Morning Buzz: USC-Arizona Report Card

QUARTERBACK

The stats looked good but the QB rotation was a mess. Kedon Slovis said he didn’t know he wasn’t playing in the fourth quarter. Jaxson Dart was cold on the sideline before he got thrown in for the fourth quarter. USC was terrified to pass in the second half especially after the pick six.

Grade: C

TAILBACK

Why is it if Clay Helton were still in charge I think Vavae Malepeai would be starting over Keaontay Ingram?

Grade: A

WIDE RECEIVER

You could give two grades every week: One for Drake London and one for everyone else. The truth is the receivers don’t scare anyone without London.

Grade: B-

OFFENSIVE LINE

How many yards would Keaontay Ingram have without holding penalties? Even against lowly Arizona, the flaws showed.

Grade: D+

DEFENSIVE LINE

Ishmael Sopher apparently got hurt again after seven plays vs. Notre Dame. Jamar Sekona, a star of training camp, did not dress vs. Arizona. Korey Foreman, the five-star, went 11 plays. What is going on?

Grade: D

LINEBACKERS

Ka’nai Mauga had 10 tackles but I can’t say it was memorable. This group doesn’t seem to make many impact plays (coached by Todd Orlando, of course).

Grade: D+

DEFENSIVE BACKS

You can really tell three coaches are handling this group because no one looks like they are on the same page. I don’t know what they telling Isaiah Pola-Mao to do, but he is way worse this season. And the corners haven’t improved either.

Grade: F

SPECIAL TEAMS

Jedd the Fisch fooled USC with a fake punt. At least the Trojans recovered the on-side kick. Punter Ben Griffiths says he is undecided on whether to return next season, which probably means he can’t wait to escape this circus.

Grade: C-

COACHING

Ask yourself this: What coach has enhanced their reputation this season? Donte Williams’ star is plummeting at the speed of light. Todd Orlando is in worse shape than when he got fired at Texas. It is laughable to think Graham Harrell could get the Washington State or Texas Tech jobs.

Grade: F

41 thoughts on “Morning Buzz: USC-Arizona Report Card

  1. Donte isn’t perfect —but, let’s face it, NOBODY could come in after Helton and look good finishing the season with a team that’s okay with getting out-physicaled every week (in fact, I’m sure every opposing coach tells his guys —“hang in there, we can beat these guys, they’re soft”).
    For those who say Slovis isn’t holding on to the ball too long, go back and watch his cherry popper game against Stanford: He was letting the ball fly without hesitation. Since then Harrell has “coached” him into waiting for the best, most open, surrounded- by -the- most -green- grass receiver on the field. And that takes about 5 seconds more than poor Slovis has.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. btw,
      If given the chance, Graham would try to do the same thing with Dart —but it wouldn’t work. It only works with QB’s who look like Toby McGuire.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Kedon Slovis stars in “Don’t Rush Spiderman!”
        #”PlayingThis&EverySaturdayThroughNovember!”

        Like

      1. I’m not sure Donte CAN. I think with the harrell and orlando failing to aid in that objective, Donte is destined for failure.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You can’t fix in 6 weeks what Gomer did in 6 years.

        USC needs to clean out ALL the coaches and many players on this team can be shown the door if SC uses the transfer portal properly, it’s the only way to get rid of the lazy culture created by Gomer.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you Michael, I agree that Donte cannot erase all that helton poisoned. I just read an interview with Courtland Ford. Although the young man seems like a good young man, his responses validate what many of us have been thinking: these young athletes need to have a paradigm change. The low standards of helton appear fixed in their goal setting. When they express they believe they have had a “solid game” although they are out coached, out played, out schemed it is not only troublesome, it shows nothing will change until this attitude of an acceptance of a lower achievement changes. I’ve seen Saban stressed over a missed tackle! His players have much higher standards and play UP to them. Helton taught how to set your standards to be comfortable, not achieving…just feel good!!! Donte alone cannot change this especially with the low achieving coaches of harrell and orlando. They need coaching instead of giving it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Carra,
        I could not agree more. We’ve all worked with happy go lucky clowns who dismiss failure as “part of the game.” Once you’ve accepted that philosophy there is NO bottom — [well there is a bottom but it keeps getting lower].
        I’m glad you distinguished the present Bohn/Folt philosophy from Saban’s. At the end of a playoff game against Notre Dame (in which Alabama was totally trashing the Irish) Saban went ape shit over a Notre Dame receiver getting wide open in the middle of the field. He jumped up and down and threw off his headphones. It was so close to the final gun that I thought maybe he was just letting off all the pre-game tension that had built up. Now I realize he was demonstrating to his team that he expected them to play focused, hard-ass, perfect football for 60 minutes EVERY time they took the field.
        USC lost that “Win Forever” approach the day Pete Carroll left. It’s time to get us a coach who brings it back.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. But he looks like a fool for benching a kicker when many many players fuck up all the time on this team, not to mention fucking around with the QB’s now, he hasn’t a clue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When these USC players try to compete against the Alabama coached players, to be drafted onto an NFL team, they will too late learn being pampered won’t take them to the bank. The well-coached players that play tough, play well, don’t get excessive penalties and are willing to pt in the time and the work to improve will get the $$$$. I’m hopeful SC will return to the day when NFL teams respected its culture and training.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Good news! Mike Bohn has made a call to a proven winner! Coach Mil’Von James to ask him to be the next head coach of Usc. Board has approved. I will be dropping off a bag of money to have him say yes.

      Those who don’t know Coach Mil’Von James. He is the brilliant coaching mind who is coming off a 106 to 0 win against their rival.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. James apologized for “unintentionally running up the score.”
        #I didn’t realize that it would be humiliating to the other team for us to keep bombing them for TD’s once the score reached 90. For that I ask your forbearance.”

        Like

  2. Scooter,

    Just shut down the program. The entire program is a walking disaster. NO dicpline, no coaching, no adjustments, nothing. It is so hard to watch. But if we continue to watch, maybe we can get time taken off from purgatory.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. P. T.
      You understand these theological matters better than me —can minor earthly suffering wipe out serious post-life suffering?
      #ThatWouldBeSoCool

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Read this and laugh.

    When Dart lit up Washington State back on Sept. 18, it was clear USC had a delicate tightrope to walk sometime soon regarding its quarterback situation. There’s Kedon Slovis, an All-Pac-12 quarterback who started the past two seasons, and there’s Dart, a freshman who has immense potential and can cover up a lot of the offense’s flaws with his playmaking ability.

    That dilemma was pushed to the backburner when it was revealed days later that Dart had torn his meniscus against the Cougars. The injury kept him out for three games. He returned last week against Notre Dame but didn’t play, mainly because he wasn’t cleared for practice until Thursday that week.

    There were talks throughout the week that gave Dart the impression he’d play against Arizona, so he prepared accordingly. He didn’t know that officially until he spoke with USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell on Friday night, though.

    “I talked to Graham last night and he gave us a heads up of what was going to happen,” Dart said. “I just prepared and just tried to do the best I can and when I was in the game, I was able to execute.”

    And now USC’s QB quandary is back at the forefront.

    Harrell spoke with Dart on Friday night, but he also spoke with Slovis, who spoke with Williams about the decision as well.

    “I wanted to know why, obviously,” Slovis said. “Not to take away from Jaxson, he’s a great player. I wanted to know if it was something I was doing to kind of make this happen or what the reason behind it was.”

    Slovis said he was told they wanted to get certain elements of the offense into the game with Dart. The initial plan was for Slovis to start the game and for Dart to come in starting with USC’s third drive.

    Slovis led a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive on the game’s opening possession. On the second possession, he led a two-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 62-yard touchdown pass to Gary Bryant Jr. Since it was only a two-play drive, Slovis also got the next possession, which ended in a punt.

    Dart took over on the next series and led two touchdown drives, which both ended with short touchdown passes to London. When Dart entered the game, USC’s student section started loudly chanting, “Let’s go Dart.”

    “I was so jacked to be playing again,” Dart said. “It’s so hard just watching and not being able to participate. Sometimes you feel like you can help the team out and you’re just not able to do that. And then just like personally, I love the game so much. I came to SC for football. So being able to get back on the field with the guys, it was super exhilarating.”

    In total, Slovis led eight drives. Dart led four. Slovis completed 15 of 21 passes for 204 yards, two touchdown passes and an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Dart completed 12 of 18 passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

    “Both of them had good days. Both of them were efficient,” Williams said. “Both of them passed the ball. Both of them scored touchdowns. The offense moved with both of them in the huddle. Both of them made little small mistakes they’ll continue to clean up. So we were efficient with both. At the end of the day, we put up 41 points.”

    After the game, there was a decent amount of discussion about the fact that Dart was the quarterback leading the offense on USC’s possession midway through the fourth quarter after Arizona cut the Trojans’ lead to seven points, 38-31.

    Both quarterbacks said they didn’t know which one was going in until right before the drive. Williams said it was planned for Dart to play at that moment, and Harrell echoed him.

    “I just had a plan going in and didn’t vary from it,” Harrell said. “I got confidence in both of them no matter what the situation is. Like I said, it’s not like it’s tight so I’m going to play this guy or, oh, it’s a blowout — if we have a plan, I was just sticking to the plan. My plan was to play him on that drive. I don’t really care what the score was, we were going to play him. I got a ton of confidence in either one of them. Either one of them in the game, winning, losing, we need to go score, we expect to go do it with either one of them.”

    Dart handed the ball off on all four plays on that drive. Afterward, Slovis was asked what it was like as a competitor to not be in at that moment.

    “It’s tough,” he said. “Obviously, you want to be in and you think you give your team the best chance to win, but again, that’s coach’s decision and let coach make the best decision for the team at the time.”

    The main question moving forward is how long this QB platoon will last. Will USC eventually decide on playing only Slovis or Dart? Nobody seemed too willing to talk about the future of the position after Saturday’s win.

    “We’re going to do what we need to do to win that particular ballgame,” Williams said. “So I can’t tell you that.”

    “I’m not really sure what’s going to happen from here on out,” Dart said. “I’m just going to be ready. When my number’s called, I’m going to execute.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Another example of a need for a paradigm shift! “try to win” REALLY!!!
        If you go into a game not believing you ARE GOING TO WIN, then you go into the game ready to lose.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My contribution?

      With this effin cabal, they’ll F* up both QB’s careers at USC.

      Does anyone on this site, including the moderator, believe for one minute that anyone on the offensive side of the ball–except maybe Jinks–knows what they are doing?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The worst —absolute worst — bunch of coaches [on both sides of the ball] ever assembled at USC….
        #AndBohnWasThereEveryStepOfTheWay….

        Like

  4. So Clay Helton is getting another head coaching job. Maybe he can take this staff right now. We can go without coaches for a few weeks, we’ve been doing it for years.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Georgia Southern REGULARLY plays teams like Arkansas, Auburn, BYU and Georgia Tech —-do you realize how bad this is gonna get? I mean, let that sink in, guys –Clay will be meeting strong competition with 2 star players.
        #ISOMuchHopeHeGetsTheJob

        Liked by 2 people

      2. About those big teams

        2022, Nebraska
        2023 Wisconsin
        2024 Boise St, Mississippi, BYU
        2025 Fresno State

        Gomer is currently talking with the AD about cancelling those 2024 games

        Liked by 2 people

      3. “I’ll take the job and the $43,000 a year IF we ditch the BYU game… and the Mississippi game…and the Boise State game.”
        #BelieveMe,It’llBeBetterForTheSchool’sReputation…”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Harrell coaching the green grass? I think he’s smoking the green grass.Slow-vis throws into coverage repeatedly.For all the priority that the staff put on recruiting so many receivers and no linemen – these guys don’t get open with regularity.Where’s all the speed? The tested foundation for a winning football team is running the football (with a good line) and a solid defense.USC threw that out and decided to “entertain” with the 7 on 7 flying circus.Well, at least they achieved the circus part. So let’s take inventory……the receivers don’t get open, the O line can’t block, the secondary can’t cover, the D line can’t pressure the QB, set the edge, stop the run or tackle and the play calling is too one dimensional.There ain’t much left. WEAK.just WEAK.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. As Bohn would say –“it’s easy to just point out the problem areas.”
      #….”There’sMoreToFootballThanHavingADefense…OrAnOffense”

      Like

    1. Helton, Folt and Bohn have necessitated a new label for un-readiness.
      “The Peter Principle” doesn’t cover this.

      Like

  6. I cannot believe the first fake punt we have seen came from an opposing team. I thought the idea of having a brute of a punter was to tuck the ball and run. My guess is that the special teams position was an afterthought for Helton, and the broom closet was his office. Rumor has it the last guy died in the corner and nobody has bothered to move him to the biology lab.
    Coaching is going to receive an F until the team comes out ready to play after the adjustments made at halftime sink in.
    If Ingram can catch, expect to see him as a wideout this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingram CAN catch —but he won’t win jump balls — Harrell would have to have him run something called “A Pattern.”

      Like

  7. Georgia Southern press release: “Clay Helton is a great choice for a program that’s spent 10 years trying to figure out what it’s going to be.”
    #He’sPerfect

    Like

  8. Fickell is the main guy. Make him tell you no before you move on. After that……
    Tucker….I don’t think that he will leave MSU
    Aranda…..I think that he will end up at LSU
    Franklin….I don’t know what it is about him but I’m not confident that he is the right guy. But I could be way wrong about this guy. He might be just the guy we need.
    Meyer…..I think that he’ll be available at the end of this year. I just don’t think SC wants him.
    Kiffin……I think that he would take the job. I also don’t think SC wants him
    Cristobal….. I think he’s waiting to go back down south.
    Harbaugh….I think that he will be available. SC should take a serious look at him
    Dave Clawson…..NO! Too much of a one season guy.
    Mike Gundy….Definitely
    UTSA coach…..Worth a look
    Billy Napier….Definitely
    Fresno State coach…..A real sleeper. Won’t be at Fresno State long
    P.J. Fleck…..Another good one
    Kyle Whittingham…..Not going to leave Utah
    Matt Campbell…..yes
    Jonathan Smith…..Definitely a guy to take a look at.
    On top of that I’ve probably missed a few. This year is the best chance that SC has had in a long time to get a real good coach. SC isn’t doing well this year so the fans will be willing to give him some time. It’s not as if he were following Pete Carroll or Nick Saban. There are no more NCAA sanctions. SC still has all the advantages:
    1) the weather
    2) the glitter of LA
    3) the beaches, desert, mountains……..
    4) Tradition….11 national championships and 7 Heisman trophies
    5) The best recruiting market in the country and they all want to go to SC…..where do all the Pac-12 schools and much of the rest of the country get their players…..right here in SoCal
    6) A very good academic school.
    With all those outstanding available coaches and all the advantages of SC, if they come up with another mediocre Clay Helton jr., then find another team to follow……this school doesn’t want to win big. Personally, I think that they will get a real good coach this time around. We’ll see.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Parcelman, please forward your list to the Bohner. I’m afraid he’s scouring Georgia Southern, Western Kentucky, Northern Illinois, and Eastern Michigan for our next coach so that when he does hire The Village Idiot Jr, he’ll claim he searched in all directions for the coach.

      Liked by 1 person

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