she demoncrat spokes’person’


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