USC Trojans This & That — 7/21

Clay Helton has taken serious heat on the TDB over his public statements about USC’s so-called close-call losses last year  —  many of which I never viewed as close calls. For instance, I think USC lost badly to both UCLA and Notre Dame, regardless of the final scores. Both schools came back to dominate USC in the second half and once the 4th quarter arrived, I never thought USC would win either game. The Trojans just didn’t look like they had it in them to me.

Joshua Kelly rushed for 289 yds on 40 carries and scored two TDs to lead the Bruins. His easy, untouched 55-yd scamper TD with 10:39 remaining against the slow-reacting, stuck-in-the-mud Trojans was just a precursor to the Bruins outscoring USC 13-0 to end the game. USC was held to a piddling 80 second-half yds of offense.

Tyler Vaughns caught a 20-yd TD pass from JT Daniels with only 48 seconds to go to make a 24-10 Irish waltz seem much closer than it really was, after Notre Dame came out in the third quarter and blitzed USC 10-0.

Actually, if any school has a right to bemoan close-call losses, it might be 5-7 Arizona. Four of Arizona’s losses last season (BYU, USC, UCLA and Arizona State) were by a combined 11 points. They lost to the Sun Devils 41-40, who trailed by 19 points heading into the 4th quarter. The Wildcats missed a very makeable 45-yd FG wide right with 11 seconds left to win it.

That could mean the Wildcats are the real Pac-12 team that’s closer to being good than their record reflects. Or it could just mean Kevin Sumlin did a bad job in his first year in Tucson, consistent with how he finished up at Texas A&M before getting fired. Personally, I don’t believe Sumlin, who last February signed only the 54th best recruiting class (including only one four-star prospect) along with a heavy reliance on juco transfers, will succeed at Arizona.

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Does anyone think the sudden resignation of the tennis coach has anything to do with a lawsuit filed by former kicked Matt Boermeester?
It was Smith who filed the title IX report originally even though his knowledge of the event was second hand hearsay.

TrojanRJJ
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I just listened to Aaron Ausmus’ interview on Ryan’s Podcase. He is very impressive and I think the SC S&C program is NOW second to none. But, he was very clear that it takes time for S&C to work. He compared S&C to “boiling a frog” (which is done by placing the frog in lukewarm water and then slowly raising the temperature) or “crock pot cooking.” Thus, we may or may not see any results from a significant improvement in the coaching of S&C in 2019. He said that the kid that really impressed him was Drake Jackson, the frosh… Read more »

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Watching football in 60 on PAC 12channel, they had the 2014 UCLA USC game. Sark’s first UCLA game. What I saw was familiar, stupid penalties, offensive line problems and no defensive backfield. All of these problems have been major concerns this decade. The scary part is that there were a few familiar faces on the sidelines. Just seeing this makes me wonder what Swann was thinking when he retained Clay Helton. I am hoping this will be a better season, but as my dad used to say, “hope in one hand and poop in the other-see which fills up faster.”… Read more »

Rock2112
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I tortured myself watching the USC/Stanford game from last year also on the P12 Net. It reminded me of all my frustrations with the Clay Helton era — most particularly the general lack of readiness to play. We had constant breakdowns in execution not just because the schemes were too complex, but because we just weren’t ready to play. I watched some very simple plays go bad due to players being out of sync and stupid mistakes being made. That game was unbelievably winnable — we were only down 7-0 in the closing minutes of the first half, and were… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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Rock, The game was close only because David Shaw chose for it to be close. He could have scored at will, but chose to run the ball and play it very conservative. Our O was hopeless (as it was most of the year). Honestly, had Shaw chosen, Stanford could have won that game 51-0. But, they would have had to pass first and run second. I think Shaw figured he had the game won and the only way he could lose it was via some stupid turn over. So, the score ended up 17-0.

Rock2112
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Maybe, but that doesn’t explain the first half, which as I mentioned was tight until the last minute and a half. There’s no way Shaw had his foot off the gas at that point in a one score game, and frankly, that was not much of a Stanford team last year. I do believe that Shaw felt comfortable in the fourth quarter to run clock on us, once the 17-3 lead was in place. But that doesn’t mean a competent and prepared USC team could not have won that game. We were neither which made for an easy day for… Read more »