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

There’s nothing unusual about fans being fickle over who should at start at quarterback. It’s pretty normal. Coaches, however, are usually supposed to be above that type of flip-flopping behavior.

That is why I was surprised when I spoke to member of USC’s coaching staff recently. When the quarterback position came up, the coach said, “JT Daniels could have stayed and been the starter. He would have played at some point.”

Kedon Slovis struggled at different points last season but the remark surprised me. Daniels left USC because he knew he wasn’t going to start. But a coach thought he could?

Of course, this takes into account Slovis struggled and Daniels ended the season as Georgia’s starter. I’m still skeptical he would have gotten the chance because Graham Harrell was enamored with Slovis.

But it shows Daniels had some support below Helton and Harrell.

  • So Tennessee reportedly pursued USC defensive coordinator Todd Orlando? Wonder who Coach Bohn would have hired to replace Orlando if he left?
  • Speaking of Orlando, he should be ashamed of himself for letting the hype dept. allow him to say this about new incoming linebacker Raesjon Davis: “We just picked up the next Butkus Award winner, Raesjon Davis.” Does that mean Davis will win the award as a true freshmen? You just can’t suck up enough to recruits if you are a USC coach these days.
  • USC will have 14 mid-year enrollees from its recruiting class.
  • Alabama has had ESPN’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class six of the past nine years. How dominating are the Crimson Tide? It signed more Top 10 players from Texas than the University of Texas. And more blue-chip players from Florida than the University of Florida.
  • I hear former USC assistant coach Tony Bland has been volunteering at a local high school.
  • USC opens baseball season on Feb. 19 against Loyola-Marymount.
  • USC sold cardboard cutouts for Saturday’s game vs. UCLA at the Galen Center for $50. It limited it to 500. Think it sold that many? There wouldn’t have been an empty seat Saturday under normal conditions.

And now for some history:

  • Did you ever hear about the protest and altercation that took place at the groundbreaking of Heritage Hall in 1969?

It happened before the Homecoming game vs. Georgia Tech. A group of about 12 students marched by Alumni Park with signs that said things like, “Where does USC rank in academics?” “$2,300,000 for academics?????,” (the cost of Heritage Hall) and “USC puts its money where its jock is.”

At some point, a group of former alumni, including ex-football players got involved. Everett Brown, who played in the late 1920’s, was accused of throwing a punch at a student, who then put Brown in a headlock. Leon Clarke, who played in the 1950’s and then with the Rams, reportedly elbowed a female student in the back and hit her mouth with his arm.

About 500 students attended a hearing the following Tuesday at Hancock Auditorium. The same day, 150 students marched into school president Norman Topping’s office to demand the firing of the head of the campus police and dean of students along with an apology for not doing a better job protecting the students. The students were also upset that USC was a dry campus at the time but the alumni were drinking that morning at an official university gathering.

This sounds like one of the craziest days in USC history. There were more than 300 people who showed up at a protest at a noon Tommy Trojan that challenged the university’s economic priorities.

Another 200 showed up for an athletic dept. rally the same day with Marv Goux and athletes.

“Football is not king, we are a part of the curriculum,” Goux said. “I can think of nothing else that brings students, faculty and alums together more than a Saturday afternoon game.”

A protest against the building of Heritage Hall turned violent in 1969.
Here’s a photo of the fracas. Former USC football player Leon Clarke in bent over in the center of the photo.
  • I often think about how things are viewed differently today because of cell phones and social media. In 1985, USC lost to Stanford, 86-65, at Maples Pavilion. After the bad loss, instead of going to the team bus, Coach Stan Morrison made the team go on the court and start doing lay-up and shooting drills.

I was with Mal Florence, the legendary sports writer from the Los Angeles Times. We watched the post-game practice for a few minutes and then left. It was a foot note to whatever was written about the game.

If that happened today, it would have been recorded on cell phones, put on twitter and talked about for several days.


54 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. Harrell definitely favored Slovis. He wasn’t overly enamored with Daniels. He always complained that Daniels was thinking too much and not getting rid of the ball fast enough whereas he had nothing but good things to say about Slovis. And then when he picked the QB depth chart he moved Slovis ahead of Fink and Sears. Nobody expected that. He wanted Slovis as his QB but he knew Helton wouldn’t allow him to put him ahead of Daniels so he put him in position to start if anything were to happen to J.T.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Irony Department: Harrell doesn’t want a QB who thinks too much (Daniels) OR a QB who improvises too much (Sears).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Is Scottie backpedaling a bit here? When JT was at USC, Scottie was all over JT and his dad , the alleged promise that JT would start without competing, the pizza parties his dad threw, etc. It was non-stop piling on. Now that JT is the starter at Georgia, Scottie is revising his opinion?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. MG
        Another way of looking at it, my wise friend, is that JT fits in UG’s offense better; that Slovis fits in the Air Raid better; that Sears fits in Boise’s system better.
        I , for one, don’t see transferring from one program to another as a big deal if you’re putting all your eggs in the football basket so to speak. See Exhibit A, Justin Fields and Exhibit B , Joe BurrowI.
        I’d love to talk with players and see if they have a Plan B or C. A player like Ceyair Wright (then incoming DB) has it right when he says that he chose SC for everything outside of football.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. But that wouldn’t go with my point about Boise being a better fit for JS, Pudly. It was sad to see him not starting although I think he had one good game. Someone forgot to remind Jack about Matt Cassel.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Enough with jt Daniel s. He has NOTHING to do with USC right Now.. USC has KEDON slovis Now USC just Recruited. Jackson Dart and Moss 2 very Good Quarterback s.. it is Gomer Claydo HE’ll ton is the PROBLEM. .Hell ton needs to be FIRED after Next Season. ..make Donte Williams take over Coach ing and Look for Another Very Good Coach… that can can Put USC back in the Rose bowl or college football playoffs to play for a National championship. …He’ll ton is making USC UNDER PREFORM.. on the Football field. …

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Mahomes would struggle at times behind that OL. USC had one quality offensive lineman — Tucker — and everyone saw what happened during the Oregon game when he was hurt.

    Slovis, Daniels, Fink . . . at a certain point all QBs get sick of getting hit, and they start forcing throws (Slovis) or dropping their eyes (Daniels), or getting happy feet (Fink).

    The effects of Helton’s faith in Calloway and Drevno and three cycles of god awful recruiting is going to come home to roost next year. With a decent to good OL, USC could win 10 games next year. And unless the new OL coach is a miracle worker, 8 wins is the ceiling.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Why are the honda posters in front of SC posters? Did they pay more for the positioning? I hate Honda. They have lousy transmssions. I went through 5 transmissions on 2 Hondas. I will never buy another Honda as long as Iive. They they tell us what they do with their profits and how proud they are of themselves for helping. I was taught not to brag about yourself on what you have done. I HATE HONDA

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have had better luck with Honda/Acura, but feel your pain. First car was a ’64 Ford Country Squire wagon (great car name, not such a great car), the transmission wouldn’t engage until the car warmed up for about 15 minutes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Slovis hasn’t seemed right since his elbow/shoulder were injured in the Iowa game. Despite that, look at what he was able to do when needed this past season. Glad to see JT succeeding at Georgia. Looks like that offense is a very good match for him. Plus, there is the Georgia O-line versus the USC O-line.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I played in that Georgia Tech game.. I remember walking past the protesters and thought they were crazy. USC Athletics brought in more money to the University for the general fund, not just the athletic department, but these protesters didn’t want to hear that. My coach, Marv Goux, was ready to throw punches, but Coach McKay cooled him off and he showed unusual restraint in the later rally with my fellow teammates. FYI.. we beat Georgia Tech as they traveled to the Coliseum to play us. They tried to run their Veer-T option offense against out Great Wild Bunch defense with little success… Our 1969 team went 10-0-1 .955 winning percentage (5th best in the 132 year history of USC Football) ending up a lowly 3rd in the National rankings after beating Michigan 10-3 in the 1970 Rose Bowl. We should have finished Higher!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Bob. I always speculated that had your team played Texas and their wishbone (and they threw about 6 passes a game) in a bowl game that you would come out on top. They didn’t have the speed to turn the corner against your D, and without that threat, the wishbone becomes dysfunctional.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks 1967.. With Jimmy Gunn and Charlie Weaver at the DE’s, the GT team had a big problem with the option.. I remember they used lots of now illegal chop blocks and cut blocks. Also. their team was totally white… our Wild Bunch DL was totally black… the GT team broke the huddle on their first series, on our home turf, the Coliseum, and proceeded to utter some racial slurs at my Teammates. My other LB, Greg Slough, and I couldn’t believe what we were hearing. Talk about motivation… Jimmy Gunn. Al Cowlings, Bubba Scott, Tody Smith and Charlie Weaver couldn’t wait to rip their heads off and throw some extra punches in the pile.. I think the ref’s let it happen. They were stunned also. Obviously, GT thought they were playing in the South not in Southern California. I lost a lot of respect for their Team and Coaches.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Well you need to remember that the liberal mindset never wants to see the benefits of athletics. In today’s parlance, they see men’s athletics, football in particular, as a sign of toxic masculinity. They simply do not want to recognize the fact that all the money a top flight football/basketball program generates finances the other non revenue producing sports, along with research facilities, higher faculty salaries that will attract better professors, dorms, student unions, student health centers, etc. They think those entities are financed through cocktail party fundraisers, mixers, and bake sales. The mindset of a liberal is this, I want to enjoy the fruits of the labor, but I want no part of the labor. After reading this please remember one more thing; there isn’t a single thing in this world that a liberal cannot screw up.


      1. I wanna “like” this —- but Arturo will be all over me if I do.
        [I should point out that I liked ‘liberals’ when that term was exemplified by Robert F. Kennedy —-but the Kamala Harris brand is a joke].


      2. LOL.

        No liberal leader would give Putain multiple BJ’s, ignore the ramifications of the CV-19 Pandemic and call it a hoax, or incite an insurrection based on palpable, loser/SUCCer lies for their personal benefit.


      3. MG
        Aside from dating a mayor who had been separated for more than 10 years (someone here pointed this out) and for being a liberal, what is wrong with Kamala?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. She’s a phony (she came across as a cold hearted, patrician elitist at the S. F. D. A’s Office). She’s not smart. And she’s not strong (came apart when Tulsi pointed out her lack of compassion as a prosecutor). Once he committed to a black V. P., I was happy Joe didn’t pick strong, smart Stacy Abrams cuz I honestly didn’t think he could win with Kamala. [As time goes by, I think you’ll see what I mean about Kamala —-don’t you find it weird the way she puts on a Lady Mary accent when she’s making a speech to one crowd and a deep southern accent when she’s talking to another crowd]?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Re: Kamala. As CA AG, she fought the decision in the Vergara lawsuit, which could have really improved educational outcomes for kids in the poorest CA neighborhoods. She (and Jerry Brown) chose to go against the kids, go against the vast majority of teachers, and support union leaders who provide enormous political contributions.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Kamala — not a liberal, not a progressive, not a socialist —-just a ‘me first’ opportunist.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I don’t know, SC was involved in a lot of close games that year, and the tie with ND finished off our chance for a national championship in 1969


  6. Who would be in a “group of former alumni”? Are those guys who quit being graduates and went back to school?

    Maybe they’re like former sportswriters.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Liked by 3 people

      1. Helton response to Pudly: “I don’t think it’s fair to hold people accountable if they’re not expecting it…”

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 67, doesn’t Charlatan Clay say the same thing every year? To paraphrase “We’re here to win championships. That’s the beauty of being at SC. You’re judged on winning championships”. So the new Clay is playing off of the old one. As Tracy Morgan would say “Old Clay is the Mento and new Clay is the Manatee”.
        Can’t remember the best O-linemen that came from an Air-raid offense. So is he already blowing smoke up our asses?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Dr Evil, exactly right. Clay number 2 is new, so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for now. But you are spot on regarding Clay number 1…

        Liked by 2 people

      1. How would he know, they haven’t had those players since chippie’s first season when they all hit the portal. They actually had rather sit out a season than stick it out at that SOW.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Chip “smash mouth” Kelly building that dynasty in Westwood. 2 years from a National Championship. Fun Fact- Chip Kelly’s 10-21 record as UCLA football coach represents the Bruins’ worst three-year stretch since the early 1920s.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. May be their worst but certainly not their cheapest stretch…..word in the SOW athletic department is they’ve spent more on donuts alone than Pepper Rodgers was ever paid…

        Liked by 2 people

  8. That’s right Dear Pisley, get mad and mouth off. That’s what you do best.

    #Slovis: laid out like a cadaver; moans “where is I”
    #Chuga,chuga,chuga,chuga,chug – LOL


    1. Mad? Not by a long shot. And look who’s mouthing off…my little buddy whose team hasn’t won 5 games since the turn of the century against arguably one of the least talented coaches in our history. Yeah, I’m mouthing off.
      Just a reminder SOW wannabe, games aren’t over until the clock runs out, not in football nor in basketball. Hahaha, that was a real power move that stanfurd put on the SOWs, NOT…
      Manana rosito, manana…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Pudly — Okay. It’s official. The Great Owns versus Pudly the Magnificent. We’re tripling down on Saturday. Oh, shit —it’s all on the line now. “When 2 men go out to face each other, only one returns.”
        —–“Liberty Valance” sung by Gene Pitney

        Liked by 3 people

  9. Arturo, Re: Kamala. As CA AG, she fought the decision in the Vergara lawsuit, which could have really improved educational outcomes for kids in the poorest CA neighborhoods. She (and Jerry Brown) chose to go against the kids, go against the vast majority of teachers, and support union leaders who provide enormous political contributions. I view her as a pure politician following the $$, I don’t view her as a liberal.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Dear Pisley:

    Win or lose I’ll not disappear. You, on the other hand, should SUCC lose, is sure to hide in your gopher hole.

    When all is said and done about BB Pisley:

    UCLA: 11 BB NC’s
    SUCC: Nary a smell

    #Remind me Pisley, what’s Andyainwinning’s Big Boy Tournament record? CofY, utter BS.


    1. owns, Sow fan that you are, we aren’t the basketball school. If we lose, and we won’t, I will look forward to playing the sow or ucLAMBb team a second time around and know that it has been forever since you’ve swept us….
      SOW basketball irrelevant for this century. owns irrelevant forever.

      😝 , the way I see it I can’t lose. We were chosen to be what, 5th or 6th in conference, while the sow were chosen to be higher…
      Either way I’m a Trojan and you’re not, and there’s no way you’ll ever be anything other than the SOW wannabe you are.


      Liked by 1 person

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