Discuss The USC-UCLA Game

This was a typical Clay Helton victory. USC gets a lead and then has to hold off UCLA.

We also saw the bad effects of Clancy Pendergast and John Baxter, which I predicted before the game.

Did you hear Brian Griese‘s full-throated endorsement of Helton during the game? He said Helton deserves to return, of course.

“It’s not about me, it’s about these kids,” Helton said on ABC.

Mike Bohn had to see the good and bad at the Coliseum.

He also saw all the empty seats.

Just a word about the offense: Kedon Slovis passed for 515 yards and four touchdowns. Those are Washington State-like stats.

And how would USC fare with this unbalanced offense against Clemson, LSU, Alabama, Ohio State or Georgia?

Because ultimately USC wants to be a contender for the College Football Playoff. And the Air Raid hasn’t proven it can compete at that level yet.

Clay Helton reaction: “USC is an extremely special place, and always will be. It doesn’t matter if I’m the coach or you’re the coach. USC is always gonna be special. That doesn’t change. That foundation is 125 years strong.”

66 thoughts on “Discuss The USC-UCLA Game

  1. Stick a fork in me, I’m rare and done. Ding goes the bozo Vic Bell.

    Congratulations SUCCXsters, Helton re-ups for another year……LOL. Can’t wait for the Alabama game

    #UCLAhaszeroexcuses

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Clay Russell —who I really respect —thinks that Slovis will develop into a QB who knows how to protect himself. I don’t share his enthusiasm —- unless Helton goes. Helton actually allowed Slovis the opportunity to take off on the zone read AFTER a hit almost took him out of the game. Before Slovis returned to the game, the word should have been — “From here out, get the ball out fast when there’s something to throw at and toss the ball out of bounds when there isn’t. No more running with the ball.”
        I worry about Slovis if asshole stays —he doesn’t know how to keep his QB safe…
        #…AskJ.T.Daniels

        Liked by 3 people

      1. Agree. Can’t say I’d ever waste my time and go on an opponents’ blog page and troll for abuse. I don’t understand such a personality
        (and I took care of ill people for 30 years).

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Bourbon — So that’s the reason you never discuss Baxter’s mental heath! He was a patient wasn’t he?!
        #RulesOfProfessionalConduct…
        #IRespectThat…
        #[ButWasItRelatedToSubstanceAbuse]?

        Like

      3. MG, I respect you as well and I want to make sure you understand what I’m saying when I try to explain what I’m seeing and thinking. It would be a lot easier and there would be less confusion if I could do it in a film room, but I’ll pound away here. The first thing that I would tell you is that what I’m talking about is stuff I learned by taking lumps. The “vision” that I talk about was developed through a curtain of tears and to a certain extent, it has to be the same way for young Slovis. The entire bent of my Slovis post yesterday was about him holding onto the ball too long and potentially suffering the consequences. I talked about my “screed” in which I had talked about him getting a deer in the headlights aspect about him when he runs. Both of those things are exactly what happened to him during the play that got him hurt. What does deer in the headlights mean? You’re standing there frozen, indecisive and in harm’s way. When he got hurt, he was out on the edge like an option QB with a defender right in front of him, and he’s out of his element in that situation. He kind of froze, suffered the consequences of freezing by feeling contact from behind and getting stripped, he then got distracted by the fumble and in turning his head to look for the ball and took a shoulder to the jaw. If that’s DTR in that situation, before it comes to all that, he’ll take off and try to juke that edge defender and make something happen with his feet. He does that because that’s part of his game and he knows what he wants to do on the ground in that situation. As a QB has a progression with regard to his receivers, he also has a progression with regard to his other options when his receivers aren’t open. That progression is a more personal one because you can only use what you got to get what you need, right? My point for Kedon was simply the order of his progression when nobody is open. Nobody open? Steal and slide. Steal and slide not there? Throw it away. Also, I’m using the word “steal” for a nuanced reason. I’m not telling him to create with his feet because, like I said in the screed, that’s not part of his game and that’s ok. However, there are some QBs who are not at all athletic, but they’re so damn crafty that they are able to con you out of a few yards and a solid tackle with their feet, mannerisms, guile or whatever. If we can get him to be that guy before he leaves then he’s reached his full potential with regard to running with the ball. It’s like I want him to run with the ball the way an old man plays basketball if he ever does anything on the ground beyond stealing and sliding. A guy who has an “old man’s game” in basketball is a guy who is old and therefore has like a 3 inch vertical, he can’t run, he’s not quick or at all athletic, but he’s so slick and clever that after a while and before you know it, he’s using your high jumping, fast running and perhaps shit-talking young ass up. (As an aside: Lebron is still an athletic monster, but he’s already starting to set his old man game up now. That dude may play for 25 years just to be able to play with his son and just because he can) Anyway, right now I’m really just asking for 3 yards and a slide out of KS if it’s safely available instead of throwing it away. Kedon actually stole and slid for a first down in this game.

        Kedon doesn’t have a lot of reps against athletic guys with a ball in his hands and it shows when he has a defender in front of him in the open field. He has no earthly idea what to do running with the ball and he shouldn’t be doing it beyond stealing and sliding. I’m not promoting anything reckless and when I say “I’m not worried about him,” I mean that he is young and he is learning so the mistakes he’s making are ok right now. I’m seeing a freshman with a good and already fairly polished platform to work with, he’s coming along nicely and in that sense I’m not worried about him. I’m definitely worried about him on a play-to-play basis and I have talked about the concern I have with the hits he’s taking.

        I never mean for these things to be so long when I start them and I’m sorry. Believe it or not, I actually leave stuff out. Sorry again.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. With my kids a little sick and in the next room watching Star Wars movies as I watch SC football, I now know what Vader felt like with Sidious stringing him along: Sidious would show Vader just enough knowledge of the dark side to have him stick around and not turn on him outright. Similarly, Helton gives the USC people in charge just enough to not get rid of him. It’s time to pick Helton up and throw him over the edge. Maybe in this version, someone can throw Clancy and Baxter over as well.

    #MaytheSchwartzbeyou

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Arturo —Clay KNOWS Baxter and Clancy are just mailing it in. And he chooses to keep them. Slovis and Pittman were not his first choices —- circumstances (threats from Michael’s daddy and an injury to J. T.) forced him to play them. So —he doesn’t demonstrate any special magic in handling Special Teams, Defense…. or even the Offense. What is there to like about this guy??…
      #USC:PleaseDon’tMakeUsWatchHeltonCoachVsSabanAgain….

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Slovis is getting hurt routinely in the Pac-12, where the average team is awful.

        Lamar Jackson would get taken out of next year’s opener on a stretcher if there aren’t changes.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Just go home from the coliseum. Again attendance is on the decline. It looked like close to half of the seats were empty. Yes we finished strong but look at the schools we played during that stretch. And some of those games were won at the very end. Kedon Slovis is the new Sam Darnold. Without him I believe Helton’s fate would have been determined earlier. UCLA’s talent doesn’t compare to USC’s talent but still gave up over 500 yards in total yards. Again, the defense can’t hold the edge, inconsistent offensive line play, inconsistent tackling and still penalized 7 times. With USC attendance continuing to decline and fan apathy, can USC afford to employ Helton?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Responding to trojanforlife
        It looked like half the seats were empty? What the fuck are you talking about? It’s assholes like you saying stupid billshit like this that people believe. If you don’t
        like it then stay the fuck home.

        Like

  3. Stick a fork in me, I’m rare and done. Ding goes the bozo Vic Bell.

    Congratulations SUCCXsters, Helton re-ups for another year……LOL. Can’t wait for the Alabama game

    #UCLAhaszeroexcuses

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I enjoyed watching Michael Pittman jr. physically dominant opponents and get the ball.
    I enjoyed seeing Kedon Slovis play better then j.t. Ever did.
    The rest of the year was a total waste.
    Sack Helton and his F Troop coaches and bring in a qualified coaching staff.
    PLEASE.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Who’s Private Agarn, then?

      I have a lengthy post with decent computer analytics outlining the rationale for #6 to get the Biletnikoff over on Reign of Troy.
      Short story? He’s faced 5 of the top 18 defenses in D1 CFB in the prior 11 games. 5/11! No other receiver on the list can count that, including the crew at LSU and Bama. Certainly not CeeDee Lamb at OU.

      Sadly for Mike, today’s defense was not quite top 20.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Food for thought: Is there a big enough check that could be written to entice Bill Belichick or Sean Payton to take this job? Like $200 million for 4 years?

        Liked by 2 people

  5. The Trojans are 8-4…they are one of only four Pac 12 teams with a winning record in conference … they are one of only six Pac 12 teams with winning records overall….they beat Utah…beyond that, who have they beaten? Cal, Stanford, Arizona, ASU and Colorado, have a combined record, as of this moment of: 27-36…they are 2-4 against teams on their schedule that have winning records…the 12 teams in the conference have won 69 and lost 56…If you take out Utah and Oregon the record is 51-54…If the new SC AD and President are willing to accept this mediocrity, then Helton will last at least through the length of his current contract…attendance at the Coliseum will start to resemble the Galen Center…

    Like

    1. Wow. An indictment of the entire Pac 10 (12-Utes&Dux).
      It’s about time, Ben.
      Pac 12 has sucked since the late BCS/early CFP days.
      It’ll be interesting to see how the Bowl Games go next month.
      If the non-conference performance is any barometer, Pac 12 could go
      0-4 or 0-5

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know…it’s hard to believe that the Pac sucks…BUT….they can redeem themselves with some impressive performances during the bowl season….Maybe SC could get a rematch against BYU in the Who Cares Bowl….if Larry Scott really cared about getting the Pac 8,10, or 12 back to prominence, he’d offer to buyout the remainder of Helton’s contract with the condition that the Trojans hire Urban Meyer….failing that? the Pac should invite Fresno St., Cal Davis, E. Washington, Cal Lutheran, Occidental, Cal Tech-JPL, Oregon Inst. of Technology, Western Colorado U., Azusa Pacific, and Portland St. to join the new Pac 22….by so doing, that increases the number of wins the “power” programs will achieve…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. (This rant is about the coaches, not the players who were gassed midway through the 3rd qtr.)

    The worst exhibition of tackling today (actually non-tackling) I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve been a CFB (and former NFL) addict since 1969. I was a scout teamer at USC for two years and thus a human tackling dummy for two years. I know (and feel) a good tackle when I see/feel one. You cringe “a little” when you see a well-performed tackle on TV. Then, you admire it.

    Fundamentally, this team can’t tackle. Haven’t been able to tackle for years. Somewhere along the line these coaches ascertained that tackling is not really important in football.

    Oh, BTW, Lines of pursuit by LB’s and D line are ridiculous.

    Rarely see downfield blocking from the O-line, though the receivers downfield blocking is envious. The analyst, Brian Griese, is a QB and doesn’t prioritize fundamentals like blocking, tackling, pursuit angles, and keeping your assignment, so he is going to support keeping CCH. Those of us who’ve watched this FB team for 50 years know how we got to where we (were). The present iteration (of coaches) is not going to get us to a Pac 12 south championship over Utah (infra vide)

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Luckily, the offense plays 4 quarters, 67…..cuz the defense is gassed by midway thru the 3rd quarter. They play with the same amount of verve and enthusiasm Clancy brings to interviews. If Helton is invited to leave town [and never come back], he can thank his friends Clancy and Baxter. [And last year it was Clancy, Baxter, Callaway….and Toa]…..
        #….That’sMoreThanAnyOffenseCanOvercome….

        Liked by 2 people

    1. The tackling and lines of pursuit were the reasons they got 35 against us and probably the reason Utah was able to hold them to 3. DTR was not 100% either and he would’ve exposed more if he was healthier, not that giving up over 500 yards isn’t exposure enough. I don’t want to get into the personnel stuff, but you’re exactly right about these fundamentals. I would be raving about Mauga if I didn’t specifically see him taking bad lines of pursuit on specific plays this year. Otherwise, he has flashed quite a bit, acts like he wants to be a playmaker and seems like he could be with the right guidance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With daily tackling drills, strength and conditioning (and nutrition) coaching, and a mean as hell LB coach, Mauga will be special. Without those, he will sign as an unrestricted free agent, make a practice squad for awhile, and then go into coaching.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. This game was a continued re run of the last 2 years … We have so much talent but we continually under perform.. We are winning games on talent alone … Clay is not a Power 5 Head Coach …. We need to move on and go get Urban .. If not Urban go get Franklin or Matt Campbell … This is not a well coached team and a good coach gets us to the Playoff right away …

    Liked by 2 people

  8. tough loss, but i have to salute Coach Hell-TON who is truly an inspiration. DESPITE all the irrational animosity towards him, he has taken a 3rd string QB and undeniably FINISHED STRONG!!! COY for Pac12 is a definite possibility

    giving the game ball to new AD Bohn was an inspired move! pure genius! absent a total meltdown in the bowl game, Hell-TON’s yob is LOCKED!!

    #SoLetItBeWrittenSoLetItBeDONE!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bucket, what did you think of Chip’s t-shirt fashion statement?

      Looks like he needs a double FF cup.

      But a coach who is that good is allowed to wear anything on game days, right?

      That vision, which the camera crew thankfully recreated a dozen times, has got to scare away the recruits, if there are any to begin with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. if you got so turned on by Chips curves, don’t come crying to me. keep that for your private moments.

        #TinglyTime

        Like

      2. 67 — I know why my friend Charlie likes Chip: Chip reminds him of Hillary. [Put Chip in a cute pants suit, send him on a goodwill tour of India, give him enough time to fall down a flight of stairs ….and I’ll bet you anything the story is picked up worldwide as “Mrs. Clinton takes another nasty tumble on same staircase as last year —-female assistants again assure reporters alcohol not involved”].

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Chazzie boy : “Tingly Time”, and “Chips curves”…

        I wonder why EVERY ucla troll goes homophobe at the end of the day…

        owns, little miguel, teddie, and now Chazzie…hmm…wonder what all that means? Chazzie?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. 67 –I’m surprised that Charlie would mind us pointing out Chip’s bulbous breasts —bouncing like melons as he strolled the sidelines. We’re only trying to be constructive. Do you remember when Elizabeth Taylor hit her absolute beauty nadir during her 37th marriage [to Senator Warner, I believe] —-kind of rolling around in a chubby ball while an astonished press flashed photos? Well, it’s one thing for an over the hill actress to appear like that in public —but it’s a whole different deal when the UCLA football team is forced to look at that in the locker before, during and after games…
        #It’sSuckingTheLifeOuttaThem[YouCanSeeItInTheirSadBabyFaces]….
        #…YouCanHearTheirInternalMonologues….
        #…..”MakeItStop!”

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Michael, WTF was Show Cause thinking when he donned that form-fitter?

        Sure the camera adds a few pounds, but there were more than a few to begin with…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. To the real Just Owns…

    You might want to consider a tag line change. Perhaps Just Never Owns or perhaps Just Owned, or Just Because My Wife Beats Me… all viable options, just recommendations.

    SUCXX just kicked your weak ass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Juan…absolutely right. Sadly, it would mean a little more if their weak little ass hadn’t been kicked every which way for the last 20 years by virtually every D1 program.

      Like

    1. Chaz, Clay is not the worst Power 5 coach in Los Angeles!

      Who would have thunk that?

      Still crowing about that remarkable hire of Show Cause Chip?

      #BestCoachingHireEver

      Like

      1. well we’re getting a new AD as well so Show Case Chip may be in trouble. fortunately with our squeaky clean image, we can AFFORD to hire Durty Urban!

        #Gettin’Durty

        Like

  10. Any time sc beats ucla is a nice thing, even if they are the bottom of the barrel lousy. I just can’t figure how that makes a world beater out of a staff with almost 50 4-5 star athletes ,even more than Clemson for instance. They should be 12-0 and ranked in the top 4 ,except they do not prepare or practice like those teams, never will under current staff.Their 8 wins except one,led by Matt the q/b most ignored in 4 yrs,were all against teams with losing records…so how did ASU beat Oregon,or Colorado Washington and SC was dominated by them? COACHING…practices and game prep…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ben brings up the idea of adding Fresno State, Cal Luey, etc to the Pac 12, and strange as it may sound, I’m FOR IT!
    C-USA was an amalgamation of many teams with no affiliation. Worked out great!
    We could call the new mega conference, Conference Pacific–US-State (for the cal state schools)
    The shorter version–C-PUSS.

    Like

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