USC Morning Buzz: Good Timing For Graham Harrell

Do I think USC’s offense will be better this season under Graham Harrell? Yes.

I preface this item with that because of an interesting piece of information I got from someone with ties to North Texas, where Harrell was the offensive coordinator.

I’m told by a reliable source that if Harrell stayed at North Texas, he was going to have playcalling duties taken away from him and possibly would have lost the title of offensive coordinator.

It’s been previously reported that North Texas coach Seth Littrell might call plays this season.

What this shows is that Harrell might not have been viewed as highly at North Texas as at USC, where he is being treated as a savior. And he is fortunate Kliff Kingsbury left, which created the opportunity for Harrell to come to USC.

One criticism I’ve heard was that at North Texas, some coaches felt he did not really want to run the ball and would call run plays at the wrong time just to get them out of the way, because he was more interested in passing the ball.

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63 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Good Timing For Graham Harrell

  1. A team with no football tradition in the last 40 years, which suddenly averages 35 points a game under Harrell and beats Arkansas, is going to demote Harrell?

    Ok, Scottie.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. All you have to do is listen to Harrell for 5 minutes and you can tell he’s a HUGE step up for the program —neither Tee nor Clay had any coherent offensive philosophy —-and, worse yet, they made the mistake of thinking you can fake enthusiasm. Clay really knows how to put the best face on things but every word he says rings hallow. If fans can see it, players surely do too. Graham radiates honest enthusiasm —and he’s a hell of a good offensive coach. He may not be perfect but he represents a giant step in the right direction.
      #JustHopeHe’sGivenFreeHand

      Liked by 4 people

      1. MG, anybody who could turn around the UNT offense knows something about offensive football. And talk about an improvement over what we had last year.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I still am skeptical about the “Air Raid” and it being a savior to lift USC into national title contention as some like to think. That’s not gonna happen

        One reason is because of Mike Leach. He has helped make Wazzu competitive but he still can’t get over UW. He beat them in 2012 and has lost to UW every year since. UW has much better line play which has helped them dominate WSU.

        If Leach and his Air Raid can’t get over strong physical teams like UW, then it doesn’t bode well for Graham Harrell and USC. USC will end up scoring alot of points and beating the smaller teams but will still be dominated by the likes of ND, Stanford and any other team that prides itself on being able to push other teams around.

        #SameS**t,DifferentDay

        #JackDelRio2020

        #ImpeachHelton

        Liked by 6 people

      3. Marvienna and MG representing my yin and yang…I’m entirely with Marvienna on this one (maximum/ceiling with the Air Raid is being a national after-thought but competitive for winning the Pac-12…in short, the Oklahoma State of the west…which is better than being UCLA, but…prefer not to choose between Mullet and Mule)…but I respect MG’s optimism and ‘wait and see’ approach, and since this is where we’re at, and I don’t have the power (to initiate intense Urban Renewal…or my favorite outlandish theory, Todd Haley), let the games begin, and let’s see how the first drive/half of the opener plays out, then how it goes against Stanford…and how the national press responds to that…as well as recruits…and coaches…and the administration…

        Liked by 5 people

      4. The other issue is what Pedergast can accomplish with the defense.

        Trojans ranked 60th last year in total defense, giving up 42 TDs. That performance has to improve significantly.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. 67

        Couldn’t agree more…from time this Air Raid initiative began getting pushed by (many, including the Peristyle)…

        I’ve felt that not only does this leave you limited on offense and probably ripe to be shut down by team with good defenses/coaching (e.g. annual Dog Pounding of Wazzou), but the up-tempo nature further exposes the defense…and that ain’t good for us, given Clancy’s poor track record (to include unwillingness to develop depth)…

        I refer back to that 2012 62-51 Oregon game (MG corrected me previously that that occurred under the end of the Kiff regime, but still think it a valid example, since the Clancy-led D has authored some remarkable performances, like the UCLA debacle to end last season)…

        Think we will be seeing that coming to a (half empty) stadium near you…

        Liked by 3 people

      6. Pudly —I think James is (unfortunately) on the money when he talks about the strain a pure Air Raid offense would put on a Clancy (“I like my first 11”) defense. But I have to say I’m not completely convinced we’re gonna be a pure Air Raid offense —and I’m impressed with Running Back Coach Mike Jinks and what he brings to the table. He obviously has been drilled on the subject of “staying in his lane.” He knew exactly what he was allowed to comment on and what he wasn’t. But his smart answer to “what’s the discipline like now as compared to before?” was awfully smart: “I don’t care about what it was before, I’m happy with what is is NOW.”

        Liked by 5 people

      7. MG
        Can’t categorically refute this…the basic Air Raid approach has permeated so much of offensive football (and inter-relatedly, to coin a term apparently, in a chicken or egg with rules/officiating changes)…so it comes down to the coach/philosophy (and the offensive line being coached to be able to execute on the fly when called for)…I went back and forth with Pudly on these types of matters a little, and conceded that it’s not just NCAA, but the NFL, that this is true of…but I didn’t concede on it still being about the offensive line play (to include physicality/toughness/attitude)…gave example of the Patriots just his past season…for all of the talk about Brady, it was their running game that won all three playoff games, and it is almost universally acknowledged that they have the best coached (to include getting away with holding) offensive line year-in and year-out…
        So…your point, as always, is dead on…
        So we wait and see…
        JM

        Liked by 2 people

      8. James —If it weren’t for the fact I respect Tedford’s d-line so much, I’d love it if we threw Fresno State a curve and went with a run heavy offense against them —-unveiling the Air Raid against a confused Stanford the following week.
        #btw,NoOneWillEverConfuseOurCoachWithPatriotsCoach

        Liked by 1 person

      9. If they had the ability to do that, I’d rather see them do the opposite…the high water mark of the Clay’s coaching tenure (ie when not Sam carrying Amazon quantities of water-speaking of which, one suspects that Gotham is getting ready to see that on a regular basis) was the Stanford game where they actually went retro (to quote Hillary Swank in the original Buffy) and put a beatdown on Shaw’s squad…

        There is a special satisfaction that is unique with respect to every opponent…but as we once discussed, Stanford to me is the “Radcliffe” jibe McKay offered up in 1972…and the stolen titles in ’79 and ’07 (stolen from ourselves)…and the Last Stand of the 300 with Coach O…nothing like a physical beating inflicted on The Tree (my extremely cool Stanford PhD brother-in-law not withstanding)…

        Liked by 2 people

      10. MG, the last time N.Tixas State gave a freehand to Harrell was in the 2018 New Mexico Bowl vs Utah St.; Harrell’s last N. Tixas St. game.

        Utah St 52 – Harrell 13

        Therefore MG, I’m inclined to believe Wolf’s tidbit of information vs your honest crapshoot — “Graham radiates honest enthusiasm — and he’s a hell of a good offensive coach.”

        #justwishingandhopingwon’tcutit

        Liked by 2 people

      11. James —I’ll take Harrell over Han….
        #..He’dNeverLetAnybodyPossessedByDarksideGetCloseW/Saber….
        #[“Yes..WhatIsItYouWantedToSay,Son?….]
        #[…”Ouch”]…….

        Like

      12. MG
        I’ll take Han (but that falls under the rubric of “wait and see” too!)…
        #ButOnlyPreLucasBeingLucasHanShootingFirst
        #YesIKnowHe’sARichFamousDonatingAlum

        Like

  2. I looked at video of their games and found eight times on fourth and 15 plus, within their own red zone, they faked punts and ran the ball. When the cameras took a close up of Littrell and Harrell, Harrell’s lips were saying, “just trying to make my quota boss.”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The reporters who have them. What reporter NEVER names his sources??
        Dufus. You make it seem like “former college or pro coaches” would have something to lose if they were revealed. You’re a bigger clown than the blogger if you’re trying to convince people that scottie is trying to protect his sources from persecution and retaliation….and to think you’re being serious in this reply.

        Hahahahaha

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You can’t catch a difficult ball any better than that. What I wouldn’t do to see a catch like that end (and win) the Notre Dame game at South Bend…
        #…SoManySuicidalIrishFansTrudgingBackToTheirCars…

        Liked by 3 people

      2. heck I have to log in every time to join these fine conversations …btw…SC ‘O’ COULDN’T BLOCK WELL ENOUGH FOR RUN GAME OR PASS GAME, thus new offensive coach q/b and plays…he and Leach win/won with 2 star players, so ‘if’ helton stays away the boys will play…real football suited to their talents. Is that a big IF ? WE WILL SEE at scrimmages and practices,then Fresno St,they are no push over.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. So true Michael. Most think it was the millions of dollars thrown at his feet, but in reality his course was set after scottie’s initial post after his announcement as OC.
        “I’m tired as hell and I’m not gonna take this crud anymore…”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey you Dumb Mutha Fucker, if you don’t like what Scott Wolf has to say, then why do you log in every morning? Pudly 76, you need to go get a life, maybe you can get some video equipment, and make videos of me fucking your wifey, and daughter. What do Ya think ?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Goodness gracious! Who put a bee in your bonnet porn boy? Must be that big wienie you’re packing around…. hahahahaha
        Talk about getting a life, you should try it. And by the way, internet trolls, crude or rude or otherwise don’t bother me, even if I had a daughter or wife.
        Yeah, good job making wolf’s blog a place where everyone is welcome and feel comfortable.

        pornboy doing his pornboy thing. we’re all impressed.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Pudly — A very high ranking Cardinals staffer told me that Kliff said “Scott drove me outta town. I was promised I’d be coach before Christmas but, when I weighed that against having to get reamed by Scott every day, I decided to pack my bags.”
        #ActualAnonymousQuote

        Liked by 2 people

  3. North Texas head coach already said that Bodie Reeder is a much better offense coordinator then Graham Harrell. 😂😂.

    Like

  4. Nice WR move that left the DB’s hips going the wrong direction. What’d think P76?
    You think as that DB is on the field for 33min as you go deeper into the schedule, tired & banged up, that he might be fish bait for other WR in the PAC?

    #ClancyBetterHaveARabbitInHisHat
    #I’mHearingScreamsFromThePressBox

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Considering he’s a safety coming back from a foot operation and missing all spring, going against a 5* wr that’s 6’4”, it’ll be a while before we have to worry about any Kal receivers. Even Nikko.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice comeback P76. That must have been one of those matchups designed to make Daniels look like Goff so Daniels could shine.

        Either that or someone doesn’t like the safety.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. P76
        It was meant to be a fade but was thrown to the ground so I assumed that alligator arms chucked it.
        Another wrong assumption by c76 I guess. Gomer er…Coach Helton must have stepped in the QB slot there.

        #SpeakingOfDB’s,HowManyRostered?
        #NonFrosh

        Like

    2. USC’s defensive philosophy —harass the QB (and hope the corners—working in space— stop 75% of the hurried passes that get thrown). If we had great corners (polar opposites of Jack Jones), Clancy’s defensive philosophy would be aces.
      #GreatDefensiveEndsWouldn’tHurtEither

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hate to go Mulish on this, but…the last game of last season would suggest that there is a great deal more to be desire in Clancy’s defense than just the corner play…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. James —I think maybe you’re referring to the second to last game (not Notre Dame but UCLA) where an average running back was going up and down the field against us without much resistance….
        #IForgotAboutThat…
        #…[TendToRepressThingsThatMadeMeSick]…

        Liked by 2 people

  5. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it. I have this nightmare scenario for Scott. USC starts Fink and Harrell is a genius. The defense holds up and USC wins the south. What will Scott complain about?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SpK
      I’ll answer that. Since a no offense CAL18 team beat UNC & SC last year, Coach Harrell was faced with a dilemma. He flipped a coin. He was used to humidity, thunderstorms & hail. Being from Tex-Ass, he had never seen California.

      #OrHomelessEncampments

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Will know a lot more when they start scrimmages; it is not unusual for coaches to be critical ,jealous,etc…then make snide remarks,particularly if they are wanting to be anonymous…and HE HAS TO BE BETTER than anything having to do with helton.Remember he was a very good q/b, and q/b coach + Mike Leach thought highly of him, that’s good enough for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The offense will be just fine. Even with an average OL. You think North Texas had a badass O-line? Me neither. But they were In great shape, almost always in correct position and didn’t draw a lot of flags for false starts and holding. Not a high bar here. We can and will giddy on up.

    It’s the defense that concerns many of us. Plenty of confidence in the new DL and DB coaches. But worried about Clancy not making adjustments. Our 2nd half numbers last year were friggin ATROCIOUS. If we come out for the first few games and don’t make even the most rudimentary half time adjustments, all is for naught.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Say what you want but in 2018, NTS was #18 in the nation in total offense with not a lot of talent. USC was #96 with loads of talent. So he must have been doing something right.

    Liked by 1 person

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