If Oregon coach Mario Cristobal is smart, he watched the USC-Utah game several times this week.
Utah fans should be furious that despite being ranked No. 9 in the nation, they don’t even control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South thanks to an atrocious coaching effort by Kyle Whittingham and Co. at the Coliseum.
The Utes played soft man-to-man coverage in the secondary and allowed USC’s wide receivers to exploit it the entire game. They didn’t even lay a hand on USC’s receivers at the line of scrimmage.
I doubt Oregon will employ similar coverage but Whittingham might have blown Utah’s best chance at a Rose Bowl or College Football Playoff with that coaching blunder.
I think the USC-Oregon game will be won by who wins the battle between the Trojans’ receivers and Ducks’ secondary. Ducks cornerback Thomas Graham will be excited. He committed to USC in 2015 but never heard from defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast or secondary coach Ronnie Bradford in the months after both were hired by Clay Helton.
Graham decommitted and signed with Oregon.
- When the former Raiders owner Al Davis was a USC assistant in the late 1950’s, he brought in Eastern players like lineman Dan Ficca and tailback Angelo Coia.
But John McKay didn’t really recruit out-of-state players until he hired Wayne Fontes as an assistant in 1971. Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty told McKay to hire Fontes, who eventually became the Detroit Lions coach.
Before Fontes, McKay would have an assistant coach answers letters from recruits. Tailback Johnny Rodgers wrote USC a letter that he wanted to play for the Trojans but the assistant coach did not respond. Rodgers won a Heisman Trophy and was a two-time All-American at Nebraska.
- Who else slipped through the cracks? USC denied wide receiver Bobby Moore an official visit. He went to Oregon, became an All-American and then a four-time Pro Bowler under his better-known name, Ahmad Rashad.
- USC received a commitment Thursday from three-start power forward Harrison Hornery (6-9, 220) of Mater Dei. That’s a name that is impossible to forget.
- Speaking of Mater Dei, I don’t think it’s a big deal wide receiver Bru McCoy got into an altercation at a fraternity last weekend. He isn’t the first former Mater Dei or USC player to get into a situation on the Row.
But I am getting tired of hearing Bru McCoy drama: The multiple transfers, the mystery fever, the homesickness, the failure to apply for a transfer waiver, the altercation, the wasted freshman year. Let me know when he wants to play.
- Did you know at least five USC students have died since August? One died after being struck by two vehicles while walking on the Harbor Freeway. But the university has not commented on the cause of death of the other four.
- Remember when USC paid Kliff Kingsbury $2 million to be offensive coordinator? The other day I found out legendary USC assistant coach Marv Goux made around $25,000 per year in the early-to-mid 1970’s.
- And finally, if you missed this week’s USC-Oregon podcast, you can catch it here: