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.
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.