USC Morning Buzz: The Company Line Needs Improvement

For most of spring practice, I haven’t focused on the offensive line. Now that spring practice is over, I will say the offensive line hasn’t improved much since last season.

There is one high-level athlete (Austin Jackson) and even he is inconsistent. The rest of the unit is not noteworthy from an athletic standpoint.

Last week, a USC coach claimed it didn’t matter because they won’t need to block long in the Air Raid offense. But during Saturday’s scrimmage, they had problems pass blocking and run blocking. So, yes, it does matter.

The fanboys want to make Graham Harrell such a magician that important things like blocking don’t matter. But they do matter.

By the way, why do people think Tim Drevno is going to make the offensive line good? Did he do it under Steve Sarkisian? Did he make things noticeably better when he took over for Neil Callaway last season? Another home-run hire from Clay Helton.

  • USC wide receiver Velus Jones attended the Tennessee spring game, which drew 50,967. The USC-Arizona State game last season at the Coliseum drew an announced crowd of 47,406.
  • The USC-Notre Dame game in South Bend will be a night game for the fifth-straight time this season with a 7:30 p.m. (ET) kickoff. It will be Notre Dame’s only night kickoff.

I’ve been to day and night games at Notre Dame and I’m a traditionalist, so I prefer to the 1:30 p.m. kickoffs, which meant it was a day game and if you went to the game, you were not driving back to Chicago at 1 a.m.

But the vast majority of fans will watch on TV, so I suspect a 4:30 p.m. is more popular.

  • Have you thought once about Kevin Porter since he announced he was turning pro? I didn’t think so.
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31 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: The Company Line Needs Improvement

  1. Drevno is an improvement,but being a good lineman is a cumulative process. There are many facets plus constant repetition of physical collisions using those learned facets at full speed,which is why SC ‘O’ line is fair at best…it isn’t the coach of the ‘O’ line it is heltonball for 3 yrs; his no pads ,no full contact,shorts only BS. That is why great teams have mostly upper classmen along the line,they have been through real football scrimmages and practices…not the garbage helton has foisted on SC football…fire him ,get rid of him….he is a disaster.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. SUCCX FB, squealy, sky-high, expectations vs grim, low ball realities.

    The clown Rah-Rah’s are searching high and low (mostly low) for evidence a two-platoon QB situation might work. LOL!

    It’s worked on special occasions with 2 competent QB’s; but, the 1 &2 bozo QB’s do not equal one, semi-good, experienced QB.

    I’m thinking the perspective, 4 – 8 bozo 2019 FB season is just way too optimistic.

    Like

  3. Drevno’s reputation comes from being someone who has coached with Jim Harbaugh and who Harbaugh has hired more than once in his career. With Harbaugh playing a tough, hard – nosed style of football, some had hoped that Drevno would bring that to the USC o-line.

    Not likely to happen though with Helton’s soft style of practice and play.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder if there’s some reason Harbaugh didn’t keep Drevno? Could it be that Drevno is burned out? He sure as hell looks and sounds it.
      #DrevnoDidn’tWakeUpOneMorning&Say”IPreferHeltonToHarbaugh!”

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      1. He sucked as an OC under Harbaugh. Probably got sick and tired of having his behind chewed out by Harbaugh behind closed doors.

        #WorkingForHugsHeltonIsLessStressfulThanWorkingForBigMouthJim

        #DrevnoWokeUpOneMorningAndSaidI’mACSUFullertonGuy;IGottaGetBackToTheSouthland

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Kevin who? If you have to look up a name it’s a pretty good guess he’s nobody.
    As for the offensive line, they haven’t yet gotten the full benefits of being conditioned and strengthened. They are still the lineup led by the pillsbury dough boy. Turn some of that stout into muscle and boom you have a stronger pillsbury dough boy.
    To be honest they are not inspired and who would be? They still let out a nasal who who when you poke them in the breadbasket.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Clay Helton is Steve Sarkisian, but slightly dumber, and neither one of them put an emphasis on controlling the line of scrimmage. Helton stripped USC of their reputation of having dominating offensive linemen, because he has better ideas on how to win football games. And although his philosophy has never won a National championship, he’ll continue to stick with it, because he doesn’t have a clue on how to develop offensive linemen, or any other player for that matter.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. “Golly Gee Fred, it’s good to see you again on the site”. I have to agree for the most part on your comment. But Gomer was given the job partly because he was the only adult left in the room when Sark melted down and partly because Gomer won the bowl game as interim coach by simplifying the playbook and running a smash mouth offense for that one game. I’m left to wonder why Gomer abandoned that philosophy?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Helton “takes over” whenever a coach selected after an extensive Korn Ferry search flips out…..

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    2. Fred —Helton’s SPECIALTY is quarterbacks!
      #OursAllRegressFromYearToYear……
      #….And,Then,LeaveEarly
      #HarrellWillFixPassingGame,HeCan’tFixTeam

      Like

    3. The ironic thing is that Helton is the son of a longtime OL coach with one stint as John McKay’s own OL coach in Tampa Bay for one year.

      If Helton never learned the benefits of having a strong and tough OL from his dad, he’s never going to get it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, marvienna. At this point in Helton’s career, it is safe to say “he’s never gonna get it”…..
        #HellOfAnEffectiveSpokesmanForBadProduct,Though…..
        #MaybeNeedsToGoTVSayingFrozenPizzaBetterThanFresh….

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      1. What goes around comes around….Wooden’s cowardly disavowal of any culpability when finally someone asks him “I have a clear conscience.’ Followed by, in 1976, Gene Bartow having his life threatened by Wooden’s master Sam Gilbert.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Alv! It’s important that someone on this site—who shall remain nameless— read (and memorize) this daily bruin editorial. It could open his eyes…..
      #…AndThenAgain…..

      Like

      1. Hey, Guarino and Pudly and Brumby! Who’s your quarterback today? Ridiculous……the quarterback club…hilarious

        Like

      2. You’re out of your depth, and rarely, if ever, know it….but, maybe you’re Stanford scarred….

        Like

      3. Once again Counselor, direct monetary gifts to a University and/or to specific Univ. programs are not illegal. It is not illegal for a university to stipulate a quid pro quo for a donation: 1) to include that a Donor’s name or nominee name be affixed to a campus building (ex: The Al Cowling Apt. Building); 2) Another ex., Galen Ctr., Named after Louis & Helene Galen, bozo fat cats that ponied up $10 million for the facility. One has to wonder whether Ma and Pa Galen’s descendants get an ongoing free bozo u pass on admission.

        Quit the HS MG, I’ve never claimed UCLA is w/o marginal impropriety; but I do claim SUCCX the University is, by design, a felonious sinkhole/ghetto in So. Central LA.

        #hopethisresponseisn’ttoolongforyourhummingbirdattentionspan

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  6. Is the OL getting beaten physically or as a unit? This started way back in the Wisconsin-USC Holiday Bowl game in 2015 where the defensive front for Wisconsin would delay and then rush the QB (a stunt). SC linemen were coached to go help out another lineman leaving a gap or lane uncovered. Wisconsin exploited this 3 straight plays if I remember correctly for 3 straight losses of yardage. This has been perpetuated by other coaches since then. Texas used this tactic successfully against SC. USC linemen are apparently not taught to cover their lanes?. This is critical in an offensive scheme where huge gaps are left between linemen. I haven’t heard whether this issue was being addressed or not. It’s up to the center to call line plays and make sure lanes are covered. It’s not just that linemen are not holding their blocks. You can’t hold every block in a game if the QB needs 10 seconds to get the ball off. That is perhaps why Harrell has said a certain QB needs to stop thinking too much. The O is like a symphony orchestra and the First Violinist can’t be late in hitting his notes no matter if the conductor is signaling for the right tempo.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The choice is clear, bartender, give me a Jack Sears….good grief….get out the waffle iron, Marge.,..

        Like

  7. Commie Lush gladly bends over and grabs his ankles for a taste of rough ’cause Jesus tells him to! CL screams lordy, lordy, lordy hurt me ’cause you’re my savior, oh please, oh please, much harder you wicked animal!

    #tomorrowisweshallplaythegamepoundanailanywhereintojesus

    Like

    1. Owns, you know that I appreciate your sense of humor, candor, liberalism, and sincerely wish your team the best against everyone not USC. Sir, I kindly ask, however, that you leave Jesus out of your comments. He is a neutral party who only loves, does not condemn anyone, but is unfairly represented by goof- offs ( such as yours truly) which, in turn, turns people off of him. Please, I beg you not to marginalize or make fun of My Lord.

      Like

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