About The Final Play

Clay Helton called a Hail Mary. But Cody Kessler and Darreus Rogers improvised and decided to try a short pass play before time expired. But the pass was incomplete and in front of the first-down marker, so it failed on two counts. Not quite a fifth-year senior play.

84 thoughts on “About The Final Play

  1. 7 YARD out on 4th and TEN?????? I guess Kessler thought 3 yards was a gimme on 5th down…..We are….PROUDLY…..The very BEST 6 loss team in the country……

  2. Nope, it wasn’t. But this season is in the books. This bowl game, like every other bowl game not played late in the day tomorrow, is meaningless. (And yes, props to the much-maligned-by-me Gold Sheet for getting this game right. Humble Pie eaten.)

    Don’t be angry Trojan fans at this point. Let’s get a full off-season, a strong recruiting season, and a fall camp under our belts and support Helton and staff into the 2016. Keep the angst to a minimum (and your blood pressure away from danger territory) – Helton’s is just getting started, and I wish him and the team the best. I hope Sam and Max are getting their arms ready… should be an excellent contest heading into the DFW Metroplex on Sept 3.

    • Your optimism sure sounds rosy, but honestly, I don’t think Helton’s a winner. Yes, he might do a little better next season, but even that could be a long shot considering he’ll start a new QB next season and against Alabama for the season opener, to boot. I have the feeling it’s going to be another long season. Or more accurately, long several years under his helm. He’s just not ready for the big leagues yet, just like his two predecessors.

      • You may be right – time will tell.

        Honestly as that Louisville / TX A&M game kept dragging on and I looked at the Yahoo sports update on the game in San Diego I looked at the stats for the 1st qtr. for Kessler and saw (I recall) 4/8 for 20 yds.. Then the live feed came on and WI was about to hit that FG – turned it off –

        Kessler goodbye and don’t let the door hit you in the …..

        • Cheer up! At least your cousin Albarado had a good game! He out punted the much Heralded punter from Wisconsin!

    • in other words, drink the Kool-Aid and never question Pat Haden or Clay Helton because 8-6 seasons are what USC strives for now….

      • Believe me this is the last thing Haden wanted but now it is his – a full 9+ months before the first game is played against AL is a long time to have to hear and know that this is all his – we move on.

        Lastly we had substitute assistants for the game and bluntly a qb that is thankfully moving on.

      • Nice straw man. No, just get all angsty – Trojans should become perpetual complainers. Make changes when it’s time to make them, but when you make them, support the team. Or you can just pout year round and get upset when we win. Glad that’s not my world.

  3. Let’s face it. Cody Kessler is not a winner. He never has been. He’s just an average Div.1-A QB at best with an average arm and below average mobility. I’m afraid Clay Helton isn’t a winner, either. At this point, it looks like that win against SUCLA was a jackpot for Helton. I think he should take several bows per day to the westerly direction to thank bRuins for making his dream come true.

    • Is there any chance that Mora, in his wisdom, secured Helton’s hire by giving USC the win? Helton as head coach is a bigger win, in the overall scheme of things, than one game.

    • The only silver lining I can see is that the Kessler we saw the last nine games was the exact same Kessler we saw in 2013. Without stats grossly inflated by Sark’s “dump the ball four yard down field and let Juju run for 20 more”, Kessler is what he is — a conservative game manager who does not see the entire field.

      Maybe with better QB we will be better. I doubt it.

  4. The only silver lining here is the pressure on Helton to truly conduct a real competition for QB for the Spring/Fall rather than the usual ‘well Joe Blow’s been patiently waiting for 3 years and that means he gets the job as QB’ mindset.

    OH St. and Notre Dame as well as other programs have replaced their qb’s mid-season or late in the season. I seriously hope Helton understands whatever was promised anyone means nothing going forward.

    • The Towel/Coffee Boy does not know how to evaluate a qb. I would trust his evaluation of the perfectly folded towel or the correct temperature to serve the head coach his favorite cup of Joe.

    • The job is Max’s, Alv. There will be TALK of competition—Helton will SAY good things about Sam—- but, in the end, he’ll go the “Joe Blow’s been patiently waiting for 3 years” route. It’s just the way it works at USC these days.

  5. USC has to be the most mismanaged program in the country.

    Since 2010 they have been coached by Kiffin, Orgeron, Helton, Sarkisian, and Helton.

    Kiffin – carried a menu board with one play on it: the bubble screen

    Orgeron – threw a temper tantrum and left

    Helton – nobody knew who he was

    Sarkisian – was drunk and hurled profanity at the alumni event

    Helton – has no control

    The AD Haden- has no control or clue what he is doing (why is he still around?)

    Other cherish able Trojan moments:
    1. Bush has Heisman taken away
    2. 5 years of stiffest penalties ever handed down by NCAA
    3. Josh Shaw makes up story about saving his nephew to cover the real story of him running from the cops
    4. Kiffin fired at the airport
    5. Sark drunk on the sidelines
    6. Sark does not even show up for practice
    7. USC is in the best market in the country with great facilities and plenty of money…so they hire someone who wants to learn how to be head coach…because the players like him


    • The players knew that Clay was the finest towel boy in the country. They also know that he poured a fine cup of coffee for Sark and Lane. Truly a pathetic hire by the Notre Dame broadcaster.

    • Another truth teller! Be careful of the southern cal rah rahs…they will be all over you cause they can’t handle the truth.

        • Your feeble attempt to make fun of being from Belair is so comical when your school is located in the most undesirable neighborhood in the nation! University of South Central!

          • Hey here’s the offer – let’s switch campuses and see how many weak white bread do as well.

            Ah the old racist smear by the elite libs….Thanks for your exposed racism

  6. Good news. You have guys like Matt fink coming in at QB. Saw him play in the under armour practice and he can hit the broad side of a barn.

  7. I think were in real trouble next year the play calling was a joke and they need to remove that bubble screen from the play book. Thats a play you run when you have no confidence in your QB that he can’t throw a slant or in type of timing play.

    • Yes, you are right as supported by other poster comments. Another thing is we have to have our playmakers step up in big games. Juju has jumped on his teammates in the past for less than stellar play but he needs to catch that last pass thrown his way. Also, while there was a penalty that negated his fumble, the real stars rarely do those things in important games. Adore also seemed to have an off night with his coverage. Maybe he will be better off just doing track or football?

  8. A six loss season is a combination of poor performances by the players and weak coaching. Looking ahead at next years schedule – well, it could be very rough.

  9. if any of you jamokes are looking for the Morning Buzz, fyi i just got a text from BruinRob: last night him and wolfman got tossed from the Werewolf bar in the Gaslamp district, and then made a TJ run. last i heard, wolfman got in a bit of a pickle when he consorted with the Tijuana police Chief’s mistress in a bar down there.

    Memo to Cadre: we’re headed down to TJ to get wolfman outta the pinta….the HARD way if necessary. we’re going in heavy.


  10. That play (we could use any # of them) illustrates what happened all year long. Lack of discipline, lack of focus, lack of communication and lack of awareness all on one play. According to Rogers he forgot the down and distance and did not pay attention to detail. And according to Cody, he and Rogers changed the play call from a hail mary to the sideline route. A lack of communication and a lack of focus cannot happen at that juncture–but it did and it did often through out the season. The only positive is that neither player threw the other under the bus. Through a lot of chaos and turmoil the team stayed together and fought hard. The hope is the coaching staff can do better for the players and the players work harder than they ever have to do better themselves.

    • Rogers forgot the down and distance? He also forgot that a backwards pass was live last year against Utah! We aren’t talking rocket science. This is elementary!

      • I think it all goes back to coaching. Discipline-Accountability-Focus. The coaches have lacked all of the above and it cascades down to the players and the play on the field. Helton appears to have made some inroads, but I don’t know if he can complete the job. Sure hope so.

  11. For all the posting Trojans who are saying Helton has no control, (heavy sigh) you are right. The final play proves it. A short pass to the sidelines with time running out? Who makes a call like that? Only the kids who think they run the program.
    BEFORE Helton looks for a staff, he needs to grow a pair and take the team back. He cannot be the best friend coach we saw last night.
    He cannot allow sophomores to say I’m so good I’m skipping practice for my own agenda. He cannot say it’s a personal matter when a player is so out of his mind he doesn’t recognize his teammates.
    He cannot say I’m a player coach in the same breath as he says I want to win.
    A graphic posted during the game was a reason I thought I might’ve given Helton a pass. That graphic showed the coaching situation at USC the one where an assistant is leading a bunch assistant assistants. But if Helton wants to win games he needs real coaches on his staff. He also needs to make it clear who the decision maker is. The next kid who walks into his office to declare he’s gonna do something other what’s good for the team needs to be told clear and loud “not on this team”

  12. The very first play of the game Cody was at least 3 seconds late getting the ball to Juju on that post pattern. The last play of the game should’ve been a heave to the end zone instead of a useless 8 yard pass. How very Cody both plays were. His reading, recognition, reaction, release and running are all krap and that’s just one letter of the alphabet. Nice guy, but watch that doorknob on the way out and good luck to ya.

    • another perfect example of how trOXans TURN on their own, when the going gets tough!

      poor Cody, five years and all he hears are crying and whining!!

      i SHUDDER to think of how they’ll turn on Maxie next season…..(it won’t take long).


      • I’ve been disgusted with Cody for months now. It’s a perfect example of telling it like it is. I understand everything is peaches and cream over in Westwood according to bruin fans avoiding “turning on their own”. Cody is a good guy, but as I’ve said before, he never fit in the lineage and that’s just the truth. I’m glad he’s not our QB any longer and I wish him the best.

        • Clay, I am a bit more optimistic and a bit more forgiving. Considering the side show circus the adults created I think the players & Cody have done quite well. Did he or the other players max out their potential? Probably not, but I think that what was accomplished is better than what many other programs would have accomplished. Was it good? –No!. Was it of high quality? No! Did it live up to the stated SC standard? No! But I do give some credit. Hopefully moving forward the players will not be subjected to such a dumpster fire.

          • Regardless of the fact that there has been a lot of turmoil, this team has lost several games that they should’ve won over Cody’s career. I have a hard time identifying overachievement when you lose to do many less talented teams. A truly effective QB would’ve helped us pull some of those games out. Cody never improved the things that he does poorly even after self-identifying them. We were limited with Cody at QB not enhanced.

          • Happy New Year Clay. I don’t disagree that there were instances ( more than I want to admit) where Codyncould have stepped up. But I think of all the problems of the last few seasons I put his play a little bit lower on the blame scale. But that said, when you have such poor results we are left to try and figure out why. You say Cody and I say yeah but not so much. The reality is the teams performance was sorely lacking and results far from satisfying

          • I’m not saying it was all his fault, but there are times when you need your QB to make up for your other deficiencies and pull a game out. I don’t think we ever got anything like that from Cody. Happy New Year to you too.

        • fair enough, i’ve always thought he got the most out of what he had to work with: slow feet and below avg arm strength. he has the best “pocket awareness” of any QB outside of the pros in my opinion. i guess i never expected him to deliver the Heisman type play the hype suggested. throwing short passes to JoJo and Co seemed to work well, if mixed with the running game.

          • I couldn’t disagree more about his pocket awareness as that is one of my primary complaints. I think if he wants to play as a professional QB he should update his passport and head north.


      • Sam, let’s just try to put last season behind us and move on. My goal starting the season was a division championship and at least we got that. The next indications we’ll get about the state of our program will be the coaching hires and the recruiting class. I’m not even thinking about Bama yet as I just need to see a series of good things happening from here out. We’ll see…

  13. Just in Wole Betiku sent home from the AA game… .

    Hasn’t even enrolled at #BeanbagU yet


  14. Is Clay Helton blaming Cody Kessler for that last play? The coach needs to take responsibility if he wants to lead the team.

      • check the presser on Youtube….Hell-ton said SEVERAL times he called a hail mary to right side, then said he thought Cody “did a real nice job” changing the play (?????).

        so he did sound “supportive”, but he said three times it was not the play called. he didn’t need to point that out so much. i write it off to him being green.

    • You said Clay Helton was the finest coach in the country! Stan by your man!


  15. You can’t blame Cody Kessler! He knew that he didn’t have the arm to get it in to the end zone… With his arm, most he can throw is 40 yards or 45 in high altitude. If you want to blame anyone blame KIFFIN! He was the one who chose Kessler over Wittick! Wittick maybe not that great, but at least he has a D-1 arm.


  16. Cody Kessler was a mess from the first day he stepped foot on campus. Why was he even recruited by Helton out of Bakersfield ? His high school stats at Bakersfield Centennial were average – no CIF championship, no signature wins in high school – NOTHING. And, Sarkisian and Helton then give him the keys to the car for 3 years at SC – pathetic. Glad he is out the door. Clay Helton is the next Paul Hackett or Ted Tollner at USC. Pat Haden, Steve Lopes, J.K McKay, and Max Nikias have all made a real mess of the football program. Time for all of them to submit resignations and leave quietly. Why would anyone give Helton a FIVE year coaching contract. USC is now of the hook for Sarkisian and Helton’s contracts. Crappy business practice. If I were a businessman whose money was being invested by Haden, I’d fire this dud and move on very quickly. What a mess USC was this year. But, nothing is going to change until you get rid of these incompetent fools like Haden, Nikias, McKay, and Lopes.

  17. Tough finish, but thanks to the seniors (and Sua) for sticking it out and playing tough through 4 or 5 very tumultuous years. (The NCAA did you no favors….) Fight on next year in whatever you do!

    • i STILL can’t believe you are blaming the NCAA for Reggie stealing over $300K in loot!!! no one disputes this!! add the $10K to OJ Mayo and you gueys are LUCKY to have not gotten the DEATH Penalty!!!


  18. There is an explanation! Darreus Rogers, Cody Kessler and Clay Helton had a plan! Throw 7 yards and get out of bounds. Wisconsin fumbles on the kneel down. Adoree Jackson returns the fumble for a touchdown!


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