Morning Buzz: What Chess Moves Left For USC?

USC has literally made every move except the obvious one to save the program.

It replaced its offensive coordinator two years ago. It replaced its entire defensive staff last year.

It hired more support staff. It created a hype-video division. It hired a new athletic director!

And still in 2020, USC was sloppy, soft and couldn’t beat a good team. Not that it even played any good teams, fortunately for the Trojans.

So what moves are left for Mike Bohn? I don’t know what else he can do if he doesn’t fire Clay Helton.

Bohn can hide behind a 5-1 record. But the fans saw the games and know how awful the product was against inferior competition.

Now here comes 2021 with Talanoa Hufanga, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Isaiah Pola-Mao, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Marlon Tuipulotu and Tyler Vaughns headed out the door. I could add some other names too.

Can they make the schedule easier?

Blame it all on offensive line coach Tim Drevno?

The moves are limited, baby.

  • Did you hear Helton say on “Trojans Live” that Kedon Slovis, St. Brown and Vera-Tucker were out of a bowl game with injuries?

I already wrote Saturday about Slovis and St. Brown. But Vera-Tucker too?

No QB. No WR. No OT.

Against Texas? In San Antonio?

Yes, it was definitely time to say the players needed to spend Christmas with their families.

29 thoughts on “Morning Buzz: What Chess Moves Left For USC?

  1. i just saw the n. texas game. don’t say gomer doesn’t work hard. other teams may get their coaches only from other d 1s and pros but for our gomer he doesn’t leave any stone unturned and even gets his from n. texas and western kentucky. perhaps he also watched the game and can get someone from there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Frankly, there are a few winning “chess” moves possible, as the cupboard is far from bear, except…

    1. Recruit O-linemen. This has been a leviathan weakness in all C&H recruiting classes, and needs immediate rectification. Watching the poor production of this unit goes a long way toward explaining the lackluster ‘wins’.

    2. Fire the RB coach. C&H needs a fall guy, because the heat is coming (thankfully, it always will be). And what better way to respond than by saying that “the running game lacked explosiveness and underperformed compared to our expectations” (translation: we couldn’t block worth a damn, so our running game suffered and we became 1-dimensional – and since we do not have Sam Darnold, no one could save us). Side benefit could be Harrell feels some heat here too.

    3. Fire Orlando. This might be controversial, but it is an option. The defense played with emotion, but also lacked a fair amount of discipline (penalties in O game, ridiculous on-field celebrations). Might go part of the way toward addressing that complaint. But from a practical standpoint, Orlando has historically gotten worst with additional time in previous gigs. Why temp fate?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are C&H chess moves (obviously). USC’s only winning move is to remove this poser – but that would require Bohn making that move (which he won’t …at the point of maximum pressure last year, he elected to retain him). So Bohn would need to be replaced, but Folt won’t do that, unless there were some scandal involving Bohn that couldn’t be brushed under the rug. So Folt would need to go, but she’s just settled into her new SM digs during the pandemic, so that would just be rude and insensitive in the BoT’s eyes. So none of that is happening, and hence, the “chess moves” for USC necessarily involve…much to our collective dismay…C&H.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 1. I keep Jinks.
        He’s a proven winner as a HS head coach and did well at Texas Tech, though he could not do much with the program at Bowling Green as HC. He produced two NFL RBs–Malcolm Brown and Deandre Washington. This is not a bad resume over the last 5-6 years nor the last 10+ years if you include a 43-4 record as a 5A HS HC prior to going to the college level.

        I could see instant instant improvement in the RB’s Sept 2019. I felt that his RBs hit the hole hard, were getting better at pass blocking, and they have been reliable receivers OOT backfield.

        Carr never recovered, and it is truly, truly sad. Stepps was likely gimpy a fair part of this year. Vavae was appropriately held out of the Pac12 champ game. Tender collateral ligaments are “a major accident waiting to happen.” You let JInks work with a healthy Stepps and Christon and we will have a trusty run game for 2021…..if the next point is followed.

        2. While sacrificing the Queen is often a winning chess move, I’d sacrifice my rook this time. Thank you, Tim. You gave us some good years, and I appreciate it.

        3. I think the S&T coaches have improved the product, and I leverage that with money and commitment. This is cheap money compared to a hype video dept.

        4. I elevate Chris Claiborne to AC in charge of LB’s. He’s a proven “tough as nails” winner at all levels, including the NFL.

        Sorry this is wordy, but chess IS a slow, drawn out, boring game.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Remove Helton, the guy pretending to be a chess player. Clay is more of a checkers guys.

    Hire a retired chess grandmaster (Meyer) to move the pieces.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Gomer’s more of a Connect 4 guy, and he sucks at that game too.

      How did Gomer get a degree in interdisciplinary science and mathematics as well as enroll at Duke after graduating from Houston ???

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Drake doesn’t need a coach. He’s a spectacular natural talent who shined all year. But you’re right about Stepp. [And any other player who needs to be coached up—which is to say almost everyone].

      Liked by 4 people

  4. London gets an A+ for Trump-style, chickensh*t post game taunting. It’s all about the life lessons learned as a member to SUCC FB family.

    BTW Clownsters, did you see hit the Bengals’ Vonn Bell laid on Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster for dancing on the Bengal field logo prior to the 12/21 MNF game.

    Bell promised the arrogant Ju-Ju he’d ring Ju-Ju’s bell for dancing on the Bengals Logo – and he did.

    #Ju-Ju: “Where is I.”


      1. MG, Your memory is highly selective. “I suggest you google Vonn Bell SMACKS Ju-Ju and forces a fumble.”

        Speaking of Ju-Ju fumbles, didn’t his fumble cost the Steelers probable play off contention a year or so ago.

        Don’t understand why Ju-Ju feels good about taunting the home team by dancing on their midfield logo during the pre-game warmups.


    1. Bruin Rob, STFU you fat sub six Fake News CNN quoting loser.

      50m ago
      Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the artist formerly known as BruinRob. Much like Charlie Bucket, A.K.A. Tebowbama, BruinRob has had a long and infamous career posting his constant BS on this blog, beginning around 2009. Here are some of the career lowlights of BruinRob. *BruinRob is a long time resident of Cerritos and has been employed at the Cerritos McDonald’s for quite some time. He is a three time Golden Spatula winner and has enrolled in just about every class at Cerritos C.C., without earning that elusive Associate Arts Degree.

      *BruinRob spends a lot of his time touting the greatness of UCLA, despite the fact that he’s never attended the school, aside from never attending a UCLA basketball/football game, even though tickets are relatively easy to come by. *BruinRob really came into his own during the 2011 season.

      After the epic 50-0 beatdown of USC, BruinRob claimed that he and his “two kids” were verbally and physically harassed before, during, and after the game. *Two weeks later, BruinRob claimed that he and his “girlfriend” were going to drive in a convertible up the 101 to San Francisco to see UCLA get thumped by Illinois in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

      It was during this time that BruinRob got exposed by a 12 year old for his DateMeLA profile. A link was posted and on that site there was BruinRob in all of his glory. All types of anti-USC propaganda and a portrait of BruinRob in a grey suit.

      By the looks of it, he goes around 5’7″-245 lbs.

      *For two seasons after that, BruinRob did exact some revenge on USC when Brett Hundley single handedly tore USC up three games in a row. This is when BruinRob changed his name to “UCLAOwnsLA”, mimicking the UCLA flavor of the month coach Jim Mora.

      He soon changed it to his current monicker of “JustOwns” after USC sent UCLA and Josh Rosen packing three years in a row. *BruinRob’s anti USC dystopia hit an all time high shortly after it was announced that USC would be playing Penn State in the 2017 Rose Bowl.

      He went on an all day rant about how the Bowl Selection Committee was violating their own rules by choosing USC over Colorado, who just lost the Pac-12 title game to UW. He conveniently left out the fact that USC beat both Colorado and UW that season.

      *But this was nothing compared to the Mother of all Meltdowns during the fourth quarter of the 2017 Rose Bowl. I was at that epic comeback and when I got back home I read this blog and let me tell you, BruinRob was strutting around like a Bantam Rooster during the Third Quarter. But as the Fourth Quarter began winding down, you saw him going absolutely haywire, culminating when USC won in the final seconds.

      *After that, BruinRob seemed to disappear for some time, keeping a really low profile. But now with USC sucking hind tit so to speak, he’s back spewing his constant garbage. FIGHT ON!


  5. If USC is slowly watching their options slip away than that would be a “Check” from Clay Helton.


    #IThinkTheBloggerWatchedNetflix’s”TheQueen’sGambit”Before HeWroteThisBlogPost

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a quite interesting morning while driving home from work. Listening to Full ride and Childers was doing his “Stock Up” segment. Brian Kelly was his Up. Especially because of the fact that ND is perhaps the hardest jobs in D1. Location, expectations, entrance requirements, etc. IE ND really is a 8-4 every year type of situation occasionally getting 10 wins. He has had them in 1 BCS title game and 2 maybe 3 playoffs so they are coached up. Neuheisel chimed in to explain how Kelly has used a philosophy unique to their situation to build and resurrect that program. He said after many conversations with Brian, They start with O-Line and get the best they can and spend the most time developing them into flawless machines. Focus # 2, get as many rangie long armed D linemen as they can find and stock pile them. Quick and long, the weight will come in their strength program. #3 Multi tasking tight ends. #4 long, athletic, and tough as nails corners who will get in your grill. #5 a tie, QBs who understand what they are trying to do and can escape and create when needed, and smart, leading LBs. #7 under rated 3 star but long receivers who’s egos are in check so they can be coached to run precise routs, block well down field and know when to comeback to help the QB. The rest will take care of itself with discipline. So the whole time Rick is laying this out I can’t help but marvel how this is the exact reverse of USC recruiting pattern. Over load on flashy receivers and then go for multiple 4-5 star Qbs few of whom develop and the rest leave since only one can play at a time. Then corners and unused backs who can’t and don’t run due to the system and lack of line play. Then pray that maybe an o line kid or transfer will come. The irony of the whole thing is that Helton referred to the Kelly rebuild as the model for his rebuild after ’18. I thought he was blowing smoke at the time and didn’t think he knew how to organize anything let alone reorganize it. He payed attention to nothing. Brought in an offense you use when you are out maned even though they out man most of whom they play. They waste talent obviously cause they don’t develop anyone, but they wast talent because they over recruit positions of ego (wr) so they lose kids to transfer, and other specialize positions (QB) because you only play one at a time and they have no skill set to be adapted to other positions if the need is there.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, it’s not Rosy Cheeks Ricky but Tater Tot Kelly’s concepts.

        When Jimmy Johnson was at Miami, he used to recruit DL to play OL, the reason being that DL are better athletes, have a meaner attitude etc. He would recruit a ton of RB’s and make them into LB’s, Safety’s and CB’s

        The concept is, COACH THE PLAYER’S UP !!!!!!!!

        The problem with this now is most kids won’t accept being moved to another position because they think they’re a RB, LB etc.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Good point. [Mora hurt himself a bit when he ditched a loving, supportive wife to chase co-eds, too]…..


      3. Michael,
        Slick Rick (my wife calls him Prique Neuheisel) had a penchant for bringing his guitar into the recruit’s living room and serenading the recruit’s momma.
        I think his repertoire became a little stale, given his age/lack of vocal range and the musical tastes of the majority of the young mom’s and dad’s he was serenading. Ergo, at UCLA, CU and UW he must have ended up with a bunch of Bob Dylan Arlo Guthrie loving hippie children.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Joe and HUNTER Biden need to BUYOUT Gomer He’ll Ton s CONTRACT. …from the MILLION s of Dollars they are getting from Communist CHINA

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Helton is nothin’ but a pawn. The queen is Bohn and the king is Folt. All three are weak. The BOT’s are encircling Folt to protect their own kingdom at SC. Bohn either doesn’t understand SC or is just a yes man to Folt. Wrong hires in all three. Folt needs to get tough and demand a better sports program. Bohn needs to retract on what he said about OSU but also prove that SC is better by firing Helton now, hiring an outstanding coach and let him hire his own staff. SC is checkmated from the preception of the program from the nations’s eyes, recruits are down, excuses for losses, and not able to win big games.


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