Can USC Possibly Finish Strong?

USC was also 5-4 at this stage last season. Then came losses to CAL, UCLA and ND. With all eyes on likely-to-be-fired Clay Helton, USC has to deal with the following four areas to successfully close this season after losing four of its last five games in 2018, per The Athletic.

1) Mobile Quarterbacks  —  The main issues against quarterbacks have been containment. Aside from the ARIZ game, the Trojans haven’t been consistent in maintaining their pass rush lanes. Tackling has been a big problem throughout the course of the season as well, as the USC defenders have been in the position to sack quarterbacks, but they have evaded pressure.

2) Justin Wilcox and Tim DeRuyter   —  Wilcox and DeRuyter have been at the helm of the CAL program for three seasons now as head coach and DC, respectively. They’ve faced off with USC twice and created problems for the Trojans’ offense both times.

USC’s offense, even with its injuries, has been better this season than in 2018, but the Bears still represent a tough matchup for Trojans OC Graham Harrell, who has leaned on the pass game more with USC’s depleted RB depth.

The Bruins’ Joshua Kelley runs for a first down against USC at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 17, 2018. 

3) Joshua Kelley  —  Nobody has run for more yards in a single game in the history of the USC-UCLA rivalry than Kelley’s 289 last season. It was quite a shocking display to watch unfold, as Kelley consistently found holes in the Trojsan defense and continually shredded USC in the Bruins’ 34-27 win.

USC’s rushing defense now allows 4.77 ypc, which is much worse than a year ago and ranks 95th nationally.

4) Last Year’s Late Fade  —  The Trojans no longer have the inside track to a Pac-12 South title. The widespread assumption among outsiders is that their coach won’t be there next season. And after a 32-point loss to Oregon, people are writing them off once again. If the Trojans truly learned from last season’s ugly finish, then the proof will show itself over these next three weeks.

theathletic.com

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TrojanDailyBlog members  —  Always feel free to add information or topics to the TDB which don’t necessarily pertain to any particular moderator post

 

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Paul_Muad_dib
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How this team finishes will reveal the truth. Do they rally around Helton and pull off 3 wins to show how much they “love” him. Or do they quit and reveal how much of phony Clay really is? Either way, I’m excited for the Helton regime to finally be over. It’been so weird to not be excited about USC football.

LawyerJohn
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LawyerJohn
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Although I still don’t believe the Meyer-thing will ever happen, it is intriguing that Meyer has not announced he is not a candidate for the SC job. If he weren’t interested he would do a lot of folks a big favor by letting them know.

RialtoTrojan
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What needs to happen is a Bohn fire 🔥 tonight to get the team up

Chris
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Chris
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He can’t do it the first day. My initial thought was they would let Clay finish as lame duck, and announce he will be gone at seasons end. That doesn’t seem like it would work with trying to get UM in there ASAP to get going on recruiting. That would be more than awkward. So my guess is Clay is out next week with full court press for UM right on the heels of that decision.

alfa1
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Recruiting will be awkward even with UM at the helm.
Helton has had such a toxic effect on the program as witnessed last year with de-commits, Urban has to bring in a group of outstanding assistants/recruiters to undue what Helton has in place currently. First priority, get the top high school coaches on his side immediately. Look closely at those committed, purge if necessary, then hit the portal. There is a lot of talent waiting in the portal and there will be more when it’s known Meyer is Head Coach.