10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Oregon State

Before I start, I just want to mention I wrote about a crazy development with the coaching staff here and a huge problem the coaches told me exists next year right here.

Now on to the list:

1.) Be honest

Can anyone believe Clay Helton?

In September, Clay Helton said Tee Martin calls every play. This week, Helton said he called 3-4 plays a game. Now he is going to call every play. But the fact is he shared playcalling duties with Martin. Why wasn’t he just honest about it? What other issues does he not quite tell the truth? The guy’s credibility is sinking and players pick up on these things. You think the players are happy Jack Sears got benched after 20 for 28 last week?

2.) Ban sunflower seeds

I get that JT Daniels had a concussion. But did he have to watch the Arizona State game holding a paper cup and spitting sunflower seeds into it? Shouldn’t he be charting plays? Or standing next to the quarterback coach to learn something? Or encouraging Jack Sears?

Instead, he looks like an entitled Mater Dei quarterback, who is ready to return now that the Trojans face lowly Oregon State.

3.) Watch the quarterback

A big play in the Arizona State game was when quarteback Manny Wilkins broke free on third-and-1 for a 45-yard touchdown. Why didn’t USC have a player assigned to follow the quarterback?

“There are only two people touching the ball on that play, the quarterback or tailback,” a college coach said. “Why didn’t they have someone on the quarterback?”

Thanks, Pendergast!

4.) Prepare in practice

If USC watched film, Arizona State tailback Eno Benjamin loves to spin to break tackles. Did USC do any drills last week to practice tackling a spinning tailback? If you think that is silly, I checked with some other college coaches and they said there are drills for it. Thanks, Pendergast!

5.) Stop laying off the receivers

It’s third-and-5 for Arizona State. So why are USC defensive backs nine yards off the line of scrimmage? Thanks, Pendergast!

6.) Get the tight ends to block

Did you see two tight ends get stuffed on the fourth-and-1 play at the end of the game last weekend? Amazing.

7.) Respect the fans

USC is losing. It is also moving the seats for season-ticket holders next season. And yet Lynn Swann lectures the fans this week.

“We need the Trojan Family to stand behind this team,” Swann said.

8.) Stop wasting timeouts

I could write this every week for two years. Helton burns more timeouts than any coach in the nation. It didn’t burn him when Sam Darnold rescued the team. But last week he needed some timeouts.

9.) Don’t blame others

I hear when USC allowed a 92-yard punt return, special teams coach John Baxter blamed the punter. When does Baxter take accountability?

10.) Use the right backs

When Vavae Malepeai had the hot hand Saturday, why wasn’t he getting the ball on fourth-and-1? And what are the coaches doing to make Stephen Carr regress?

The fans love to talk about Tim Drevno being a great offensive line coach (with little to back that up by the way). But why don’t they talk about how the backs have performed or regressed (see Stephen Carr).


7 thoughts on “10 Things USC Needs To Fix To Beat Oregon State

  1. #12 Change the AD to not some “sideline reporter” to a true boss sports caster like the great PETROS Papadakis! Who always tells it like it is!!

    Or better yet the WOLFMAN!


  2. Oregon State defense gives up 46 points a game. Trojans should have this game won before halftime. But Helton and company will probably bumble it well into the 4th quarter, come out with a 10 point win, and Helton will talk about the game as if the team just beat ND.


    1. Can imagine Helton saying,”This game puts us right back into the race for the South Division title. Corvallis has been a challenging place for us and we’re glad to come away with a victory.” Is it my imagination or does Helton have the same loser mentality of Rick Neuheisel?


      1. Those would be his exact words.

        Interesting comparison with Neuheisel. I think that working at Westwood has that effect on coachers.


      2. Trojan67

        “Punting is winning”… this is right up Helton’s alley. At least Neuheisel was smart enough to go to SC for his graduate studies.


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