Trojans Shooting For Two Straight!

USC hosts Utah as discipline, consistency issues linger…

Trojans will try to break bad habits and get back to winning at the Coliseum as they host Utah behind QB Kedon Slovis (9) in a Pac-12 clash

Adam Grosbard (OC Register)  —  LOS ANGELES — Old habits die hard, and bad habits die harder.

It’s why USC’s entire program – from players to coaches to associate AD Brandon Sosna – was running 12 sprints on Tuesday to atone for the 12 penalties accrued in last weekend’s win over Colorado.

And it’s why interim head coach Donte Williams lit into his team before Wednesday’s practice, calling them out for their flat energy and calling for more effort going about the rest of the day’s work.

Nearly four weeks removed from Clay Helton’s dismissal, USC is still displaying the same flaws that sunk his tenure: lack of discipline and lack of consistency. The Trojans can try to break out of those patterns Saturday against Utah with a win, which would give USC its first winning streak of the season.

And for USC (3-2, 2-2 in Pac-12) to end a two-game losing streak at the Coliseum.

“We do have a sort of focus on it this week,” Trojans wide receiver Drake London said. “I don’t think anybody should come into your own home and wreak havoc. You should do that yourself.”

In this unpredictable – to say the least – USC football season, the Trojans are undefeated on the road and still searching for their first Pac-12 home win.

It’s the inverse of what you’d expect, but USC has played with more energy and fight on the road, responding to adversity and coming out strong, than it has at the Coliseum, which on Saturday will require all fans 12 and older in attendance to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID test from the past 72 hours.

The Trojans have successfully defended the Coliseum against Utah (2-2, 1-0) throughout history – the Utes’ last road win over USC came in 1916, prior to the stadium’s construction – but nothing can be taken for granted this season.

“When you go on the road, it’s loud the whole game and you take pride in making sure the other team’s crowd leaves or they get shushed up a little bit,” Williams said. “At the same time, the last two home games we had, our crowd left early. So we have to change that mindset.”

When Utah has the ball

The Utes are still recovering from the death of cornerback Aaron Lowe, who was shot and killed two weekends ago before Utah’s bye week. It’s the second tragedy to strike Utah in a year, as running back Ty Jordan died in an accidental shooting in December.

Utah used the week off to try to come to terms with Lowe’s death, and help each other through the grief process, starting with the game Saturday and then flying to Texas for Lowe’s funeral on Monday.

“I think there’s some therapeutic value to that, help everyone lean on each and support each other,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “The only thing that will heal is time.”

On the football side of things, Utah made a midseason change at quarterback from Baylor transfer Charlie Brewer to sophomore Cam Rising, a game manager who doesn’t make mistakes but largely relies on the running attack to make the offense hum.

That will put the emphasis on the USC defense, which was gashed by Oregon State on the ground for 322 yards but did a good job of holding Colorado and Washington State in check.

When USC has the ball

The Trojans are coming off their most complete offensive performance of the season, passing for 276 yards and rushing for 218 more, the lone hiccup being a lost fumble. QB Kedon Slovis has settled into a rhythm the past two weeks, culminating in his three-touchdown, zero-interception day against Colorado.

He’s still feeding the ball to London, as you should when you throw to the country’s most-prolific receiver. But tight end Michael Trigg showed flashes against Colorado with his first career touchdown catch that he can provide the type of big, physical, complement to London that USC has lacked this year.

Utah (2-2, 1-0) at USC (3-2, 2-2)

When: Saturday, 5 p.m.

Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

TV/Radio: Fox (Ch. 11) / 790 AM

ocregister.com

___________

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RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan (@rialtotrojan)
October 9, 2021 8:37 am

I’ll go ahead and predict a few things here. USC will still have fans still in the stands after they stop selling beer, if and only if the score is close at halftime. The last metrolink to Cucamonga excuse doesn’t work for this game. Utah will not honor USC’s lack of discipline and will use it as an advantage if it raises its ugly head. If USC has stopped holding long snap target contests after practice, there will be no snaps sailing over the quarterback’s head. And finally USC wins if they have more points than Utah (but I’m going… Read more »

alfa1
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alfa1 (@alfa1)
October 9, 2021 5:00 am

I do believe we saw the South Champion play last night, ASU is for real
Jayden Daniels is hard to contain and is a precision passer.

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
October 8, 2021 8:54 pm

ASU looks pretty strong both on the ground and in the air. Good speed, good line. And they have Jack Jones still on defense.

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
October 8, 2021 6:29 pm

I do have a question that has been baffling me this season. Is Slovis allowed to change the play at the LoS. I mean, can he audible a run when he is shown a 3 man front, or a pass when he sees 8 in the box. I know they quite often change the play from the sideline with a few seconds left before delay is called, but I wonder if they have the confidence in Slovis to let him audible and change the play. It has appeared to me that they don’t. Am I wrong or missing something.

Chris
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Chris (@chris)
October 8, 2021 7:51 pm
Reply to  Steveg

Almost every call is an RPO. He definitely can change plays. Last week he did a great job of it, starting in the pistol and then moving the back to correct side for protection or to run check.

Chris
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Chris (@chris)
October 8, 2021 9:10 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I hoe so, it’s not his fault he was saddled with a no go head coach, o line, and OC. Maybe Donte can get back some of that early magic.

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
October 8, 2021 6:22 pm

It seems nobody has any idea of what to expect from Utah. They could be devastated or they could be inspired to play like they never have before. It is like USC, nobody knows what team is going to show up, are there to play or just prance around. I love the fact Donte chewed some a$$ at practice, and if the players screw up Donte is even going to require the fans to run sprints, but we can mail it in.

UtahTrojan
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UtahTrojan (@utahtrojan)
October 8, 2021 5:46 pm

Helton should be the one running the sprints. He built this.

volunteerTrojan
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volunteerTrojan (@volunteertrojan)
October 8, 2021 6:52 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Well, Helton didn’t build it, he tore it down.

volunteerTrojan
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volunteerTrojan (@volunteertrojan)
October 8, 2021 7:38 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I will forever be grateful to David Shaw for that single act of kindness (that hopefully come back to haunt him).

Jamaica
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Jamaica (@jamaica)
October 8, 2021 5:26 pm

If a big name HC came in to lead this program a month ago, would the team still be making the mistakes it is still making? Would the same players be starters as a month ago? Would the position coaches still be working with their players the same way? All that has changed is the man taking over the leadership role and he has never done that before. This team is inconsistent, not well disciplined, still depends greatly on the QB & receivers to win the game. Nothing has changed but you can’t expect much to change in this situation.

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
October 8, 2021 6:16 pm
Reply to  Jamaica

I think expectations for Donte have been way to high. He is a good coach, now leading his peers, I am sure there have been some conflicts seeing as how most all coaches are A types anyway. If he can just change the work ethic of the players and prepare them for the big change when the new HC shows up he has done his job. He is trying his hardest I am sure and I wouldn’t doubt he has gotten counsel from some experienced head coaches. He would be a fool not to. We as fans just need to… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Steveg
rleeholder1
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rleeholder1 (@rleeholder1)
October 9, 2021 7:16 am
Reply to  Steveg

I agree Steveg. I hope the players can rally today and put in a disciplined, hard working effort. I don’t mind the penalties that result from being too physical, it’s the mental ones that drive me crazy as a long time fan and alum.

alfa1
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alfa1 (@alfa1)
October 8, 2021 4:42 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ0fVgtrfnE

The Game that Started the Dynasty

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
October 8, 2021 5:16 pm
Reply to  alfa1

Alfa, thanks for that. What incredible lines USC had both sides of the ball.

alfa1
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alfa1 (@alfa1)
October 8, 2021 5:37 pm
Reply to  Steveg

I was just hoping this would be something uplifting for all of us.
and Thank You

alfa1
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alfa1 (@alfa1)
October 8, 2021 6:33 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Well, you kind of pushed it out there GA -20

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
October 8, 2021 6:36 pm
Reply to  alfa1

I agree Alfa, Auburn can’t win when they can’t score. Georgia will shut them out I am thinking. Maybe a field goal or two is about it.

alfa1
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alfa1 (@alfa1)
October 8, 2021 6:45 pm
Reply to  Steveg

After this weekend, we hit the back side of the schedule and any hopes for Georgia to displace Alabama, the scores have to be absolutely convincing, especially when playing a ranked team.
Can’t forget, Kirby is a Saban graduate and his inner self has something to prove. I would expect to see Georgia coming out for a game locked and loaded for the balance of the season.

just some random thoughts

UtahTrojan
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UtahTrojan (@utahtrojan)
October 8, 2021 5:45 pm
Reply to  alfa1

Thanks A1, that was rest to see. Brought a tear to my eye.

volunteerTrojan
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volunteerTrojan (@volunteertrojan)
October 8, 2021 7:13 pm
Reply to  alfa1

Awesome find, thanks for that. I love how we went into SEC country and shutout what was in those years one of the better SEC teams. And that was 2 straight over Auburn, just to prove the prior year wasn’t a fluke. They had a really good team with Campbell and the two RBs of Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown. I think those two games woke the country up to the fact that something big was building out on the West Coast.

TrojanRJJ
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Mt Rushmore
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
October 8, 2021 9:45 pm
Reply to  alfa1

Alfa, Thanks! I went to that game. Sat with the team parents. It was a wonderous experience!

rleeholder1
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rleeholder1 (@rleeholder1)
October 9, 2021 7:29 am
Reply to  alfa1

Thanks for sharing this alfa1. It’s amazing how good the Defense was in that game. Great OL and DL, something SC really needs to develop in the next few years.