Clay Helton Declines To Address His Future

Clay Helton, mentioned as a possible candidate to become offensive coordinator at Florida, would not address his future. But USC coach Steve Sarkisian told me Helton will be retained at USC as offensive coordinator unless he leaves for another job.
“I can’t wait till he says something about it (to the public),” Helton joked after the game.

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  • Cheap seats

    Wouldn’t that be low if Sark was just messing with Wolf?

    After all, he and Kiffin are buddies.

    • Ben Factor

      Messing with Wolf didn’t really work to Kiffin’s advantage. For Sark to follow in that path would make me further question Haden’s hiring process.

      • TrojanFan3.0

        Kiffin always made wolf’s cheerios taste funny

        • marvgoux1

          Alienating the media was one of Kiffin’s many unforced errors.

    • rusoviet

      Sark is as far from Kiffin as all of us are – good riddasnce to Kiffin and best to him in his attempt to get back into any program willing to hire someone who truly has yet to realize how fortunate he was to not being tossed to the side of the road since he left the Raiders – ‘blank’ Lane Kiffin and his robotic/reptilian idiocy of leadership.

      Hey Lane good luck wherever you land when the: staff, players, owners/school roll their eyes when you tell them where you last worked “Uh how come you’re not still there lunchie?”

  • realtrojan

    Regardless of what he does with his future job, this guy has just raised his stock about a thousand times by this win. He even looked pretty Head Coach like in that game.

    • marvgoux1

      Did you lose the fucla tape?

      • BEATND

        They were gassed after Stanford. You could see in the 4th quarter against Colo.

    • BEATND

      I was presently surprised. I thought they were going to phone this one in.

  • Golden Trojan

    Does Sark have a D Coordinator? If not why not keep Helton and Pendergast?

    • Walt Hazzard

      Although they did some good things time to clean house. Everyone needs a clean slate

      • Ben Factor

        So you want to fire Sark, too, because of his history with USC?

        A clean slate is not having an earlier first mate become captain, and bring along the crew from his last ship, which took a lot of broadside hits under his and their watch.

        A clean slate would be Chris Peterson, Kevin Sumlin, James Franklin, the OC from the Colts, the DC from Mich. State or Alabama, and so on.

        Personally, I favor fewer cliches and more analysis. You?

  • rusoviet

    I had to ‘shave’ the following ‘because’ Scottie waddi doo dah ‘censored’ it on another post – the bel-airians have two songs they play incessantly – one is the song they stole from Cal – the other is (well who knows) but here are the actual lyrices – maestor if you please?….

    “Give it to me baby … I need that ucla 9ick…give it to me babee give it to me babee I need that ucle 9ick..if ican be and uclan and my ‘squeeze’ would be mu suclan…we’d both be uclans and then be suclans we’d be on our knees for the 9ick!

  • Joe Blow

    Helton better take it or he might wind up as the Asst. Manager at the Big O Car Wash In Louisiana.

    • rusoviet

      You may be right ‘but’ if I’m Helton I am already looking for a HC elsewhere – only a fool wouldn’t

      • BEATND

        HC or OC…would be nice to go out as an undefeated HC at USC

    • Ben Factor

      Joe, your comment was mean-spirited, as most of your comments are. However, this one made me laugh out loud. Clever writing!.

      • Joe Blow

        Thank you. A free Zip Wax coupon is on the way! (Expires 12/31/13)

        • TrojanFan3.0

          Send bucket one, the taco wagon is in need of some help!

  • Ben Factor

    I was very critical of Helton during the season, and remain unconvinced, despite today’s tour de force. To explain, the USC defense completely shut down FSU’s offense, in a way that had not occurred all season. That makes me think that USC’s talent level is simply much higher than in the MAC. So what does it mean that USC’s offense ran wild today?

    Regarding Pendergast, his unit has performed very well or better in all but 2 of 14 games. IMHO, he proved himself in 2013, and today was just more of his typical good work. It’s a fair question whether Wilcox would be better than Pendergast, or even as good. Pendergast had the better defense in 2013. Query whether that is explained mostly by Pendergast being a better coach, or mostly by other factors? At any rate, if Wilcox is not hired, few at USC will be wringing their hands.

    Regarding Helton, in my opinion, he called a bunch of bad games, and even more bad second halves of games. If those games were won, it was because Pendergast’s defense won them.

    But now, the head coach is Sark, so Helton has a senior partner in offensive strategy. Maybe they will be mutually enhancing partners. Maybe Helton is the perfect guy to facilitate Sark’s backing away from micro-management of the offense. Sark could the general tone, direction, and guidelines, be the sounding board, provide quality control, and so on. Then, Sark could focus more on HC functions, which really must come first. Personally, I think Sark is foolish if he doesn’t do that. He is already tarred with the Kiffin association, and he should proactively minimize that. He doesn’t need to do the one thing for which Kiffin was most criticized–call plays and focus solely on the offense. He would be better off not doing it, even if play calling would suffer by 10%.

    In summary, Helton hasn’t shown ME too much, but may be perfect to maximize Sark’s effectiveness at USC.

    • Independent_George

      I dunno, maybe Helton pauses because in his mind Kessler is his guy, and he wouldn’t feel comfortable making Kessler have to prove himself in the spring and fall, all over again without the benefit of the doubt.

      He should take the job. Other than an HC position or an NFL coordinator gig, there really aren’t any better jobs out there. Different flavor, maybe, but not better.

      • rusoviet

        No Ben Factor has the right ‘slant’ – USC was flat in the 2nd half – ok I know they scored 10 more points but frankly this was the result of Prendergast today. If I were Helton I’d ride this wave elsewhere i.e. accept a job – (thank you AVIS) “…and leave the driving to us!”

        Sark needs to do what all true leaders need to display – “I’m the one who chose these guys and it is all on me as to the result.” Let Helton go and retain Prendergast –

        Hey bel-airians what happens if Mark Wahlberg’s doppleganger tanks?

        • Independent_George

          USC was four or five David Carr inaccurate and overthrows away from a tie game. The defense was due to a physically dominant front seven. They made Carr terrible, and a Marriotta, Kelly, Hundley, even a healthy Keith Price, would have beat us. Clancy’s scheme is great until the QB are good enough to hang touch in the pocket and hit those one-on-one mathc ups. Then everyone is screaming for Pendergasts head.

          • TrojanFan3.0

            George, did you have your glasses on while viewing the game?

            PS…who is David Carr?

          • Cheap seats

            Whoa TF….your town is filled with Fresno State thugs! =)

            I was sporting my colors along with my son today walking the strip and got a hard time from many inland empire-looking FSU fans. Some of them were just talking smack and a few were downright disrespectful for someone with his family.

          • marvgoux1

            You had your Sunshine Pumper specs on. Anyone could see that Fresno State’s receivers were burning our secondary and getting open deep but luckily for us Derek Carr choked again and again. He wasn’t even a decent high school quarterback yesterday.

          • Ben Factor

            Well, Clancy’s scheme requires good cover corners. Wilcox’s bend-don’t-break scheme requires edge coverage by fewer DLs and LBs. Bend don’t break…where have I heard that before?

            No system is perfect or immune to failures. Clancy took a short roster of some very talented players, and ended up #6 in the nation.

            If Hogan hadn’t been under so much pressure, he might not have erred on the INT to Cravens. If USC’s rush hadn’t knocked Rees out of the ND game, it might have ended in an ND romp, not a condemnation of the USC offense for not winning.

            Life is a game of inches. You can win with any system, and you can lose with any system. That’s why the Greeks used to visit the Delphic Oracle.

          • FightON

            I would think that Clancy’s system would complement Sark’s. If Sark has an up tempo that is tiring defenses and preventing them from making necessary substitutions, in theory, that could translate to more points. On the other side of the ball, Clancy could pressure opposing QBs into making poor decisions. You live and die by the blitz and Clancy’s high pressure system can fail when good QBs get an extra second to make a better decision (but, it’s harder for the offense to feel the pressure of having to perform if their defense is not). Any failures could be offset by an offense that is scoring more points.

        • Independent_George

          BTW: Why isn’t anyone mentioning how bad Carr was. This was the best defense he played against this year, full of potential NFL talent, and he was awful. He is going to see bigger, stronger and faster defenses every day in the NFL, and if he can’t hang in there and hit those one-on-one match-ups, then he doesn’t have much of an NFL future.

          Other than numbers complied against competition such as Idaho and New Mexico, he didn’t show me much. Carr looked more like Conor Halliday than Sean Mannion, another QB forced to throw the ball 40+ times because his team can’t run. And Kelly, Price, Kevin Hogan and even B.J. Denker, looked like better players than Carr, let alone Hundley and Mariota,

          • marvgoux1

            He saved a NFL GM his job by exposing himself as a fraud before draft day.

    • Booyakasha

      We are also going to move to an uptempo offense with Sark. I don’t know how comfortable Helton will be with a no huddle. The root of all our problems on offense is the O line. Until we get that fixed, we can’t score when we need to.
      I’m very surprised no other schools have come looking for Pendergast as their DC. They know he is USC’s second choice, so the uncertainty will make it easier for them to nab Pendergast. It will be very interesting to see what Sark does if someone comes calling for coach P.

      • Helen

        Helton used to run the no-huddle in the past so no problem. You’re right about the OL and I think we dodged a bullet in the game by not being hurt by the OL. We have some very good recruits coming in next year at OL and a couple of existing backups so with Martin and Tuerk hopefully have a good line.

        Sark should get smart and hire Helton and Pendergast and forget about bringing in some dawgs.

        • weisberg

          Wilcox,clean the entire house, Jim Mora has Southern Cal number Helen of Troy.

  • Toejam For Life

    Fresno State lost the game because of badly thrown balls and dropped passes! It had very little to do with the SuC defense!

    • Helen

      There must have been bad reception at the Target store where you watched the game,

    • Ben Factor

      Carr was a 70% passer this year. Do you think he just happened to have an inaccurate day, or that maybe he was pressing after getting knocked down a couple of times, and by the way USC varied their point of attack in the pass rush? Do you think all of those receivers just had bad days following the flight of the ball, or that maybe they were thrown off by Carr being out of rhythm, and by some hard hits from Shaw, Seymour, and the rest of them?

      Your comment had very little to do with the reality of why offenses play well…or don’t.

  • SaferInWestwood

    I have great news fellas, Ed O. is coming BACK!! no one can understand him in the interviews sooooo… . and USuCk doesn’t feel Sark the Shark will get thru this Lupoi mess unscathed. .. .Just so you guys know I am a big fan of Ed O. and his coaching prowess!

    Man SC is just as good as Christmas it just keeps on giving, HO.. ..HO.. .HO Merry Christmas, now boys don’t fight over the candy cane!