It’s almost funny how when Clay Helton tries to accentuate a positive aspect of the offense, he still shoots himself in the foot.
Helton said the Notre Dame game was a preview of the new faster, quicker offense:
“I just felt what our offense could become,” Helton said. “Just as a play-caller, you look up and you had almost 260 yards in the passing game in one half. You’re going, ‘OK, this group could be truly special.’ I needed to step back, I wanted to bring a great passing-game mind in that could continue it, and look what we found in Graham. But the Notre Dame game was a huge reason why we went down this road.”
So the Notre Dame game was a revelation? Let’s hope not.
Helton failed to mention that Notre Dame made halftime adjustments, a novel thought to Helton and Clancy Pendergast, I’m sure.
The Irish allowed JT Daniels to pass for 244 yards in the first half. After adjustments, Daniels passed for 105 yards in the second half. And USC scored 7 points in the second half. Remember the touchdown was in the final two minutes, when Daniels celebrated in the picture above.
So what is so great about that?
Daniels threw 26 passes in the first half and 25 in the second half, so it wasn’t like USC passed less in the second half. It got stopped by a Notre Dame defense that understood exactly what it was dealing with. But Helton views it as some type of high-water mark because he was calling the plays.
The good news is Graham Harrell will call plays now so we won’t have to hear about the Notre Dame game next season.