USC Morning Buzz: Texas Had A Chance But Not Vs. Sam Darnold

Here is a photo gallery from Saturday’s memorable game. And here is my story on the increasing legend of USC QB Sam Darnold.

Excerpt: Texas coach Tom Herman did what he could, blitzing Darnold, faking punts and going for it on fourth down early in the game. His only problem was he didn’t have Darnold. And sometimes, it’s hard to imagine too many other quarterbacks in the country pulling out victories in the clutch like him.

Full story here

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  • Ray

    Great pictures! Thanks SW!

  • Trojan Dynasty

    There’s no question! Sam Darnold in clutch situations is something special to behold! That jump pass in the final drive in regulation couldn’t be made by anyone else in that situation! He’s a gamer and a winner through and through! SC better win a natty this season because he’ll be almost impossible to replace!

  • Yeah, and if the Rams had Aaron Rogers they wouldn’t be the Rams.

    • Trojan Dynasty

      And Packers wouldn’t be what they are without Aaron Rogers, either.

      • Powerhouse SC

        And Patriots without Brady?

        • USC jojo

          And “Inside USC” without sw.

          • Powerhouse SC

            UCLA football without losing consistently?

          • Gabby

            Wolf without a box of donuts or the urinals without owns or cakes

          • Gabby

            Only much better!

        • hoohoolianFUCLA

          You know why is great to date a Pats fan?
          They don’t care if you cheat!

          • htj

            Kinda like UCLA basketball?

  • Old Trojans never die

    After hearing all about how Browne did Saturday, I thank the lucky stars they threw Darnald in when they did.

    • ItsAllAboutTheBall

      I agree. We would be 1-2 and perhaps 0-3 if Browne was the QB this year.

  • RegalTrojan

    I understand that many of the praises and adulations for Darnold made by SW and others are frowned upon in these blogs seemingly in defense of the coaching staff and other players in the team. Yes, football is the ultimate team sport, and it goes without saying that a QB can’t do everything alone and needs all the other components on his team. With that said, I have to agree with SW that Darnold’s extraordinary talent does cover up and mask many negative factors in our current football team, namely the relatively inexperienced HC and his OC, among others. I feel that we’re extremely fortunate to have him on our team at the moment because we wouldn’t be gunning for championships without him. The team would be quite ordinary without him, to be perfectly honest.

    • Pete Smith

      The D gave Sam the chance

      • Rabb

        Question is, when will Sam WRs and TEs going to step up and play like they have a great QB and a Heismen type QB leading them and make big plays for him??

        • Pete Smith

          Great Question

        • Texas Hoosier

          Sam Darnold also needs to make more accurate throws, especially over the middle. He was not that great against Texas on many throws and that happened even when he had good blocking from the line on pass plays.

      • Jack B

        Indeed, the greatest strip-fumble in the history of USC football — Rector’s miracle. Boy, did that kid have a big game!

        • steveg

          Player of the game in my opinion.

      • RegalTrojan

        They did. No QBs can win without any defense.

    • USC jojo

      I don’t think it’s that sw praises Darnold so much. He is a special player who loves to compete and never quits. The frowning comes when sw gives no credit to his team mates. The touchdown pass to Burnett was a well played play. He had good time to pass and Burnett ran a great route and was wide open. The hurry up offense was ran perfectly. With no timeouts, downing the ball was a smart move, but do you think this was all Darnold? You think Helton was thinking, “Glad he downed it, I totally forgot we can do that.” He is very dangerous when plays break down.
      The defense not giving up and stripping the ball.
      Darnold has that ‘it’ factor and you can never count him out. Our past quarterbacks did not have that ‘it’ factor. Sam was not even a five star and he out plays many of those guys.
      We are very fortunate to have a player like Sam.

      • MB

        I agree with jojo. It’s generally block-headed journalism, which leans more in “stirring the pot” than actually analyzing the game. Herman was known as an offensive-scheme powerhouse, who never lost to a top 25 until Saturday. Texas had multiple personnel, especially at the QB position, which makes it difficult to game plan for just one or even two schemes (unlike Stanford, but much like WMU post-Fleck). Scott doesn’t care about any of this. The game and how it is played is written before a snap even takes place. We learn nothing about the team, the opponent, the coaching approach, and perhaps most importantly, about adjustments. These aren’t high school coaches, nor are these high school teams.

        Darnold is a special talent, and it is his confidence, and ability to generate plays amid chaos that make him unique. But there is a lot going on on this team, and in how opponents game-plan for SC, which SW could care less about. He knows he is writing almost entirely for the SC fan base. And he figured out during the PC years, that he could separate himself from the other rags and blogs if he “went negative.” It’s worked. There isn’t a coach or gameplan around that would interest SW in anything more than his reliance on sensational headlines.

      • steveg

        Sam knows how to win, that is what makes him different. He is a champion.

      • RegalTrojan

        Yes, indeed! I agree with everything you said!

    • Clay Russell

      We’re not as bad as you’re indicating.

      • RegalTrojan

        Never said we’re “bad”. But we wouldn’t be as good as we are with any QB that’s not as good as Darnold.

        • Clay Russell

          And I didn’t say that you said we were bad. I said we are not as bad as you are indicating.

          • RegalTrojan

            I’m not the first one who brought up the word ‘bad’. It was obviously someone else.

        • Clay Russell

          The assessment you gave undersells the team. They are better than the team you are describing in your post. There, no “bad.”

          • RegalTrojan

            Do I need to equalize my assessment on the team to yours? I’ll keep mine, and you keep yours. Deal?

          • Clay Russell

            No, you don’t, but your assessment is wrong and it undersells the team. No deal.

          • RegalTrojan

            Don’t you think you’re being childish about it? Are you always right about everything?

          • Clay Russell

            No, you’re being childish because you won’t accept that you’re wrong and made an asinine statement.

          • RegalTrojan

            LMAO…Why would I even remotely consider accept that I’m wrong when I don’t believe that I’m wrong? And who said only you were right? You, right? I’m afraid you got some issues, bud. Cool it!

          • Clay Russell

            So, then you believe that outside of Sam Darnold our team is made up of ordinary players and would be an ordinary team without him. That’s just WRONG. What can I tell you? It’s not true, accurate, right or sensible. Certainly you’re not suggesting I should agree with it.

          • Clay Russell

            You’re actually and unknowingly describing UCLA. We’re not UCLA.

          • RegalTrojan

            This is pretty f’g comical! What, are you the guardian of SC football team or something? Hey look, I don’t care what kind of affinity you think you have with it, but the team belongs to USC and its alums and fans, which means every single alum and fan is entitled to make whatever assessment they feel to be justified. Don’t you ever act like the team is yours and yours only because it’s not. But if you really do, it means there’s something seriously wrong with you.

          • Clay Russell

            Bro, would USC be an ordinary team if Sam wasn’t there? Would all of our talent become ordinary if Sam left? Why are you straying from the point? You know why? You don’t have one.

          • RegalTrojan

            Dude, why the heck should I even answer your hilarious questions? Are you some kind of f’g authority figure? WTH do you think you are, man? You’re pretty twisted, aren’t you? Anyhow, I got better things to do than wasting time with a hallucinating USC football guardian, so go to bed, will ya?

          • Clay Russell

            Exactly. As I said, you have no point and no arguement. You’re just babbling now, get some sleep.

          • RegalTrojan

            Zip it up, man!

          • Clay Russell

            I see, you feel like if you spout nonsense publicly it should go unchallenged. Ok, I’m the one with the issue?

          • RegalTrojan

            Yep! You are. In fact, I always thought you were! Nobody in the right mind would try to mess around with fellow fans with a slightly different take on the team, and that’s what you’re doing.

          • Clay Russell

            I’m calling you out for saying something inaccurate and silly. I’m sorry you can’t handle being called out for saying something inaccurate and silly. The answer is to stop saying inaccurate and silly things, not attack the messenger.

          • RegalTrojan

            Do you even have any idea on what’s not accurate and not silly? It sure doesn’t look that way. And as an SC alum, I find it highly unfortunate that a
            twisted one like you considers oneself a fan! But I guess every group or society has a few detects and undesirables. Let’s just leave it at that.

          • Clay Russell

            What’s not accurate and is silly is saying USC is a one man team. Wrong. Period.

          • RegalTrojan

            Hey, you don’t even sound like a well-educated one. You’re not even a USC graduate, are ya?

          • Clay Russell

            Read my most recent post.

          • RegalTrojan

            Now you’re dodging my question. So what’s it to ya? Why are you so f’g obsessed with SC football when you’re not even an SC graduate? You went to SUCLA and have a Trojan envy? LOL!

          • Clay Russell

            The person who won’t answer questions regarding the issue at hand wants me now to answer personal questions? You make less sense the more this goes on.

          • Clay Russell

            Why are you so emotional? We were discussing an issue regarding the football team and look at you… You’ve long since discarded your inaccurate and losing argument in favor of TRYING to attack me personally. You’ve lost it and you’ve lost. Deal with it.

          • RegalTrojan

            Emotional? Yeah, you said it! I still wonder how a non SC graduate with a twisted mind can be acting like the guardian of SC football with emotions! The team belongs to the alumni first and foremost! Outsiders like you are very much secondary and insignificant. Deal with it!

          • Clay Russell

            If I disagree with a post you write, does that make me the guardian of USC football or just someone responding to your comment? You really need to stop this and get some sleep.

          • RegalTrojan

            It’s not your school and it shouldn’t be your team. USC is a school, and its football team belongs to its students and alums. You’re simply obsessed with it! Just let it go and take a hike, alright?

          • Clay Russell

            That’s just foolish. You’re grabbing at straws and coming up empty, but that’s what you’ve been doing since this started. You can’t talk intelligently about football so you’re trying to talk about every and anything else other than your foolish and inaccurate statement. You’ve changed subjects, attacked me personally and made foolish assumptions. Don’t tell me you’re doing all that in lieu of having an actual winning argument. You’re doing all that because you can’t back up your argument. That’s what kids do and you should be ashamed. All that USC education and that’s the best you can do?

          • RegalTrojan

            And just one more thing…Just because you follow SC football doesn’t mean that you belong to the SC community. Like I said, it’s an educational institution first, and its football program is there to uplift the morale and psyche of its students and the alumni. In other words, your kind of twisted obsession isn’t what the program was designed to attract. I really don’t understand what you’re wasting your energy for because you’ve got no reason to live and die for it. Anyway, this is the end of the road for our direct conversation. Hopefully, our paths won’t cross with any negativities again in the future.

          • Clay Russell

            They won’t if you simply refrain from saying inaccurate and foolish things. I realize that’s a stretch for you, but give it a shot. Question, what about employees of the school or people with kids that go to the school? Your statement is complete hogwash, but are those people part of the fam, wiseguy? Wow, for all that education, you’re not very smart. Maybe you should hit the school up for a refund.

          • RegalTrojan

            Too bad you can’t even get a refund from any school. Get a f’g life!

          • Clay Russell

            Not only are you wrong, but you’re a liar. I thought you weren’t talking to me any longer. Hit a nerve, did I? Ha Ha. You have no argument, get over that and don’t be so angry about it. Sweet dreams, Sport.

          • RegalTrojan

            You’re pretty sick.

          • Clay Russell

            And you have acted extremely immaturely this evening. I’m embarrassed for you. I mean that sincerely.

          • RegalTrojan

            And you acted extremely maturely, correct? Listen to you! Have a nice life!

          • Clay Russell

            I made an argument and was attacked for no good reason.

          • RegalTrojan

            You tried to argue something that shouldn’t have been argued. I’m entitled to my views on my team, and I don’t need others’ validations or approval. I’m not obligated to explain why, either. I said everything I needed to say in my post, and you were the only one who objected to it.

          • Clay Russell

            Again, my “objection” was a one sentence comment to the contrary. That makes me the Guardian of USC football?? I’m just as capable of telling people USC isn’t as good as they are saying.

          • RegalTrojan

            You basically took the words out of my mouth, man, You insinuated that I said something to the effect of deeming the whole SC team being “bad”, which wasn’t what I meant. What I meant was it wouldn’t be as good without Darnold in it. Get it?

          • Clay Russell

            I understand, but I wouldn’t you expect you or anyone to state something so obvious. What team improves when they lose their starting QB? What you said was that the team would be ordinary w/o Sam. That’s what you said and I still disagree, get it?

          • RegalTrojan

            That’s where we don’t see eye-to-eye. I still think Darnold is the kind of special QB that’s capable of transforming a team. Not just SC, but any team. I’m not interested in downgrading the rest of the team, but I really don’t think SC would be the same with another QB. But don’t get me wrong. I do hope Darnold’s successors would be just as good or better. After all, I’m a Trojan through and through!

          • Clay Russell

            They wouldn’t be the same, but they would still be a team full of extremely talented players. If Sam was not on the team, I still wouldn’t trade rosters with any PAC 12 team.

          • RegalTrojan

            That…we can finally agree. See? That wasn’t so difficult! lol. Even though we went back and forth tonight, I do appreciate your passion for SC football. I hope we could leave it all behind. Let’s focus on our common love, shall we? With that I gotta go. It’s about time, isn’t it? lol.

          • Clay Russell

            Man, it’s beyond time. I’m really going to pay for this later. I appreciate your passion and I don’t want to fight with you. I don’t hold grudges, so we’re good as far as I’m concerned. Make it a good day and Fight On!

          • RegalTrojan

            Fight on, bro! Let’s go get those Cal Bears!!!

          • RegalTrojan

            Hey dude, we had quite a saga last night, huh? Hope you made it through the day today! Just so you know, I got rid of most of my replies to you from last night because they were essentially one-on-one dialog between you and me, and besides, you have a way of saving, copying and pasting them. LMAO! Just kidding! Anyway, I hope you have a much more tranquil evening tonight, and I’ll see you around. Oh, and I’d like you to know that I don’t hold grudges on you, either, so I’ll be looking for your insightful posts around here. I might have to restrain myself from voting them down, though! hahaha! Fight On, bro!

          • Clay Russell

            Thanks for saying that. Be cool.

          • Clay Russell

            Of exactly what significance are you to USC football. Do tell. What makes YOU matter to the team? You’re delusional.

          • RegalTrojan

            I’ve got three degrees from SC. Is that an enough affinity?

          • Clay Russell

            I didn’t question your affinity to the school, but obviously none of those degrees had anything to do with football. Bottom line, USC would not be ordinary if Sam wasn’t there. You’re just wrong, and I’m truly sorry that being wrong does such things to you. Try therapy.

          • RegalTrojan

            You’re actually barking what you need to hear from other normal people, which is a very common symptom for a psychotic individual. The very fact you hallucinate that SC football team is under your possession and protection is a sign of a serious mental issue. Therefore, I must stop replying to you because it means I’m having a dialog with someone who’s incapable of it. Good luck with your treatment, Clay.

          • Clay Russell

            Yeah that’s a great place to leave it. Whenever you’re done with your analysis of me, take a moment, look at our roster and see if your statement was accurate. Leave me out of it, take a look at the team, look at your statement and the reassess it. That’s all. I’m sorry you have such a hard time being wrong and losing an argument. I didn’t think you would ignore the issue and resort to personal attacks. It seems you’re suggesting I should act more like you. Thank you, but I’ll pass.

          • RegalTrojan

            Nope, I didn’t lose anything. You’re the one that lost your mind.

          • Clay Russell

            AGAIN, because you’re obviously struggling with this. WE’RE NOT AS BAD AS YOU ARE INDICATING. Figure it out yet or do you still need help?

          • Clay Russell

            Honestly, think about what you’re saying… USC has more talent across the board than any other team in the conference. You really believe that if ONE person was taken off that team it would be ordinary? Really? I’d say your assessment needs some work.

  • Nader

    Great pictures, but a number of typos. In a few captions, RoJo is referred to as “Texas running back Chris Warren II”!!!!

  • SCgrad12

    Wolf, just state what you’re dying to state; that USC and Helton would not be the same without Darnold. Well, no kidding? Did you stay up all night coming up with that one genius? In college just about every national title team had a great QB. If you look at every NFL dynasty there has been a HOF QB and Coach.
    1960’s-The Green Bay Packers with Lombardi and Starr.
    1970’s-The Pittsburgh Steelers with Noll and Bradshaw. Don’t forget the Raiders with Stabler and Madden, and the Cowboys with Landry and Stabauch.
    1980’s- The 49ers with Walsh and Montana/Young.
    1990’s- The Cowboys with Jimmy Johnson and Troy Aikman.
    2000’s- The Patriots with Belechick and Brady.
    Enough with the mantra of Helton is lucky to have Darnold. We all know that. But wasn’t Helton who recruited Darnold to begin with? Darnold is a Trojan and that’s why USC has won twelve out of the last thirteen games.

    • gotroy22

      Darnold’s grandpa recruited Darnold.

      • SCgrad12

        We will see if Helton has the chops for this job if Darnold leaves after this season.

  • ItsAllAboutTheBall

    For anyone describing this game as a debacle, there was once a Trojan team that had a home game where they were out first downed 28-12, out rushed 157-41 and out passed 287-194. Won that game against Cal and went 13-0 that year. These type of games were the Oregon State September losses in the past.

  • Jack B

    I’ve said many times that Darnold is USC’s best QB ever, despite his short career. He inspires confidence in what he can do for USC on every snap in a way I have never seen before at USC. The kid simply has it, as they say in the movies.

    Darnold is somehow able to make such nuanced split-second decisions in the pocket that extend plays into yardage gained as I have never seen before. It’s like some strange Stephen King Intuitional Power.

    And now, he has invented the half hail mary pass. It seems so logical, yet I can’t remember of other QBs thinking to do this, though I am sure there are dozens. Yet the play was obviously designed for RoJo as a possible target. So give the coach’s credit.

    So here’s to the half hail mary – one of the most exciting, unexpected plays of an ending first half I have ever seen. Maybe that’s the key to Darnold. He’s ALWAYS urgent. The defense can never rest, or he might suddenly come up with a little jump pass (remember the Rose Bowl too) to a running back or tight end that will sink your ship.

    I can’t imagine Darnold ever losing a game of hide-and-seek, kick the can or musical chairs.

    Us SC fans are truly blessed to have him, as well as the coaches who recruited and signed him and have provided him with the type of environment to flourish and develop his native talents.

    I can’t wait to see what Darnold does next, even if it’s bad, because that just means something good is right around the corner again.

  • Clay Russell

    I don’t have a problem with Sam being our Kobe or MJ and taking over the game in the 4th quarter. We need to keep developing Sam and the rest of the squad, but I have no problem with him being our closer when it’s needed.

    • Still Doing the Rav Dance

      Agreed. But Kobe and MJ could be signed to long term contracts and didn’t run out of eligibility. What happens when Darnold leaves? Who will be the new Kobe or MJ to save the day for us?

      • Clay Russell

        I’m one that thinks Sam will be back next year. We’re already working on developing other things, but once in awhile, we’re going to revert to last year’s form and count on Sam. Long term, you recruit to replace the players you have and you build a team with what you have. That’s the game as always in college. Sam is great, but life after all of our greats through the years probably seemed grim.

  • MB

    When they get Pittman and D Immatorbhebhe back, this is going to be a much different offense. Through three games, the only frustrating thing for me about the offense, besides all the dropped passes, is that they don’t utilize the TEs more. I think that position is the great “equalizer” against aggressive defenses. Other teams are going to take notes from Texas’ crazy blitz packages, and their commitment to stop the run at any cost. That will conitnue to be effective until SC forces teams to pull their safeties and LBs out of some of those packages to account for dangerous TEs. SC seems to be loaded with 4 and 5 star talent at that position. Time to use it.

    • steveg

      I watched the TE closely against Texas. For most all of the game they ran a straight go pattern and were picked up and covered. It seemed strong safety keyed on the TE all night.

      • Rabb

        The TEs never ran routes, it was just get out the way routes. No dedication to get them the ball. These guys are tall enough to box out a LB or Safety. Check out the Purdue freshmen TE, he is their leading receiver in yards and TDs. What’s our excuse?? TEs are a QBs best weapon a LBs or Safety worse nightmare. These guys can move the chains, score in the red zone and stretch the field. Why not use them if you have them.

    • Clay Russell

      Good post. D.I is necessary. I haven’t seen Falo, but Angeline and petite are not great receivers or terribly athletic.

  • Still Doing the Rav Dance

    Where would we be without Darnold? Take a look at what’s going on at Pitt.
    I doubt anyone noticed, but Max Browne was pulled during Pitt’s game against Okla. St on Saturday and looks to have lost his starting job.
    USC is not just extremely fortunate to have Sam Darnold, but equally fortunate that we are not stuck with Max Browne as our best option at QB.

  • David Keeling

    You can say it’s just football when you have a great last game and then the next game you are struggling. Did the offense not respect Texas or did they respect Texas too much? Is Stanford a good team this year or suspect which might have played into the player’s minds of how good they think they are. The runs were plentiful and the catches were there against the Cardinal. So why did we look so inept on offense this time around? The penalties are going to bite this team in the butt and help cause a loss if the coaches don’t put a stop to it.

  • Paul Muad’dib

    Imagine what this blog could accomplish if Sam Darnold was the beat writer…

  • Clay Russell

    Sometimes your QB has to put the team on his back and win a game for you. It’s something Cody Kessler never did for us, not once. I fully expect my QB to put the team on his back and deliver when it’s called upon. Sam is just doing what he’s supposed to do. Leinart had to do it, Palmer had to do it and all great QBs have to do it. Sam is doing his job, but we’ve become used to QBs who can’t do the job.

  • Fred Sampson

    By the time Sam Darnold leaves USC, they should be fully loaded at all positions, and have an experienced quarterback that knows the play book

    • Saul Goodman

      Hope you’re right because he will be gone next year

  • jim

    SC has to give up this philosophy that we’re going to run the ball no matter what. You have to take what the defense will give you. When they are coming after your run game with 10 guys on every play, there should be a lot of people open in the secondary. A few play action passes will go a long away.