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

The best thing about this week is the Caleb Williams saga is finally over.

It’s always subjective to rank quarterbacks but if I had to rank them I would say Williams is in the top 2 with Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.

That is going to erase a lot of shortcomings next season. So will an easy schedule.

But the defense will have to improve for USC to become a significantly better team and not just a flat-track bully in the Pac-12.

  • This is the thing that gets me: USC needs to believe in itself more. Andy Enfield refuses to put together a tough schedule because he doesn’t believe his teams can win those games. And when the 2022 football schedule was put together a few years ago, there was no belief in scheduling the best. Rice? Fresno State?
  • Coach Bohn likes to talk about “intensity of interest.” Well, let’s get more intensity of interest when scheduling football and basketball games.
  • New defensive line coach Shaun Nua said this about defensive end Korey Foreman: “He has all the talent in the world. He’s going to be pushed if he wants to be pushed. It’s time for him to shine. Coach (Roy) Manning and myself will get everything out of him.” Good luck!
  • New offensive line coach Josh Henson on Virginia transfer Bobby Haskins: “He’s obviously going to be an integral part of our line next year.”
  • USC wide receiver Michael Jackson wore No. 13 last season. What are the odds he gives that up to new QB Caleb Williams?
  • Oregon defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi, who was almost hired by USC when Steve Sarkisian became head coach, took a shot at Lincoln Riley this week. Lupoi was an assistant at Alabama in 2018 when the Crimson Tide faced Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff.

“He had a guy named Kyler Murray, really good player. It was 28-0 in the (second) quarter. But he did get close, you’re right,” Lupoi said.

  • USC announced track star Allyson Felix will be the commencement speaker in May. Felix graduated from USC but never competed for the Trojans.
  • USC defensive lineman Maninoa Tufono officially entered the transfer portal. He wasn’t even with the team last season. A source told me started an altercation with a USC assistant during a spring practice last year.
  • And now for some history:
  • The above photo features the legendary Betty White with Los Angeles Angels first baseman Steve Bilko in 1957. The photo was taken at Wrigley Field, which was just two miles from USC before being demolished in 1969.

Bilko was a local celebrity in the 1950’s and perhaps the most popular player before the Dodgers moved to L.A. He won three straight Pacific Coast League MVP awards and home-run titles from 1954-57. The TV show “Sgt. Bilko” was supposedly named after him.

  • Every USC coach since Lane Kiffin says they will hire the best coaching staff in America. Lincoln Riley did too.

How many of his guys will become head coaches? Let see if they can beat the 1959 USC staff.

 Ray George, Al Davis, Mel Hein, head coach Don Clark, Marv Goux, John McKay and Jim Sears in 1959.

Then there was backfield coach “Johnny McKay,” who was named USC coach after this season, replacing Don Clark. Need it be mentioned how he won four national titles?

Freshman coach Marv Goux became the most inspirational and beloved USC assistant coach in school history.

Backfield and ends coach Al Davis became the owner of the Raiders.

Line coach Ray George had already been head coach at Texas A&M, where he beat coaching legends Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma) and Bear Bryant (Kentucky).

Line coach Mel Hein was a USC assistant coach from 1951-65. He was NFL MVP as a center in 1938 and made the NFL’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams. He is in the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames.

Backfield coach Jim Sears was a former USC All-American and won the Voit Trophy (top player on the West Coast). The Trojans went 8-2 in 1959.

USC defeated West Virginia, 36-0, in 1959 at the Coliseum.
Top row, from left, Dallas Moon (offensive backs), Dick Coury (head coach), Dave Jordan (offensive line). Bottom row, from left, Bill Hannah (offensive assistant), Joe O’Hara (offensive backs), Bill Redell (quarterbacks).
  • This is the first coaching staff in Cal State Fullerton history in 1970. USC connections? Of course. The head coach is former USC assistant Dick Coury (center with cap). The quarterbacks coach was Bill Redell (first row, far right) who was a QB at USC before he transferred to Occidental. Redell went on to play in the Canadian Football League and won CIF titles as head coach at Crespi and Oaks Christian.

Coury was the head coach at Mater Dei when John McKay hired him as defensive coordinator in 1966. He stayed at USC for three seasons and the Trojans won the conference title every season.

Coury left to become an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers but regretted the move.

“After a couple of months, John McKay contacted me and said, ‘I know you hate to move, and there’s a new coaching opportunity at Cal State Fullerton, and I can get you an interview,’ ” Coury said in a 2008 interview.

  • I came across an article from Los Angeles magazine on the Rams in the 1970’s that had this excerpt on when Pat Haden was a rookie in 1976 and named the starting QB over James Harris.

“We found out that (head coach) Chuck (Knox) had been told by (team owner) Carroll (Rosenbloom) that he wanted Haden to start,” wide receiver Harold Jackson said. “We go to Minnesota for the (NFC) championship game. We were down on about the one-inch yard line. We had a quarterback sneak, and they stood Pat Haden straight up in the air, almost.

“We felt like if Harris had been in the ball game — big old guy — he could have gotten the ball in the end zone, and we would have won. We tried a field goal; Minnesota blocked it and took it back 90 yards.”

Image
Rams quarterback James Harris in 1974.

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

    1. Yeah, great time to grow up. I’ve been waiting for Scott to mention Bilko —who chased Babe Ruth’s 60 homers record one year. I can’t remember Scott mentioning Duke Snider –he hit over 40 homers like a half dozen years in a row. And conked some guy who ran out to catch one of his fly balls with his bat. Every kid wanted baseball cards of both of them.
      Once again, Scott delivers.
      P. S.
      I have the feeling Lupoi is gonna eat his “one liner” in the Pac 12 Championship game. I’m sure it felt good when the words came out …but it probably won’t feel so good when they get crammed back down his throat.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Micheal,

        Until SC can prove that they have a vaunted defense, then everyone can call SC out for the last 4 to 5 years of defense. Yes, SC has had the best defense in the past since i saw it with my eyes. However, we have to wait and see.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Not sure why Oregon is even being discussed. Got to the Pac 12 Title Game in the COVID year without winning the North, Last year, got hammered twice by Utah. Utah is the team in 2022 to be concerned about in conference.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Wonderful news concerning Utah — QB Brewer graduates, Running back Pledger declares for NFL (and his position coach comes to USC), Left Tackle Olaseni graduates —and on the defense they lose 2 more great ones to graduation— Free Safety Vonte Davis and Viane Moala.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ed, I do my best. But Scott did most of the work.

      And talk about revisionist, if Harris had been in the game the ball probably would never have made it to the one-inch line.

      And Steve Bilko was probably my first sports hero, after me. “There it goes” was the cry of another Bilko homer.

      Did you see the line on the SC game last night where the “White Hope” was 1 for 9 after being almost perfect the other night? (Note: he did have a remarkable 17 or so rebounds however). Point is, SC will never consistently beat the likes of Arizona if the team cannot shoot well, no matter how lock-down they are defensively. Still, I give Troy a fighter’s chance tomorrow in the desert.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. John,
        Good on Harris! He did a great job as holder on that muffed field goal…. only to have Haden jinx it! No one could screw up a play from the bench like Haden could!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Ed makes Scott proud. No other sports blog has Ed [although I bet they start inventing their own “Ed’s —and that is when Ed and I team up in a multi-trillion dollar lawsuit]……

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michael,

        To get the swagger back, the coaches have to instill discipline and enforce it. Once they have that and show it on the field, then the confidence will build from that. With that confidence, then the swagger will be back. Until then, I am just hoping that the defense will be respectable

        Liked by 1 person

  1. We love Wrigley field and went to watch the Angels a lot. I guess that is why I have never stepped foot into Dodger stadium, just an old old Angels fan.
    Wolf has to understand a few things. Young is a good Qb, but remember he has 4 and 5 star linemen and receivers around him. Funny how that works to make a Heisman winner.

    USC schedules games years in advance. This year USC has a trap game with Fresno State. They are going to be very good in 2022 with Tedford back, Haener back at Qb, (2021 game of the year winner versus little ucla) with players at all skill positions returning. Do your homework Wolf, you look ignorant.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Now, now, Steveg, lucky for you that you called Scott “ignorant” because if you had called the other thin-skinned blogger that name, you would be joining me as a castaway.

      But then again, if that occurred, you would then know the difference between being constantly censored and being totally free.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The reason I left here was because of some of the posters on here were getting beyond what I wanted to read. It seems now that has been taken care of, which I appreciate. The other blog has good people on it, I tend to say what I think, and I get good and bad feedback. No big deal, but I have no reason to do something that would get me kicked off any blog. Not sure what happened to you John, but I was sorry to see you gone.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Watch Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story, narrated by Cheech Marin on YouTube and you’ll be proud to say you’ve never stepped foot into the stadium.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Steven,

      I live 13 miles from dodger stadium and 52 miles from Angel Stadium. When you go to a dodger game, you feel like you are in a war zone with the gang bangers in the upper area. At Angel Stadium you feel like you are in heaven and you are safe from the gangbangers. You get gouged or ripped off with the prices at dodger stadium. Angels charge a lot for things but they do have beer for $4.50 a can, and that is 12 oz, ands children’s hot dog at $2.00. Artie tries to give a family a break on the price of things.

      Besides, the Angels are the Original team of LA. Go Angels and Go SC!!!!

      Like

      1. Angel games are great to go to if you want to people watch, but Dodger Stadium AND the Dodgers are where it’s at!!

        Like

      2. I have always enjoyed Angel stadium, as I call it. My grandmother took me to their open house at the stadium when they first built it. Great memories. A great place to take the whole family. My brother and I used to go all the time.

        Like

      3. Well, PT, not to out-duel you, but I live 1-mile from Dodgers Stadium in Chinatown, and I have never had any trouble, but then I am never in the bleachers’ section where they probably have over-dosed on Dodgers’ beer.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. The Bulldogs are always a trap game for PAC12 schools, Steveg.
      “Chip on the shoulder” kinda stuff.

      I think we are all expecting a 10-2 season–which would mean a victory over the baby bears. Utah will be a worry. Stanford early in the season has been an ambush for Kiff/Sark/Helton. We’ll see how Riles does.

      Like

      1. Yep John. Been going to Dodger Stadium for over 40 yrs and no issues. I keep it Loge or Field Level, between the bases. And when I did drink, didn’t get into
        Though I was in the bleachers for the one-game-playoff with Astros and watched Dave Goltz get lit up!

        Like

  2. Always good to see the Blogger unearth some facts and pics of Trojans with Tinseltown figures. Wondering if any recent Trojans have been seen out with Hollywood starlets?

    #WouldBeAGreatRecruitingAdvantageForRecruitsToSeeWhoTheyMightBeAbleToHangOutWith

    #SexSells

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good stuff Scott Wolf…….I really enjoy the old photographs.
    USC needs at least 1 more linebacker with size and speed, probably another interior defensive linemen, and 2 offensive linemen our of the portal but we are getting close to putting together a good but not great team. Good means Pac 12 championship contender, great means in the College Football playoffs which probably is a year away.

    I hear Cheeseburger Chip is after former USC Players Bru McCoy, and RB Kenan Christian to transfer to UCLA. Christian is also considering Oregon where he can also participate in track. We lost two good ones here

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Kenan may have been a great player…but he had masculine traits that rubbed Carol the wrong way… I hear he actually tried to defend his girlfriend’s honor! Do we want that kind of player around?
      #IThinkNot
      #BetterHeScoreTD’sForUCLA

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And this could all be taken care of by identifying as gender fluid. That usually gets you a pass. So simple and we really need those players (oops, almost said men) on our team, not Playing for FUCLA. Owns says we cheat so let’s do it.

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    2. In all fairness, besides Matt Corral I cannot think of a USC portaloo who has been great at their next school. So I’m not too worried about Bru and/or Kenan. Yes, sad to see that they got Heltonized, as I think both had great potential. They’ll be “OK” at UO or uCLA.

      Like

  4. Legendary names were no doubt built on a firm foundation of core values (i.e. discipline, hard work) elements that were sorely lacking under Clay Helton.These assistants are on the right road to becoming relevant – at one time, you have to accept that Marv Goux was just a novice with a chance to realize his potential.Clay had NO pedigree – he was just a guy in the right place at the right time.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Nobody has brought this up, but after lovey-dovey Clay and his soft touch with his players, are these same SC players now going to respond to real coaches and real discipline and real practices?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think the first player to say to Riley, “I can’t practice today cuz I’m feeling sad” is gonna be made into an example no one on the team will forget…
        #TheDaysOfWine&RosesAreOver

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Scooter,

    It would be great to see the history of SC players or coaches that became head coaches in the NFL. You have Coryell, Fontes who coached at detroit, the coach who won the super bowl for the Redskins and went into car racing, Davis, Mckay, and others. SC has had great assistants and some not. But it would be interesting to see the entire history of SC coaches being head coaches in the nfl

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Considering the assumption by Scott that the Caleb Williams saga is over brings to mind a couple of Oldies but Goodies from the better Rock & Roll days.: We’ve only just begun by the Carpenters and Every Breath you Take by the Police
    This is USC after all. What did Caleb have for breakfast? I left to early to catch the highlights…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Speaking of Oldies:
      If Clay were still coach and Caleb jumped over to USC he’d be singing “Have I the Right (To Kiss You)?”
      #Clay&TheHoneycombs

      Like

  7. Michael: You need to pick up the pace on USC Football recruiting in Hawaii. Two talented linebacker are looking at us or Oregon.

    Talented Kahuku (HI) Linebackers LIONA LEFAU & LEONARD AH YOU Visit #USC and OregonWhite exclamation mark ornamentAirplane

    Time to do a home visit, and bring the following to close the deal to get them signed for 2023.

    1) Fresh Pineapple
    2) 2 Caleb Williams signed Football Jerseys
    3) Maui Wowi- you can purchase it from your neighbor on Maui -Former NBA Coach Don Nelson who owns a farm on the island and is growing the stuff for both pleasure and profit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! I’m on it! [I can get all the Maui Wowi anybody could smoke or ingest in a lifetime from our TV repairman]……
      #….OrOurGardeners…
      #..Or…FromTheLooksOfIt…MyInLaws

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Since it is mainly wealthy Alumni/Company Connections providing NIL money, wouldn’t surprise me if Harvard & Yale will be in the Playoffs this decade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, PT, not to out-duel you, but I live 1-mile from Dodgers Stadium in Chinatown, and I have never had any trouble, but then I am never in the bleachers’ section where they probably have over-dosed on Dodgers’ beer.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael: You should not allow your TV Repairman to Smoke that Maui Wowi…………..you won’t be able to tune into any USC football games any longer only the local stations that are still showing Lost in Space and Lassie both starring June Lockhart.

    Book em Dano!!

    Steve McGarrett
    Hawaii Five O

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! Leave my TV repairman alone! As he sagely put it while watching a game with me, “Why are we pretending things can be broken down into ‘teams’? The whole universe is just one big, purple electron.”

      Like

  10. “Oregon defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi, who was almost hired by USC when Steve Sarkisian became head coach, took a shot at Lincoln Riley this week. Lupoi was an assistant at Alabama in 2018 when the Crimson Tide faced Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff.”

    This is the same Offensive Coordinator who could only muster 3 points against Georgia?

    Like

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