USC Trojans This & That — 8/12

J. Brady McCollough (LA Times)  —  “During the last two seasons, Clancy Pendergast’s defense, which often played with two traditional defensive linemen, four linebackers and five defensive backs, has been a bit of an enigma. The talent has appeared to be there to form an elite unit, and the group did not lack for experience either. Yet, USC has struggled, particularly against the run, where the Trojans have given up 4.3 ypc in back-to-back years (the last time USC gave up that number was 2010).”

Allen Wallace  —  One watchword for USC football this season is very clearly “simplification”, which will supposedly allow USC’s usually more talented players to better utilize their skills by playing faster without being bogged down by complicated (yet strangely predictable) offensive or defensive systems. Graham Harrell’s commitment to simplification in his version of the Air Raid is unquestioned and has been accepted wholeheartedly by USC football fans from the beginning.

Clancy Pendergast’s commitment to “simplification” has always been a much murkier idea in the minds of many Trojan followers, who are reluctant and in some cases outright resistant to believe anything has been really changed by Pendergast  —  other than simple play-calling terminology.

Whether this is actually a product of Pendergast’s unpopularity within the Trojan community, or an accurate reflection of his assumed penchant to run his defense and ignore Clay Helton’s public claim that he has ordered Pendergast to “simplify” the defense, is a hot topic as USC football cruises into what we all hope is a giant rebound season.

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John Weld
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Today is National Left Handers Day, so I give you the second greatest left handed person to graduate from USC………

Mike to Matt for 6

John Weld
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John Weld
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Look who was at practice yesterday.
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Jack Del Rio

Rock2112
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Here we go again with Clay Helton. Weber/Eure reporting that Clay is now going into “game week” practice mode with no pads Monday, shoulder pads only on Tuesday and Wednesday, no pads Thursday or Friday, and full pads ONE day a week for the scrimmage on Saturday. I hope that is not true. What is the matter with that man, can he never learn? Let’s say you look at the scrimmage film and you think, “oh, I see what I need to correct.” Depending on what it is, you may then be nearly a week away from having a CHANCE… Read more »

Jamaica
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This Helton 1 & Helton 2 is mostly hogwash. Helton should just stay in his office doing paperwork, calling recruits and putting facts on paper to read at press conferences. Otherwise, he is in the way.

Paul_Muad_dib
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I’ve always wondered how both the defense and offense was “too complicated” for the players to grasp, yet it was very predictable for opposing teams. Something doesn’t stack up here…

TrojanRJJ
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I wonder if the LA Times has been reading the TDB? Allen posted this same observation in the recent past. So, why did SC dump the “gumbo offense” but keep the “gumbo defense”? Obviously, no matter what Clay tells us, no one is buying that Clancy is going to change his “gumbo defense.” He will tweak it a bit, but the significant changes that we have seen on O and in S&C are simply not going to happen on D. Perhaps the reason is in Allen’s sources inside SC that claim that football finances are hurting. As an aside, if… Read more »

Paul_Muad_dib
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They probably “couldn’t afford” to hire a new Defensive Coordinator this season.

Trojan96
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I’m curious on how many will come for the opener against Fresno State. I am getting a ton of emails offering cheap season tickets.

alfa1
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In today’s top tier College Football, if you don’t have huge Money Allocation you won’t be in the top tier. We have and are now witnessing this phenomenon. As well as we’ve done in the past I don’t think top drawer coaches and big salaries are in this administrations list of priorities. Why the expense for the Coliseum rehab, with the Football program withering, utterly baffling. Clancy is Clancy, he like Helton is stuck in one mode, unable to change. The new coaching staff are nothing more than widow dressing, Helton with his new approach is like putting loud mufflers… Read more »

Chris
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What if Folt gets rid of Swann in the next month or two, and Helton wins 9 or 10 games? Will he survive?

I really hope we do win 10 games, and I think we have a good shot. I also think Helton is not ever going to win 12, 13, or run the table for a national championship.

Rooting for a great year, the best for Helton, and a coaching change is strange.

Golden Trojan
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Nothing wrong with Helton figuring it out and becoming a very good HC. We all win with that. If they melt down like last year he should go.