The Hype Doesn’t Deliver

Remember all those hype videos about the strength program during the summer?

Everything was different . . . and better.

Did you notice a difference?

USC could gain a yard on third-and-1 at the Fresno State 44-yard line with 3:20 left.

But there was an avalanche of fluff pieces on the new, improved strength program. Ridiculous.

23 thoughts on “The Hype Doesn’t Deliver

  1. Fresno State played on the road, had 463 yards of total offense, with 5 new starters on offense, and probably not one highly recruited player anywhere on their team.

    Strength, discipline, schemes, special teams, tackling, blocking, you name it and it needs improvement.

    Glad to see the running game looked good, though I dont think that can be necessarily extrapolated to next week.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 67 —Early on, the run game is probably not going to be as effective against Stanford cuz Stanford will be putting everything into stopping it —only if Slovis can burn them will the run game open up……

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This sites resident carnival barker, Pudly, wouldn’t stop talking about it. He would hype it up after attacking the “trolls”because we had the audacity to state the obvious… Helton is in over his head.


  3. Flow, we were both wrong about yesterday’s score. And any hope I was barely holding onto before the season started is basically out the door now. With or without JT, Helton will he gone before October.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 04 —Yes, gone before October. And, I think, Helton knows it….and has already prepared a phony-baloney speech he’s gonna give at the feet of Tommy Trojan about how much he accomplished and how far he took the team and how he will always be a Trojan (and, afterwards, the fans and players will never see him again)….


    2. 04,

      In order for Helton to save his job, he will have tocastrate himself and go and beg for Sears to return. Promise Sears he will start


  4. The Oline looked improved. Carr and Malepeai could have good seasons. The Dline looked solid. The receivers are too talented to not leave their mark. All this may be negated by the ineptitude of the coach. Paul Hackett 2.0 is not and never will be a D1 quality coach. Will never root against the team, but a purge of the leadership seems like the only course. No leadership on the sidelines, the stage is too big for the HC, the only reason the team is competitive is because of the players.

    #four lossesafterhaving10+point-leads

    Liked by 3 people

  5. As just a cursory review of this team since Helton’s ascendancy, there has been an allusion and seems as if a fog or haze has shrouded the program. I’ve not been one to accept alien beliefs outright, however, I feel we are witnessing the effects of such a phenomenon, that being the exercise of ‘Karma’

    (Buddhism-Hinduism) the sum of a persons actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

    If so, things don’t look good for Mr. Helton or the program.

    I know, I know…it sounds abstract…but !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fresno is a basic football team made up of mostly inexperienced 3 star type football players. Last yr a real veteran team and q/b did very well but most graduated. Their q/b was a decent JC player,never a much sought after commodity,and seldom used backup.
    SC seemed to run the ball vs their ‘D’ line and line backers…I guess the latest is SC will be minus helltons FAVORITE q/b ,now with Harrells FAVORITE q/b ; Stanford may be minus their best q/b and ‘O’ lineman, increases SC chances…so good thing Jack is gone in the portal or he’d be 3rd string, H&H might have to let him practice.


  7. Just some more thoughts on the game/team….

    I think USC has All-American potential in the D-line group.

    The DB Group was letting receivers get behind them all night and a better offense would’ve exploited that more. I think the D-line and timely play calling really covered up for a deficient secondary. I like #2’s aggressiveness in run support, but he’s gotta keep in mind that defending the skies is job one. There was a deep ball thrown at #2 in the 2nd half that was overthrown, but if the ball is thrown more inside, it ends up being a big play. The best thing our receivers can do is keep giving these guys a good look in practice so that they’re getting something out of the reps. Iron sharpens iron…

    I like the offense we’re running and the skill positions must absolutely love it. You’re not going to have the same capabilities you would have if you ran a power I and you’re going to have to be creative in short yard situations. It’s an offense that uses the pass to set up the run and it’s something we’ll have to get used to. However, it’s a vast improvement over what we were running last year. We were seeing the potential of this offense and team in the first quarter last night. When was the last time USC looked that good on offense? The Carroll era? What was JT, like 11 of 12 at one point? When’s the last time we’ve seen a USC offense move like that?

    Speaking of/to JT…dude, that sucks, but you can still get better. Now’s the time to work on your eyes and your head. Btw, go ahead and lean on that life coach people are criticizing you for having. My compliments on your performance and the way you were moving the team. You did a great job keeping your focus down the field, but you still need to get better in the pocket. There’s early information in your periphery that you’re not seeing/recognizing. When you hear people talking about having a “clock in your head” or ”feeling” the pressure or using “instinct,” it’s not really any of that. What it really is is seeing things in your periphery, recognizing the information and cues that are there and reacting to them. Your focus is downfield, but you have more consciousness than that and there’s more to see. What I’m saying is that people are coming off of blocks and you’re not seeing/recognizing that early enough. You’re waiting until you’re guy is beat before you react. You have to anticipate things happening and react in anticipation rather than waiting for them to happen to react. All great players do this regardless of position. In your case, you’re not looking to break out of the pocket, but you’re looking to make a small move in the pocket to buy time and space. If your guy is getting beat, a small move you make can put him back in a position to be effective for you. Here’s a simple thing to look for: When the ball is snapped and you see that cardinal line in front of you in your peripheral vision, you’ll start seeing more of the opponent’s color to one side or the other of your blocker. The amount of color you see (again, this is in your periphery because your main focus is downfield) will tell you how close your guy is to getting beat. When you’re starting to see too much color, make a small move that puts more of your guy between you and the defender.. It’s exactly what you’re doing when you step up into the pocket (that’s already 2nd nature for you) but the move can be a lateral move as well. As your sidelined with the knee for however long, watch a lot of line play to see if you can start getting a good read on when O-linemen are beat or about to get beat. Become familiar with what that looks like and the cues that are presented when that’s about to happen – they’re there. An offensive line coach sees these cues better than we do because his eyes are conditioned to see them. To the extent you can, and while you’ve been given this time, gain the eyes of an O-line coach and you’ll be a better QB for it. Whatever you do, don’t ever believe that pocket presence is something people are born with. It’s something you can work on and develop and it has far more to do with your eyes and your head than your feet. It’s not instinct, it’s what you see, what you recognize in what you see, the way you react to it and the speed with which you do ALL of that. It ends up looking like instinct, but it’s really the fruits of being a true student of the game. Good game, come back soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Clay Russell,
    You are either a very avid Football observer or perhaps a Coach.
    What you mention regarding JT’s not being fully schooled in ‘situational awareness’ as you mention, more of the ‘other color’ closing in on the pocket is excellent, I believe that after some time as QB, if trained in that area, it then becomes instinctive as well as taught. Watching JT and Reyna last evening was a perfect case of when a QB makes the decision to run, Reyna has what you’ve described, JT is too hesitant in his decision, waiting for his receiver and equals exactly what happened last night…he got trapped.
    Most of today’s linebackers are as fast or faster than most QB’s.

    You and Kevin Bruce have quite a different take on last nights Defensive Performance.


  9. LA Times columnist Dylan Hernandez wrote a very insightful and frank account of what he saw and experienced Saturday evening.

    1, He had nothing but praise from how the Coliseum looks now compared to the past ‘but’ made a heavy emphasis on the separation between the ‘patricians’ and the ‘hoi polloi’ the phrase he uses is the renovated stadium is “…an unmistakable monument to capitalism.”

    2. He is blunt on the entire season on Helton noting the failed 4th down attempt “…which nearly cost the Trojans their lead.” He also earlier in the article makes note of the three in a row ex-athletes chosen as ‘AD’ – strictly their skill was/is to raise money.

    Jim Alexander – Daily New/Riverside Press-Enterprise says much the same.


  10. Factor, I’m having an unbelievably hard time responding to this. I’m not a coach and no “avid watcher” of football would be talking about the things I talk about. I was a special football player at one point in my life and I know the skill positions really well. I grew up competing against talented people who were a lot older and better than me. When you’re never able to rely on being bigger, faster, stronger, higher jumping, farther throwing etc, you learn a different game – you learn the ACTUAL game. You’re never able to cheat or cut corners with your athleticism so you end up developing things like your eyes, your brain and your technique. Becoming elusive and learning the game was a matter of survival for me as a kid. I was fortunate to have some really good athletes around me to compete against and steal stuff from. Being a thoughtful person, and at that time being an avid watcher, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I could use in the absence of comparable athleticism to compete. The answer was that I had to see better, recognize faster and react first. I learned how to do that really well because I wanted to be out there and not be crippled or something. I was running scared like a rabbit for most of my childhood, but I learned how to be EXTREMELY elusive. By the time I got to high school and started competing against people my own age and size, I really couldn’t be touched. I was never challenged in high school the way I was in my neighborhood and it was easy for me. So, I’m now competing against people I can match up with physically, but I was way ahead of them with regard to understanding the game and the dynamics of motion, momentum, body position, footwork, vision, anticipation and being a “physical actor” the match of anyone in Hollywood. My tailback in high school was someone you would know and I was a better runner than him, but he could never play receiver or anything else. Since I played in my neighborhood and didn’t play Pop Warner, I wasn’t forced to specialize early on. That meant I could throw, catch and run at a high level. I had spent so much time doing all that stuff against better competition, I could do it all in high school. So, in addition to being a better runner than my RB, I was a better QB than my QB. Anyway, by sophomore year I ended up becoming an All League receiver on a running team because I scored damn near every time I touched the ball. I would’ve been an All League corner as well, but once league games started nobody would throw to my side and I couldn’t put up any numbers. And I would absolutely torch the guy they kept giving it to. I beat him for 2 TDS sophomore year at his homecoming game and 3 the next year at our homecoming game. As a DB, I literally had more pick sixes (not just interceptions – pick sixes) in high school than passes completed against me…literally. I was better than average athletically, but my real edge came from the stuff I was forced by necessity to develop as a kid. To make a long story short (too late, right?) I transferred for my senior season, CIF ruled me ineligible for the first semester (football season) and I never picked up a football in a meaningful way again. Had I JT’s dad, you would probably know me and I wouldn’t be in here going all Al Bundy on you. I strayed off the path that would’ve led to a career in football and to this day it’s still the regret of my life. The path is narrow and it’s littered on both sides with guys who for one reason or another didn’t stay on it. I could drop some names of people everyone would know as great football players, but there were people who were better than them when we were younger, they just never made it. This is why I relate to the players and try to communicate certain things to them.

    I don’t like to use the word “instinct” because it implies something innate to someone. I would rather use the phrase “second nature” to describe what you’re talking about. When you do and see things enough times, they become second nature and it looks like instinct to people who don’t really understand what’s happening. You hear people talking about time slowing down when they’re in stressful or dangerous situations. That happens on the football field too, but it’s not time slowing down, it’s you speeding up the way you are processing information. You’re doing more than usual in the same amount of time and it makes it feel like time is slowing down. The better you become at seeing and recognizing things, the less time you spend thinking and processing. Thinking slows you down. Many times (especially as a runner) you’ll be at your best when you’re really tired because you stop thinking and you’re just kind of subconsciously reacting. So, again, it’s going to look like instinct, but it’s just conditioned responses that are based on cues you’re really good at seeing, recognizing and reacting to. That’s where I want JT to get to with regards to what’s going on in the line. Your focus can be downfield, but you gotta understand that there are other things you need to be looking for, Over time, you’ll see and recognize these things subconsciously and they become 2nd nature. The color thing is just the most simple and maybe a good place to start, but there’s more information to know and see there. That’s why I’m asking him to spend a lot of time watching line play so he can pick up on some of these details and make them part of his game.


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