USC Notes: Defense Makes “Slight” Change

Clancy Pendergast played a lot of man-to-man coverage in the secondary against Fresno State and a little bit of zone coverage.

This is known as progress with USC because Pendergast mostly plays man coverage.

Of course, if USC plays as much man coverage as it did Saturday against teams that can pass, it could be a really long game.

Pendergast said last week USC can do two deep on defense. So why was the defense tiring at the end of the game?

  • The quarterback position swallows up all the attention but where was tailback Markese Stepp on Saturday? He weighs around 230 pounds.

When USC is facing a third-and-1 situation with 3:20 left in the game, isn’t that where you need someone like Stepp?

48 thoughts on “USC Notes: Defense Makes “Slight” Change

    1. 67 —It’s proof of how things are at USC that Swann and Helton don’t even care if we believe them…..

      Liked by 3 people

    2. 67 —Our schedule may be a little brighter than we thought —Notre Dame didn’t exactly crush a terrible (bottom 25) Louisville team —-at least Fresno State is a contender in their conference and ranked in the top 50.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. or the cardinals are ranked too low,due to coaching problems and changes…they appeared to be a pretty good first half football team to me,ND wore them down…whereas fresno st avg decent team…Tedford will have them playing better as season progresses

        Liked by 2 people

    3. How much more time does helton need? He has been at SC as a head coach for four years. McKay and Carroll won National Championships by that time. And yet, Helton can’t even win a fourth and one situation in the fourth quarter.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Pudly –what’s the latest on Costello? All the Vegas oddsmakers list him as question mark (meaning he’s not “out” as of yet)….
      I don’t like the idea of a frosh qb going against a red shirt junior —-but if it’s frosh vs. frosh qb we should be favored by 3 at home.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Like

    2. Has it been listed yet? Pretty sure we won’t be favored.

      But hey, nice to see you, now we all know that after months of defending Helton and Swann it takes you 2 days to start posting again after a HORRIBLY EMBARRASSING Trojan win.

      Will you still be all over Heltons taint next Monday after the loss? Or should we expect a comment from you on Tuesday?

      Ps. I want USC to win. I went there. It doesn’t make someone a bad fan just because they want new leadership – blindly buying into bad leaders propaganda is how the nazis happened, don’t let it happen to you dear pud.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. So this morning (actually yesterday’s post) I postulated that reason Helton and Harrell are so keen on the quarterbacks is that they were quarterbacks themselves (one was a good one).
    So I wondered what position Clancy Pendergast III played in college? What was it that makes him an expert at defensive coaching?
    First nothing he coached his fraternity football team in college he never played football. Second he is third of his name like Thurstan Howell III. So he really is not qualified as an expert.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I get it Gilligan’s island Thurstan Howell III the millionaire with the grandiose ideas. The guy who had no clue most of the time. In that case your post makes sense. We have a defensive coordinator that knows nothing experience wise.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. For all of their inexperience, I actually think the DBs did ok. #2, Olaijah Griffin and IT are only in their 2nd year, flashed good stuff at times, and got beat some- normal growing pains at this stage of their careers. Greg Johnson was close on a few plays and needs to step up. Lastly, Chris Steele’s (#8) debut was mostly uneventful but you could see what made him highly regarded. DB is one of the positions where technique, game experience and strategy are paramount in a player’s development.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t know if the secondary was really tested against that team. I did see improvement over the last few years in regards to guys looking for and finding the ball. You still gotta make a play on it, but I like the improved ball awareness. I think the int total will go up this year just based on that. Not only were the DBs more ball-centric, the entire defense was trying to get at the ball. Something has changed here…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Malepeai and Carr did well. Bringing in Stepp strictly for a short yardage run would tip the defense way too much. Stepp might need to get worked in earlier, but if Carr and Malepeai are doing their thing, no need to force him in there. Down the line, especially given Carr’s and Malepeai’s history of injuries, Stepp will get his chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Arturo – believe it or not, Stepp is the quickest RB on the team, even though he tips the scale at about 235. He doesn’t need to be considered a short-yardage back.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Fastest or quickest, 67? Straight line speed is different than shiftiness and escapability and Carr showed some quicks on Saturday. Malepeai runs with purpose and Stepp I don’t really know; too small a sample size to tell.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Arturo – not sure about Stepp’s ability to juke, but with a 4.4 40 and 235 lbs, he can hit the hole quicker than the other guys, and he is a load to bring down.

        Think of Stepp as the second coming of LenDale White, before LenDale let his weight get out of control.

        Pudly discussed that Stepp doesn’t have the receiving skills yet. But I don’t know why that dooms him to not get a single carry. So much talent to leave just sitting on the bench.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. 67 —The first time Stepp gets a chance, folks are gonna know exactly what you’re talking about. [And Helton can’t afford to “save” him for next year or there won’t be a next year for Helton]…

        Liked by 3 people

    2. I finally saw why Carr got a scholie… VM is a solid back, but he’s not a home run hitter. Both of them ran hard and I have no complaints. Talking about tipping your hand, it’s far more likely to be a pass play when Carr is in.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. As Harrell said –we don’t care if you know it’s coming, we dare you to stop it cuz we’ve practiced it a hundred times more than you’ve practiced defending it….

        Liked by 2 people

  4. The used car salesman says the gas was starting to run out in the 4th quarter. He also said in the summer that we had two cars, both being Cadillac’s, at every position and that the cars would be switched more often.
    Question…….how can two cars not be enough. Answer…..when one never gets used and the second car is really a 1949 Chevrolet.
    If Helton told me the ocean was blue or green……I’d have a 2 million dollar study run to check.
    The poor parents that trust their children with this person. He is good for his word with a few loved insiders…..the rest……let me show you this Dodge with good tires driven by a little old lady.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. To be fair, I don’t think Helton lies ALL the time —but he bullsh*ts MORE now than ever before. So does Swann. And nobody calls them on it —-which is why they do it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. But isn’t that the culture of the whole administration that promises transparency and spends all its time covering up and stonewalling on the myriad scandals that eventually are revealed every week? Swann and Helton can see which way the wind is blowing. They can say anything to get by another day.

        Liked by 3 people

      1. He started out as a people pleaser, Arturo —but he’s turned into an old fashioned self concerned, self promoter…

        Liked by 3 people

  5. With a coaching philosophy that harkens back to the days of sanctions, it took almost a full quarter for the defense to realize it was okay to tackle in the backfield. I saw one of the most comical jumps I have ever seen during the first half. Our lineman had a bead directly to the quarterback, instead of lowering his shoulder and dropping him the guy leapt into the air and flailed like scarecrow while quarterback went around him.
    You can’t coach that kind of performance, unless you are pro wrestler.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. MG, again I remind you Coach Harrell lost his last N. Tixas St. game 52 – 13 vs Utah St., at the New Mexico Bowl.

    Now according to Dear Pisley, NTS lost it’s starting QB in the 1st qtr.

    “As Harrell said –we don’t care if you know it’s coming, we dare you to stop it cuz we’ve practiced it a hundred times more than you’ve practiced defending it…. ”

    MG, the salient problem is they didn’t practice it 100’s of times with the second string NTS QB.

    Stanford 35 – bozo Plan B Air Raid 7



    1. My Dear Owns,
      I KNOW the score will be close (and I think we’ll win) if it’s Frosh Qb vs Frosh Qb —– I don’t think the score will look anything like your prediction even if it’s Costello (and, although that would be a much tougher road to hoe for such an undisciplined team, it’s not inconceivable to me that we’d win that one, too).
      I feel sorry for J.T. —he worked his butt off to prepare for the season. I was one of the people who thought it would be great for him to drop a bunch of weight —but now it looks like he might have been better off at
      215 or 220. [And I don’t think he’s through at USC by any means —but, of course, a lot of that depend on what Slovis does in 2019).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. P. S.
        The really “salient” point is that all of our receivers have practiced this offense 100 times more than Stanford has practiced defending it.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. owns, what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be attending the “ucla football survivors” meeting?

      Kelly could never recruit (Nike did that for him), and D-coordinators have figured out his 10-year old offensive schemes. What is left, besides constantly alienating his players?


      Liked by 2 people

      1. Chip is on his way to the video booth once he receives his buyout.

        owns, I really don’t see how ucla becomes relevant in football again. It has been roughly 25 years ago since Donahue was coach, and even then, most of his good seasons were in the 70s and 80s.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. Magnitude of beatdown forthcoming about right from Owns – but Stanford won’t score that much (at least not now)…more like 20-6 Tree…


  7. Actually, 22, what you describe sounds suspiciously like the bozo BB program!

    You know 22: oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooForever.

    BTW last year: UCLA (2 – 8 ) 34 – Clown U FB 27; man, that has to sting!

    Wait for it 22….DING goes the Vic Bell.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.