If It's Friday, It's Time For A USC Notes Column

You know why I criticize USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell?

Because when he refuses to run the ball, like he did in the Holiday Bowl, it makes the game too easy for the defense.

Harrell defenders tell me USC could not run on Iowa so he needed to pass. But you still need to try to run. Why? Because it limits the blitz packages. A defense can overload one side of the offensive line if you know there is constantly going to be pass plays.

Harrell needs to run to keep defenses honest . . . and protect his QB.

  • When is Coach Bohn going to resume making public appearances? The holidays are over. A USC administrator tells me to expect to see Bohn at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 11 for the USC-UCLA game. That’s a real safe space since the regular USC fans are relegated to the upper deck for the game. Remember, last year Max Nikias (below) showed up in Westwood for his only appearance at a USC basketball game.
  • Does USC need to sign a quarterback? What happens if JT Daniels’ recovery from knee surgery prevents him being ready for the season opener? And Matt Fink transfers? That leaves USC with Kedon Slovis and . . . who?
  • I hear former USC quarterback Jack Sears, who committed to San Diego State, also seriously considered Utah and Boston College before making a final decision.
  • The Pac-12 is 2-9 against football teams currently ranked in the Top 25. The wins? Oregon defeated Wisconsin and Washington beat Boise State.
  • USC freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu made 12 field goals in 14 attempts for 27 points vs. Washington State on Thursday night. The rest of the team made 11 field goals.
  • It’s been a week since the Holiday Bowl and linebacker Juliano Falaniko has still not apologized for kicking an Iowa player in the head.
  • Are you feeling any better now that the Holiday Bowl is a week old?
  • Darnell Washington, the five-star tight end from Las Vegas who said USC wanted him to play defensive end, committed to Georgia on Thursday.
  • The Chicago Bears fired offensive line coach Harry Hiestand this week. Back in 2017, he was offensive line coach at Notre Dame when it rushed for 377 yards against USC. He was also a graduate assistant at USC in 1987-88. Helton should consider hiring him but he would only do it if Bohn ordered him to.
  • With the Rose Bowl this week, here is a photo of USC participating in the Beef Bowl circa 1979. From bottom right, that’s Kevin Williams, Jeff Fisher, Myron Lapka, Danny Garcia, Charles White and Kenny Moore. I’m not sure who the player is in the upper left but hopefully someone here might know.
  • USC had a program in the 1940’s where “student teachers” would be sent to schools to gain experience in their future career. Mel Patton, a star sprinter, was sent to Dorsey High School in Los Angeles to teach P.E.

Imagine the surprise for students that Patton, who won two gold medals at the 1948 Olympics in London, was their teacher.

Patton might be the only USC athlete to grace the cover of Time and Life magazines.

MEL.PATTON
MEL.2

And finally . . . I ran this picture almost two weeks ago of the press conference to announce John McKay (left) was succeeding Don Clark as USC football coach. Athletic director Jess Hill is in the middle.

But I forgot to tell this story: During the press conference, the “Trojans” banner fell off the wall.

“I hope this is not indicative of SC’s football future,” McKay said.

56 thoughts on “If It's Friday, It's Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. I knew Patton was a good Trojan. Am I not my brother’s keeper? In a competitive, imperfect world, how often do we treat others as thy self? The answer to that is closer to zero than one might think. To learn what to do about it, you must read the book of life. Commentary? Good Lord, how bad can you be? Pray to God, the Creator, in His Son’s, Jesus’ name, and watch the Holy Ghost roll…..Provocation comes, He answers….

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    1. Mike was a good natured guy who made a bunch of tackles for USC special teams from that Long Snapper position. He’d barrel straight down the middle of the field toward the punt returner.

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    1. Yes. It would be OKAY for Scott to mention basketball victories. None of his fans (including me) would fault him for that…..
      #BalanceInAllThings(Aristotle)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. gt—I believe —if we play our cards right —we can stall this process for 5 years…. and live in a fool’s paradise every day until then…..
        #That’sAlwaysBeenMyApproachToLife,Anyway….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree Austin is not ready. I hate to tear him apart but he was embarrassed in the Iowa game. He says he was beat once and that’s what people will remember, but I think I seen him get beat almost once each time we had the ball. Maybe not for a sack but pressuring Slovis or forcing him inside so the pocket would collapse. Vera Tucker also didn’t look good either and I really thought those two would be the ones on the OLine to hold their own.
        I hope they don’t leave. They need work.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sam,
        Yes…. and the fact that Austin thinks he only got beat ONCE is not an encouraging sign….
        #HeltonIsRubbingOffOnTheseGuys

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  2. Yes, I know why you criticize Harrell. It is because that is what you do best. You are a small little man with a big inferiority complex. Heck, you criticized Pete Carroll when he was winning NC. Hurt people try and hurt other people. There’s your psychology for the day little man.

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      1. Can you imagine Scott running for a congressional seat? It would go like this: Scott finds worst photo ever taken of opposing candidate (preferably looking stunned, mouth wide open), Scott plasters this photo on 10,000 billboards across his district, Scott wins in landslide…….
        #…ThenRefusesTobeSwornIn….

        Liked by 2 people

      2. No worries, Bourbon. With Scott’s penchant for getting in trouble for telling the truth, he’d be removed within 30 days.

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    1. Harrell stop using fake accounts to self promo and defend your shtty coaching. That’s Helton’s agent’s territory.

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  3. My pals are right when they say USC could be good next year —but it’s gonna take some luck (and Helton is not known for luck). Our first AND second string quarterbacks and running backs did not make it through 2019. I don’t pretend to know whether that’s a result of Helton’s conditioning program, his pansy practices or his bad luck —but it will sink us if it re-occurs in 2020. We don’t have backups in the skill positions except for, maybe, receiver.
    Bottom line: USC really needs J. T. to recover fully. After Alabama, having a reliable backup quarterback will probably be a necessity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Things are shaping up nicely for a NC run with Oregon and UW in the rebuilding mode. The offense should be unstoppable and a win over Bama would put USC at #1 in September.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All we need to beat Alabama is Saban to practice his guys so hard in the fall that he loses his whole starting line up….
        #IsThatTooMuchToAsk?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bourbon —
        On a more serious front, check out the photo of Nikias above. Do each of USC’s presidents need a burly, bald body guard to attend a basketball game?
        #IsItLikeThisAtOtherUniversities?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. MG:
        Youand I know that anytime anyone travels anywhere near Westwood, they should have ample protection. It’s a hell hole over in that gritty ‘hood. I’ve heard stories of people in MAGA hats getting beaten senseless by 50 year old plastic surgically enhanced women brandishing their latest Louis Vuitton handbag as a bludgeoning instrument. Trojans are being treated for 2nd and 3rd degree burns after angry Bruins toss their soy mocha latte in their face.

        Man, I’d never leave the sanctuary around Vermont and MLK to risk the trip over to Westweird.

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      4. Actually, now that you mention it, Bourbon….
        #WhenYou’reRight,You’reRight…
        #I’llTakeSouthCentralAnytime….

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    2. The hell he’s not know for luck. They don’t call him Horseshoe Helton for nothing. How many times has that incompetent fuck played a team that was starting a QB for the 1st time?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah –I guess when it comes to taking care of #1, Helton is batting a thousand….
        #OnTheOtherHand,WhenItComesToProtectingHisStarters…….

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    3. I disagree that SC will be good next year. The team is going to lose 3 of the first 5 games (Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon). And they will lose to ASU and also probably Utah at end of the year. So maybe 7-5 or 8-4 at best.

      And of those first 3 loses, there are going to be some blow-outs, where the opponents expose Clay as a complete incompetent.

      Clay is losing the trust of the players. I expect more transfer portal entries coming soon.

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  4. Ah the beef bowl. For years I wanted to go to Lawry’s and try the famous roast beef. So I took my family (of4) there for dinner. We had appetizers and drinks and a small dessert. Not bad for over $400. The food we consumed could be purchased for less than $40, so it might be the atmosphere. I would recommend it at least once, but bring your paycheck.
    As for the beef bowl, I remember at least two coaches blaming the traditional dinner for their loss in the Rose Bowl. Papa Joe said his players were too full of prime rib to move. But he also refused to shake hands at the end of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lost in all the chatter above….

    The dudes at Lowry’s were absolutely “styling” those ’79 disco threads!
    (You know that OSU was probably wearing wearing Buckeye red, school issued regimental polyester blazers. Duh!)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. FF and Craig:
        27 points against a stout ND defense in ND was a good performance.

        30 points against a stout Utah defense was a good performance.

        24 points in 31 minutes and 5 possessions against a stout Iowa defense was an excellent performance. The minute Slovis was removed and Fink came in, I left my 50 yd line seat and hopped on the train back to downtown SD.

        Fink threw his usual 3 INT’s vs Washington, but we otherwise moved the ball well vs a top defense in Seattle. It’s why Matt could not beat out HS senior JT Daniels in 2018 and could not beat out true freshman Slovis in 2019. We all love Fink, but….
        As I returned to my hotel room in San Diego and read about the pick 6 for Iowa, I smirked.

        The Offense was not the problem this year–it was in 2018.

        With a young, energetic DC and a real strength and conditioning program, this team will improve in 2020 and “could go 10-2.” We will know if these programs are on the right track by the end of September. I expect that Larry Scott will have us in Stanford on September 12, 2020. He usually books this game in early September.

        If the Trojans don’t smash the usually physical Cardinals, then we can assume a lackluster season and the home in PV will be up for sale in October.

        I’m one of the few on this site who is optimistic that we will land a top DC, won’t lose D talent to the NFL nor transfer portal, and will have a reliable, top-20 defense in 2020.

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  6. I respect your opinion Bourbon. But we lost to ND, Oregon, Iowa if Colorado had a coach we would have lost that game too. And if Jayden Daniels played we would have lost to ASU. So you can’t say when Slovis went down we had a chance.
    Because Iowa where man handling us. I try to stay optimistic too. But its hard with Clueless Clay!

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    1. Didn’t say we were gonna’ beat Iowa, Craig.
      In fact, I was certain we would lose by halftime. Indeed, from my 50 yard line seat near field level, I watched Iowa’s O and D line push the good guys around, and attack Clancy’s flanks–per usual! I watched one series after the Half (we scored), watched Slovis go down, and went off and enjoyed the rest of my $2000/48 hr Holiday Bowl vacation in downtown SD.

      And no. I did not have my usual sip of bourbon after the stinking Holiday Bowl.

      The defense stunk vs Iowa–as they did all year. The only reason we beat Colorado was because the Offense kept putting points on the board. CP could not slow down a POS offense like Colorado’s nor AZ. Our only hope for improvement at this stage is to hire a top notch DC who coaches up HC CH and teaches him that practice needs to include some “physicality.” I’m totally OK with a talented OC and DC winning a bunch of games and conference champs and Rose Bowls for USC and HC CH, who is indeed way out of his league.

      To indict the #9 or #13 offense in CFB as a cause for the lackluster Trojan season is not wise. Loss to BYU and UW? Yep–3 INT in each game. Both on the O, though the defenses performance in the second half vs BYU was abominable.

      Better days ahead. Even Coach MacIntyre–whom I don’t support– will be an improvement on CP.

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    2. Oh, and Mel Tucker–the coach at UC Boulder–IS A very GOOD COACH.
      Better watch out for him, Craig. He will build a stout defense at CU.
      They’ll struggle to get offensive talent, as usual, but he was a top SEC DC prior to taking the HC job.

      Like

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