USC To Holiday Bowl?

What a fitting end to a disappointing week. USC to its third Holiday Bowl since 2014, which is played in one of the worst stadiums in the country. And it gets really cold in there at night.

The opponent should be Iowa or Michigan. Imagine if USC loses to a Big Ten team. What will Mike Bohn have to say about the program then? “We have four silent commits!”

Clay Helton’s already lost a Holiday Bowl so maybe it will happen again.

62 thoughts on “USC To Holiday Bowl?

      1. John –If we get to play Michigan, don’t think Drevno won’t get nice & up to beat the guy who fired him.
        #RevengeAgainstHarbaugh

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Scottie, it could be a lot worse. The Smoothie Bowl, Gasparilla Bowl. Cheez-It Bowl, there are an endless list of irrelevant bowl games.

    Michigan can give up a lot of points. Would love to see Slovis, Pittman, et. al. stick it to Harbaugh.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Michael, growing up with only a handful of bowl games, I really couldn’t care about this other than to watch the guys play one more game, particularly the seniors. Pittman is a very special player. Glad to see him on the field one more time in Trojan colors. And Slovis is rapidly becoming a special player.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. MG:
        Super Mario is the real deal.
        Best image?
        This former OL goes apes**t and hugs his big O linemen after they STUFF the ball down UU’s D line throats for the TD that iced the game.

        Love the #347 university in America? No.
        Respect supah Mario’s team? Yes.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. A big yes, Bourbon. [I just hope we’re not respecting them too much come this time next year –when it’s probably US playing them for the conference championship]…

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Also known as the “Mediocre Bowl,” the Holiday Bowl would be a fitting tribute to USC’s 2019 Season. Is this the future? It certainly is USC’s recent past.
    Jim Wulfsberg, Class of 66
    USC Associate

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Seems to be what the team earned, given losses to BYU and a mediocre UW team.

      Oregon looked darn good tonight–attacking defense and some serious speed on offense. USC has some catching up to do.

      You and I are old enough to recall when USC would only go to a bowl game if it was the Rose Bowl. JR changed that philosophy early on. I think our “first” non-Rose Bowl game was the “Blue Bonnet” bowl in ’77 (or so). There are a lot of positives to going to a “lesser” bowl when you are in a rebuilding mode.

      Losing to MIchigan is not a part of “rebuilding,” don’t you agree?
      Hang in there, W!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Bourbon, I believe that you nailed it with the ’77 Bluebonnet Bowl. Oregon did look good, particularly on defense. On the other hand, Utah was perhaps the weakest 5th ranked team in recent memory.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. 67!
        I had a weird feeling that UU was a tad over-rated.
        I see two lessons and one demand:
        1. Gotta schedule a “tester” vs a Power 5 team in September. UO vs Auburn was worth it for Duck Nation. UU vs Idaho State-NSM.
        2. Larry Scott, my long-term anti-Christ, needs to give the Pac 12 N&S
        divisional “champs” a full week to prepare. While UU has no excuse, playing in a Snow Bowl last weekend (it’s f-ing cold out here right now) did not help their effort.

        Demand–Pac 12 needs to go to 8 conf games per ACC and SEC routine.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Liberty Bowl 1975 season under Coach McKay. Other bowl games weren’t allowed by the conference in earlier years, which left some very good ucla and other conference teams home for the holidays watching the Trojans in the Rose Bowl each year.

        Liked by 4 people

      1. I am cautiously optimistic that AD Bohn has a plan for 12 months from now
        (if not sooner). Finger on the trigger, but hasn’t clicked off the “safety.”

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Bourbon –That wouldn’t surprise me. Let Clay get his shot at Alabama and Utah and Oregon—see how things work out. If he pulls it off (and I’m speaking VERY hypothetically here), fine. If not, he’s replaced by somebody who doesn’t have the Alabama albatross hanging around his neck in 2021.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Who cares about winning and losing under the preacher(Helton). No matter what the ends are, he is still a bum coach. I am sick of him and all his Ilk, like Folt and Bohn.

      Like

      1. Ha! [Once in awhile Scott —in his rush to post while stuff is still hot —lets a sentence go up that he probably would like to take back. Like a good quarterback he’s learned to forget it and go on to the next play].

        Liked by 2 people

  3. It has occurred to me that it really doesn’t matter which bowl game we are eligible for. The reason bowls pick teams is the fan base and ticket sales. Odds are nobody wants a pissed off crowd. USC has just given the paying customers the finger and I doubt that will translate into ticket sales.
    Good luck in the bowl game without your fans Bohnboys.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Truman. Thank you. Hope no USC real fan will ever support this insult by Bohn and Folt.
      They gave the fans the finger. Well some of us do not like to be disrespected. I guess they think we will take it. A few of us will protest and might buy the ticket and just not go.
      At least that is where I am. If someone has a better idea let me know.

      Like

      1. Trojans have a sugar daddy, ’67–it’s called loyal, successful, hardworking (mostly affluent) alumni.

        Difference is….USC has chosen to shit on it’s sugar daddy.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Enjoyed the beatdown immensely, QD.
      And yes, the uni’s were awesome!
      (quite slenderizing, don’t you think.
      We all knew Thibideaux would be special.

      Best moment–Super Mario hugging the OL as they ran off the field after bludgeoning the VAUNTED UU DL for the clinching TD.

      My advice to my UO friend/neighbor here in Denver on Thursday?
      “Never miss attending a Rose Bowl. It’s not guaranteed.”

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s about frickin time Mathews played like a senior. He needs to do that every night and it will be the difference in my opinion because he has had a terrible season so far. But good win!

      Liked by 4 people

    2. If they could raise their free throw % they might make some noise, but until they do we’ll be facing opponents playing “back-a-Rak”, taking us out of our offense. Okungwu is sure fun to watch.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. uknowit — IF Lynn had done the extension ALL on his own, USC probably COULD unwind the contract—or maybe even seek a writ to prevent Clay from collecting off it. Lynn would have been acting without or beyond his authority. BUT—come on — Lynn didn’t do this on his own — all the relevant parties had to sign off on this putrid decision. No one at USC exactly covered themselves with glory on this one….. including 2 or 3 major players who are now relegated to simply being prominent members of the board…..
      #AndThey’reNotWillingToFixIt

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reign of Troy attributed part of 2018’s piss poor showing on defense to an offense that couldn’t sustain drives. The end result implication of course being the D was gassed from being out on the field too much. Fairly reasonable conclusion all in all.

    Flashing forward, the same article, like many others, goes on to praise the improvements in USC’s offense, and in a vacuum it’s hard to argue with the stats. However, as a former workplace proximity associate of mine who’s an ex-player/current head of player dev for a team in the league is quick to remind anyone who relies solely on stats, “stats are for losers”. (Translated in a nicer way: guys who are primarily focused on themselves are bad for the team and arguments based exclusively on stats may miss the bigger picture). The reason I’m dragging 2019’s widely heralded offense into an early morning therapy rant about USC football is because the same article, and many others that offer up the same glowing review, goes onto say this about 2019s defense right after praising the work of Graham H, as well as the great job Clay H did in finding and empowering his new OC:
    “The Trojans were a disaster on defense in 2019 and only got worse as the year wore on. The unit displayed glimpses of dominance for a quarter or even half at a time. However, opponents typically shredded USC the rest of the game.”
    Sounds like a defense that got increasingly tired over the course of 4 qtrs because they were on the field too much. Whether that’s cause the offense was crappy and couldn’t sustain drives, or was overly efficient enough whereby scoring drives (or at least drives into the redzone) were 1-2-3 easy and took “no time at all”, impacts the defense’s fatigue factor all the same. Inefficient or overly efficient may impact a defensive players mood differently, but it as far as I know, lactic acid doesn’t give a rats ass about which is the reason the muscles are being put back out so soon.
    When you hear about “complimentary football” or the need for a running game, it’s done so with the above in mind.
    My question is this: Why wouldn’t dear ol’ clay and his 25 years as a ball coach, along with an outstanding and deep group of runners (injury’s notwithstanding for that 2 game stretch where we were down to the lightning bolt from San Diego and a TBD walk-on) take note like every mother f’n ball coach in the land and tell Harrell to cool his jets and slooooow down the drives? Was it because our offense was being run by Cinderella and her glass cleat was gonna disappear if we took too long? Or was it cause Mr. Integrity knew he could sell/spin the statistical improvements as a glitzy way to save his bacon even tho he knew it would screw the D? The cynic could even say the son of good ol’ boy Big Daddy Kim Helton kept from firing Clancy last year to save that card for this year.

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    1. Oxy:
      We should all avail ourselves of Kevin Bruce’s (MBA, former USC LB all american) weekly analysis of the USC Defense on weareSC. He never implicated the offense for the defense’s shortcomings.

      Long and short of it–the players don’t know how to tackle (cuz they don’t tackle in practice), their rush lanes are undisciplined–and a scrambling QB knows he can take advantage of that fact, and no one (including Gustin) has been able to set the edge and protect the perimeter. We all see vast imrprovement in the DB play with Burns–esp considering the Pendergast scheme which puts the CB on an island. ITS played well, and Griffin et al are improving.

      We don’t have the OL size/strength to run power FB with our 3star or low 4star OL. Irrespective, the offense did its job for 9 or 10 games this year.
      BYU and UW losses were on the offense. The D lost the game to the Princess. All three phases broke down vs the Ducks and their superior talent and coaching.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bourbon — I’m with you: the problem with our defense is NOT our offense. I’m for the offense scoring as fast as they can. Ever notice how many times coaches fuck themselves over when they’re trying to use up the clock on a drive? If the play is there, take it and get it the fuck over with. Our problems on defense are as multiple as you indicated. Clancy’s defense depends on zero mistakes in the secondary —and that’s too much to expect from freshman. It also depends — as do all defenses –on the front 7 making plays. When our guys do make the tackle they do it by what I’m gonna call “barely tackling.” The runner is brought down as gently as possible (except in 2 big games this year where we really hit and hurt people). Lastly, the defense is being left in shitty positions by Special Teams after every USC score. It’s demoralizing to a defense to watch the other team get to the 40 yard line time and time again cuz Baxter’s half ass unit can’t cover a kick.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agree, MG
        Smart FB players/coaches/analysts say it over and over,
        “Keep your foot on the gas.”
        The rules now support offensive (passing) football to a fault.

        However, I like the concept of a team practicing the “four minute” offense.
        Comes a time where you need to ice the game with 3 or 4 overpowering first downs. (The reverse of the two minute offense).

        Like

  5. Occidental, I see no reason why the D performed so poorly, dating back to last year. In 2018, ucla ran a one-dimensional attack with Kelly running for 300 yards. All Clancy had to do was stop Kelly after the first half, and he made no adjustments.

    This year, he gave up 400 plus yards to Fresno State and BYU. There is an inordinate amount of over pursuit, no effective pressure on QB without the blitz, the interior D line gave up lots of yards, the ends couldn’t hold the corners (Rector was playing with a bum ankle for much of the year, but still), lots of arm tackling, a really young secondary that probably had no business playing so much man-to-man.

    I don’t think Pendergast is qualified any longer to be a DC in a power 5 conference.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. McKay went to Liberty Bowl on 1975 and beat TexA&M … if Gomer faces Whisky, his soft team will get run over and Michigan will beat him too. Going to be another look over the shoulder off season for Gomer. Maybe he will figure it out and just quit …go with Kiffy again and lose at Ole Piss

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I think he’d already announced he was leaving for the NFL. I remember reading a while back that as soon as McKay made the decision to go he regretted it immediately, but he also knew he could not undo it.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. McKay announced after he beat Notre Dame that he was retiring and undefeated USC lost every regular season game after that announcement. The team made amends by kicking the shit out of A&M in the Liberty Bowl and McKay was off to Tampa.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Lyle –Actually, Harbaugh’s very witty response to Pete asking him “what’s your deal?” was “well, what’s YOUR deal?”
      #NotUpToOscarWildeStandards

      Like

  7. Bourbon, yes, McKay left SC soon after the Liberty Bowl joining expansion NFL team Tampa Bay. JR’s first year as HC was 1976 (my freshman year). In those days, most/all of the freshman and sophomore football players roomed at what was then known as Men’s Residence West. I lived across the hall from Charles White and regularly saw Brad Budde, Anthony Munoz and Paul McDonald, Dennis Thurman and Ronnie Lott who also lived there (pretty great freshman class!). Rose Bowl in ’76, ’78 and ’79 seasons.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Your writings brought back memories. I spoke to the president about mckay and I wanted his opinion of why Mckay was losing games after his decision to leave and why he decided to leave his answers were: 1.The team was grieving about losing their “”father”.I was especially concerned about how we lost that UCLA game I felt as if we were doing it on purpose. We never put Vince Evans in.2. to my second question he said that he had encouraged him to leave . I asked why and he said he was on top and that was the best time to do it. There is no moral to this story. Just sharing since it brought back memories about our quality at USC, which seems to be lacking now. We were reluctant to accept mediocrity in our football program. We would not have tolerated the preacher(Helton) at all.

    Like

  9. Having Helton being HC makes me sad. Sigh. After last year’s FOOBAR, I wonder what the heck was Dolt and her minion, Bonehead are thinking? Anybody who examines SC’s awful record during the Helton’s agonizing reign of awfulness must come to the conclusion that he is a terrible coach. Clay’s one of those folks who hasn’t a clue, living in a fantasy world where beating up on crappy teams is hall of fame material. Hiring dolt and bonehead now seem like really bad ideas

    Like

  10. Who cares about winning and losing under the preacher(Helton). No matter what the ends are, he is still a bum coach. I am sick of him and all his Ilk, like Folt and Bohn.

    Like

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