No Regrets

Clay Helton said Sunday night he had no regrets about the third-and-1 play on the opening drive where Ronald Jones and Stephen Carr were on the sideline. Vavae Malepeai lost 3 yards on the play. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was having your third-string tailback on the field for a critical play. Like the 2006 Rose Bowl when Reggie Bush was not on the field for fourth-and-2.

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  • Gaad. Wolfie, stick to soccer, which you know more about than American football

  • FightOn!

    Yeah…they’re very similar situations… Great point.
    BTW: thought u were sick of the ’06 game???

  • Brad

    Let’s see: you can have 1) a two-back formation of Malepeai/Ware that worked successfully multiple times in the Stanford game, allowing one of them able to lead block and the other to serve as a power runner, or 2) Jones / Carr, neither of whom are particularly suited to fullback duties, trying to run it up the gut on an obvious running down. What do you pick? That’s football…sometimes the play doesn’t work. There were plenty of questionable play calls, but that wasn’t one of them.

  • Rabb

    It’s been said over and over, USC has four or five capable TEs who all stand over 6’5″. These guys never get the ball in places where they can dominate, move the chains or even score TDs in the red zone. What’s the point of having TEs if you never gonna use them to your advantage. All this talk about the “soft hearted” receivers is getting old week after week. It’s time to implement plays for these TEs. No bye week this year, team finally has depth, coach them up let us see what they can do.✌✌

    • Jack B

      We miss Dan I a lot, Petite seems only average. He’s certainly no athletic threat like Dan in the least.

      All this talk about USC’s other TEs seems like unsubstantiated bluster as of now. They aren’t ready yet, obviously. Players who are considered ready, including frosh, are already being given shots all over the field.

  • peter

    3rd game of year, first drive and you show confidence in RB who has shown excellent power when used before a shot? Now that’s bad use of talent. There’s no possibility that Vavae will gain a first down

  • jim

    The problem that whole game(as far as the running game was concerned) was not the running backs or the O-Line. It was the play calling. Texas was swarming to the ball. If you ran to the right, you had 10 Texas players in the vicinity when the tackle was made. It was the same if they ran to the left. You need to cut down on that pursuit with your play calling. If 10 guys are going to start moving to the right immediately when you start to put the ball in the RB’s breadbasket as he is moving to the right, you have to pull it out and maybe throw a quick slant to the left side(play action pass). And there are other plays that you can call but you stop that pursuit with your play calling. If you’re going let 10 guys come flying after the RB, there aren’t enough offensive people to block all those people. Norm Chow, back in his heyday would have picked that defense apart had they tried to do what Texas did. They were blitzing 2 guys on every play. Tee Martin is still learning to call plays. He’s much better than when he started but he’s still no master.

    • Rabb

      Coach McCullough should have some input on running play schemes. His RBs had great success at Indiana. Just saying why not, so far our RBs have been pretty good until the OL was exposed. I believe He can help them with run block schemes as well.

      • Jack B

        The seeds of this conflict are already sprouting. Will be interesting to see how Helton handles this.

        • David Keeling

          Jack B, I can’t believe Tee felt he did a good job of playcalling this game. It was horrible in playing constantly into Texas’ defense’s hands over and over again.

      • jim

        I honestly don’t think that the problem is the O-line. We have a good O-Line. The problem is with the play calling. When you have 10 guys flying to the ball on every play, you can’t block that kind of pursuit. You don’t have enough blockers. The way to make the defense play honest is with the play calling.

    • Paul Muad’dib

      Yeah, Texas was blitzing every play. Use some play action or bootleg. Delayed TE releases. Anything besides running the ball into 10 TEXAS defenders.

      • jim

        I don’t think that there is anything wrong with our O-Line and RB’s. The problem is the play calling. If it happens again against Cal, I might just change my mind. But I don’t think that it will. I think that the running game will bounce back.

  • RegalTrojan

    What did you expect to hear, SW? ” Oh! Mr Scott, I’m so terribly sorry! I won’t let that happen again!”?

    • LamontRaymond

      Scottie’s practical football knowledge is more limited than he’d like to think. He’s more a master of conventional wisdom.

      • Jack B

        SW is strictly an amateur when it comes to football. Reading him is like talking with any Tom, Willy or Harry who is anti-USC and sells insurance.

        • RegalTrojan

          Harry…that’s not the real name of Owns, is it? Is the last name Ball?

          • Grammymb

            No it’s LaMont Ball. Or LaCrotch Ball.

          • RegalTrojan

            Or Owens Ball.

      • RegalTrojan

        LOL! Good one!

  • Old Trojans never die

    Mind blown over lack of ingenuity. I remember watching a game where my sister in law (New to football) wondered why the running backs always ran to the tacklers. She would point out that there was room all over the field, but those stupid running backs ran right to the other team.
    One reverse or misdirection play would be nice

    • JBKayak

      Any reverses this game, season? Did someone see some counter plays, or they blown up too? Traditional screen pass when the D has their ears pinned back, coming with the pass rush…

    • Burak Uslu

      Reverses may work once or twice, but remember the Kiffin era where we always lost a few yards on reverses. I like what Helton is trying to establish. Run the ball, when everyone else knows you are going to run the ball. It almost failed us against Texas, but it will do wonders down the road.

  • Lajollaboy

    It is easy for us to second guess the coaches when plays don’t work. It might have been good if they tried some play action to freeze the D line and line backers.

    • Pete Smith

      Yes i would like to see more play action with Sam rolling out more (the fake on the play action must get a Oscar)

  • Trojan96

    I wished that SC would line up with Sam under center in a power I. It’s a hell a lot easier to get a yard.

    • Burak Uslu

      I like to see that too, but because we never use I ever, it signals a tendency. When Sark at UW or USC had an I-formation, I knew it was always a run. If I are going to run QB sneak or run from I, we need to do it more than a few times a game.

  • Jack B

    Too bad SW. SC won yet again and now has 12 wins in a row, three against championship-caliber clubs like UW, PSU and yes TEXAS – the ‘Horns are well on their way now after stumbling against Maryland. What a physical bunch!

    I love that Helton goes for it on 4th down and with little time left on the clock. Listen to his press conference where he describes his decision to go for points with only 10 seconds left in the 1st half. We’re in good hands. Helton and staff knew full well this game was going to go down probably much differently than the media and fans predicted.

    I wasn’t always happy with the play calls but then I haven’t spent my entire life working on offensive strategy and the nuances of play calling like some of USC’s offensive staff. Always easy to second guess the failures. But it’s the wins that often are taken for granted and we had so many of those last night that propelled USC to a totally amazing victory against a loaded, well-coached team that had been priming for this game ever since Harmon took over in Austin.

    Harmon ALWAYS beats ranked teams. But not in L,A, he doesn’t. Not in the Coliseum where the Trojans showed TEXAS, now 1-5 all-time against USC, that beating USC is another matter entirely.

    By the way. There was some friction during the game between Tee Martin and SC’s new RB coach, Deland McCullough, about the use of SC’s backs. Nothing serious at this point.

    • Grammymb

      Herman beats ranked teams too.

  • Bobby

    Clay Helton & Tee Martin have their strengths- however play calling is not one of them. I will gladly accept charity & if it weren’t for Christen Rector magnificent play- I doubt we win. I don’t care if we’re # 1-#5 ( if we don’t come up with a play at the goal line to score- how can we stay undefeated.) As this season unfolds to this point- its obvious that Deontay Burnett #80 needs more touches. We need to occupy the opponents corner & safety ( for Carr/ Mitchell/others. I remind you that a strong tandem works. Everyone knew who Ehlinger was looking for that’s why Brewer was left alone. Please don’t be myopic & realize what we left on the “table” in the first half- this game isn’t that close. Tom Herman is a force- Thank G-D we are still undefeated but until I see a complete game from the family meaning that our chronic mistakes become null-in-void there are unfortunately going to be a lot more games that will affect our rankings that may seal our fate. I just hope & pray that I can see a rematch with Alabama. Finally- I want a blowout against Cal, I am tired of hearing his name Justin Wilcox.

  • Rabb

    Who’s the WRs coach on the sideline during the game?? I feel like if there is a WRs coach on the sideline during game he can encourage, motivate, bring confidence to this young group of men. Who seems to be lacking that Leader during the game.

  • Clay Russell

    Wolf, that wasn’t the problem. We averaged less than 2 yds a carry all night. The problem is that it’s hard to block big, fast, strong and athletic people who happen to be extremely motivated. They took the run away from us on that play and many others.

  • PHIL NEIMAN

    Another,sloppy, misguided attempt at wisdom from America’s worst beat writer, who actively roots against the team he gets paid to cover. Sorry about the overtime results Wolfie- I am sure you be rooting for Kal to pull off the upset next week. After 12 games, maybe you will get what you are wishing for.

  • MB

    They just didn’t have enough linemen for all the blitz packages. It didn’t matter who was out there. Nobody averaged more than 3.4 yds per carry. Credit to Texas and Herrman. They saw that SC wanted to establish a physical presence to set up everything else, and Texas went all in to stop it. It helps that they have a 1st-round NFL-type talent in Jefferson who, like Cam Smith, can anticipate plays.

    When cameras showed run plays from above, you could see they slanted exactly in the right direction almost every time. They were aware of the general tendency of the run plays. It didn’t look like there were many blown assignments by SC, they just didn’t have enough ability to pick up the blitzes with all the WRs they use.

    But I think that they need to start leaning on the “TE dump” a lot more on those plays. Petite is great in the short pick-ups, and they have a 6’7 target in Angeline. I think I saw them try for this only once, and it was successful.

  • David Keeling

    It was the coaches gameplan to run up the middle where Texas was waiting for them every time and boy did Tee Martin follow that gameplan. The last play was a run up the middle. No gain. OK, let’s run the next play up the middle. A loss of 2-yards. OK next time we get the ball, let’s run up the middle! Next quarter: Let’s run up the middle. 1-yard gain. Great, let’s run up the middle again. No gain. OK we’ll run up the middle the 2nd half. Was that Tee Martin calling the plays or an impostor mimicking Tee’s voice from the Texas defensive coaches next door?

    • Paul Muad’dib

      I was thinking the same thing. Even USC hater Joel Klatt mentioned it. He said, “How long does it take a O-Coordinator to abandon a game plan that clearly doesn’t work?”

      • Sandy Underpants

        We just might find out next week… or the week after.

  • Rock2112

    If we don’t improve that secondary in a hurry, none of this talk about the running game is going to matter. If Rector doesn’t pull that ball out, we were in real danger of losing since Texas could convert long 3rd and 4th downs at will against those corners. Safety help was lacking against their star receiver all through the 4th Q and OT.