10 Things USC Needs To Do To Beat Oregon



1.) Stop the run

Did you notice Colorado rushed for 196 yards? Notre Dame for 308? Washington for 193?

No one is talking about it. USC lost 2 of the 3 games and nearly lost all 3 games. And Oregon averages 190 yards rushing a game.

2.) Teach Kedon Slovis to avoid contact

Kedon Slovis was lucky his fumbles did not cost him the game. He also took some other hits that were worse than they needed to be. So far, Graham Harrell is not teaching him there are ways to minimize or avoid hits.

3.) Hire a traffic cop

Yes, I always mention this. The sideline is like a Manhattan intersection at rush hour. Players running on the field and off the field at the wrong times. There’s 12 men on the field and 10 men on the field. Whoever marshals the sideline needs to be fired.

4.) Thank the Pac-12 profusely

Oregon has not beaten a ranked team this season. The Ducks have not looked great in wins over Cal and Washington State. And this is the team the nation thinks is USC’s great test this season. Only in the Pac-12.

5.) Don’t pretend you are a genius

Clancy Pendergast thinks changing his coverage in the fourth quarter was the key to beating Colorado. No, the injury to Steven Montez was the fourth-quarter adjustment.

6.) Cover the middle

Teams are afraid to throw over the middle because they think passes will get intercepted. But USC always has problems covering the middle of the field.

Justin Herbert is probably the one QB who should be trusted to exploit this but I’m not convinced Oregon trusts him to do it.

7.) Protect the edge

Drake Jackson hasn’t practiced yet this week so it looks like Caleb Tremblay will start. Even if Christian Rector is back, it doesn’t mean USC is a lot better on the edge until the defense demonstrates it.

8.) Improve the return game

USC has not returned a punt or kickoff for a TD since Velus Jones did it in the first game vs. Fresno State. More importantly, when was the last time USC just had a long return?

9.) Hire an athletic director

The new athletic director needs to see the sloppiness, lack of crowd enthusiasm and amateurish nature of the program first hand. It will make a greater impression than getting hired at the end of November and being forced to decide Clay Helton‘s fate.

10.) Rediscover the tight end

Just because you like to use five wide receivers doesn’t mean to ignore the tight end. It’s an underused weapon in this offense.

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13 thoughts on “10 Things USC Needs To Do To Beat Oregon

  1. SCooter,

    Ad nasuem, helton will not win this game nor will the coaches. The players will by executing. The game plan for Oregon sucks already and Pendergast will give up 250 yards rushing. The only way SC wins is by offense. They should go to power run football but they won’t Oregon is fast, so you run counter, draw, screen slant in’s, hit the te. Hit them then with power run, then play action pass. Helton and Harrell don’t know how to set up a play or a scheme. They just choose a play and see if it works. Good luck Trojans, you will need it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If Tightend Josh Falo is ready (and from what I’ve read he IS), Helton should actually USE him. And maybe, since he’s fast and strong and weighs 250 pounds and has great ball skills, maybe use him as a tailback when we get inside the 10 (don’t worry, Clay, he’s not a fumbler).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my god yes. I guess this new offense wants the ball first, but our strategy for the past decade had been to defer to the second half. I wondered why the sudden change and judging from the results I think you are right. Taking the kickoff can backfire big time if we go three and out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Of all the suggestions I saw I gotta go with hiring the AD and the sooner the better because the coach we want will not hang around much longer. We need a person (note I didn’t say guy because of title IX crowd) to jump and get their hands dirty now.
    Waiting is wasting in this case. All the other suggestions are retreads that Scott knows won’t happen.

    Like

    1. RT
      Never talk about coaching changes during the season. It’s only becomes a distraction.
      At the end of the season then any changes needed will become clear to everyman. Let the season play out. SC is doing better than I expected esp when injuries are taken into acct.
      I optimistically thought SC would be 3-5 now. And CAL would be 6-2. LOL

      Like

      1. Com’ on ’86, please break down Kal’s magical victory vs Utah. I was shocked; who knew?

        Nobody at Strawberry Dump is talking ’bout a new Kal FB HC.

        Like

  4. USC will triumph over OR in spite of the incompetence and inability of HC Helton and his entire ‘Chip’ Kelly identical twin coaching staff. The players recruited 3 years past are still playing and they know who to listen to and what makes sense.

    Helton will never win any meaningful games once he gets justifiably sacked. He’ll never realize what he had at USC is what all coaches dream of and work oh so hard to win enough games to be given a shot at a historic top 5 program as USC.

    Kelly might win out but who ever repalces the poor sap Helton will crush him and Kelly knows it

    Like

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