Special Teams Hurt USC In Another Way No One Mentions

USC practices were closed to the media this season but a coach told me it was amazing how much time was spent on special teams, often to the detriment of other units.

“You wouldn’t believe how much time we spent,” the coach said. “No one could.”

That said, USC was still awful on special teams this season, as everyone knows.

USC did not have 11-men-on-field for three extra points and gave up two kick returns for touchdowns.

Everyone raved about punter Ben Griffiths in training camp and he was wildly inconsistent.

I could go on but it’s depressing. But how much did it harm the rest of the team because Clay Helton let John Baxter have so much time in practices and didn’t even take advantage of it?

29 thoughts on “Special Teams Hurt USC In Another Way No One Mentions

      1. Thank you, gt! I find it funny that Helton defenders always want to do an impersonation of Leslie Neilson from the scene in “Police Story: The Smell of Fear” —where people are screaming, cars are on fire and the fireworks are exploding in the street and he’s telling the citizens “move along, nothing to see here!”

        Liked by 3 people

      2. “Beat a dead horse”? That’s an interesting post he made. I didn’t attend any practices, and if they were closed, that means you didn’t either. Hence, I had no idea Helton wasted so much time on special teams practice that yielded a crap product on the field, despite all the time wasted on that part of the game. Newsflash: As Helton is still the coach, he’s still in charge (!) unfortunately, regardless of Baxter being gone. I find the post interesting, and the bigger point of it is that someone with very suspect judgment and skills (Clay Helton) is unfortunately still around, so expect more mis-management and a bigger clown show next year. Football is DEAD for the foreseeable future until he is gone, Bohn is gone and (not going to happen but) the BOT and Folt all resign and people who actually are committed to having a winning football program take over. As I said, not going to happen, and DEAD for the foreseeable future. Probably forever. Sad.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Dan,
        Re the length of our football program’s “death”:
        Forseeable future? Possibly.
        Forever? No

        Liked by 1 person

    1. McGrath was reliable.
      The punt game was OK at times–maybe 2-3 shanks this year that set up the opponent on a short field. BTW, every time USC set up the opponent on a short field? 7pt.

      Please to bid Mr. Baxter a friendly wave on to retirement.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think the disappointment with McGrath lies in the fact that all fall and all spring people like Dan Weber were saying he was a superstar who would single handedly win the field position war for us…..

        Liked by 3 people

  1. The overall point is that if Helton is the head coach then the practice efforts and management of this program will not improve. No matter who the coordinators are.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. No worries fellow USC fans and supporters, as Coach Gomer bragged about being California Champions. Per Bohn , recruiting is “going better than anybody wants to admit”. And per Gomer , “ I now have the tools and resources and support to build a championship team “. Oh let’s not forget that he will now take this poorly coached team from good to great! And this idiot is running the program….why the f would I or anybody else ever support this con artist? But hey everything is good because Gomer has integrity making over 3 million per year to be average at best.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. We should have all the answers we need by mid October 2020, SC24.
      Personally, I cannot wait.

      My greatest dilemma is whether I dedicate a late Summer Saturday to watching USC Bama, or do I go climb a 14,000 foot mountain that day instead?

      Beer or boots?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Perhaps go to the Rockies, DVR the game, and if a miracle happens, then you can enjoy the ballgame later. If instead the Trojans lose by 30, you can just erase the recording.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. 67 –Sounds good to me. In fact, maybe ALL of us should join Bourbon on that climb….and just look up the score the next day…

        Liked by 2 people

  3. So wait a minute here Flow, you mean to tell us that ST took “too much” time from other segments of the Trojans’ practices? No friggin’ (apologies Arturo) way! How is this possible?

    How can you focus and practice ST, and still commit countless “too many men on the field” penalties on field goals, extra points and punts? What were they practicing? Did they line-up? Did anyone on special teams count how many guys were on the field? All you have to do is count to 11 – you get to 12, somebody is either on the wrong squad or asleep at the wheel. How come my middle school football could handle this without issues?

    This is so idiotic it hurts.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Juan — Special Teams GOT lots of practice time —it’s what they DID with it that killed us in 2019: Helton and Baxter philosophized with the players in numerous one on one sessions, the players ran around (but didn’t tackle) and our punter was TAUGHT to “take the distance off his kicks so as not to out kick the coverage”…
      #Voila —WorstSpecialTeamsStatsInCountry

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When Baxter was fired, I thought “This is bad news for Scottie, seeing as how he loves to trot out the “gardening hat/big gut” Baxter photo every chance he gets.

      Baxter might be gone, but the photo lives on.

      What is the over/under on the number of times we will continue to see that photo?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. He looks a lot like some old ‘good ole’ boy’ that was just forced to get up from his rocking chair because sum fool ran thru his field of sorghum. There he be a yellin

      “Ya’all git out my field fore’ I sic my dawgs on ya….now git!”

      Liked by 3 people

  4. This is just sad. Trojans have no future until Clay Helton is gone.

    I am just going to briefly say that this does make me wonder about some of the conspiracy theories out there that the Powers That Be at USC want to de-emphasize football for whichever ideological reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

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