USC Needs A Timeout

What are the odds if the Cal game is close at the end, USC has its full complement of timeouts? The legend of Sam Darnold also means he doesn’t need any timeouts to stage a dramatic drive, which is good since he rarely gets many.

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  • ItsAllAboutTheBall

    In 2007, Stanford scored and took the lead with 48 seconds left. JD Booty led the Trojans into Stanford Territory and then got picked off. Cost the Trojans the BCS Title that year. In 2017, Texas scored and took the lead with 43 seconds left. Sam Darnold led the Trojans downfield and set up the tying Field Goal. May ultimately be the drive that saved the 2017 season.

    • Michael Guarino

      The “drive that saved the season”? No, my friend. As much as I hate to say this, we’re gonna need many more of those drives to get to the playoffs. Everybody is gunning for us. “Strap up, it’s gonna be a bumpy night.”
      #ButWeCanDoIt!

      • Saul Goodman

        Yeah. The Texas game with either be the game that foreshadowed the magical run to come, or problems that will soon be better exploited by other teams. We’ll see.

        • Michael Guarino

          Problems exacerbated by injuries…..

          • CORTEZ THE KILLER

            Problems exacerbated by a poor coaching staff

          • Michael Guarino

            I don’t consider this a poor coaching staff —in fact, I think it’s a pretty good coaching staff, Mr.Killer. But they do drive me nuts sometimes. We easily scored at the end of both halves and in overtime by going to the pass. Helton, however, wanted to prove we could be as physical as Texas —as a result the team is really beaten up and injury riddled. We didn’t have to prove we could beat Texas at their own game —-we could’ve passed them silly and given ourselves a chance to heal up. We’re going to be paying the price for trying to out-physical Texas for the next two weeks.

          • CORTEZ THE KILLER

            You have low standards then

          • Michael Guarino

            ….that’s the first time I’ve heard that, mister killer…..

          • marvgoux1

            Wasting time outs in the second half is bad coaching.

          • Michael Guarino

            I know, marv. It’s actually one of the very dumbest things you can do as a coach, if you think about it…

          • marvgoux1

            To me that is simply not allowed.

          • Michael Guarino

            What’s bad about it is it puts the players in a terrible position if the team’s behind. I hated it when Leinart was in that position at the end of the RoseBowl game against Texas and I hated it last Saturday.

          • JBKayak

            Wasting T/O so we don’t get a delay of game penalty is ALL on the coach’s. Get the damn play in on time and get 11 players on the field for every play. Biggest concern is the coach costing us a game over bad organization on the sidelines

          • disqus_CARwRiuTsK

            i was screaming at the tv for helton to let darnold throw the ball downfield. helton played way too cautious and as a result, it was a very physical game and alot of injuries. he needs to wake up. and someone needs to get the receivers on track.

          • Michael Guarino

            Texas was daring us to throw —we should have obliged them. It sure as hell worked in the last minute of both halves and during overtime. We got more beat up in that game than we had to—that was the right game to finesse a team to death with short passes (thereby saving our o-line and runners an unnecessary beating).

          • gotroy22

            and no bye….

          • Michael Guarino

            It probably won’t matter a bit against Cal —but sooner or later, the combination of injuries and no byes is gonna become a serious problem —I’m thinking around the time we have our back to back road games against Notre Dame and Arizona State. We’re really gonna need some fancy coaching to keep us in games —-hope it materializes.

          • marvgoux1

            Luckily for us ASU is imploding and ND looks weak.

          • Michael Guarino

            Yes, marv —but guess which game they will play their hearts in….

          • ItsAllAboutTheBall

            Ohio State’s bye – before the Penn State game. Penn State’s Bye – before the Michigan game. Notre Dame’s Bye – before the USC game. Alabama & LSU’s bye – before they play each other. Some conferences got it figured out

      • ItsAllAboutTheBall

        Perhaps..but I’m still convinced that JDB was planted by the SEC to bring down the program.

        • rusoviet

          Man he was worthless in that game against Stanford and for PC to leave him in – unbelievable

          • schammer47

            You’re slipping. rusoviet. Every Trojan alum/blogger should know that JDB BROKE A FINGER IN HIS THROWING HAND IN THE SECOND QUARTER OF THAT GAME. Ruso, he threw 4 interceptions in the 2nd half because he had NO D@MN BUSINESS IN THE GAME. Try this one, whose fault was that ??????????

          • rusoviet

            PC’s no argument there ‘but’ he should have taken himself out –

          • schammer47

            With JDB removed from the game when his broken finger was diagnosed, without those
            4 interceptions Stanford loses it’s A@@ and just maybe USC wins a NCAA NC. Interesting commentary on P. Carroll.

          • rusoviet

            Pete should have stayed with the program because just as he resurrected USC so did USC resurrect him – one year to at least give another coach a plan and a counter to the corrupt NCAA.

            Specific to the Stanford game – that’s on PC – he’s the head coach and he also, as he certainly does today, knows the health of his key player the ‘qb’. If he didn’t why? if he did also why?

            He’s a remarkably gifted coach he just seemed indifferent when it mattered most.

        • schammer47

          Bull Sh@t.

      • Trojan5

        The lack of a bye week is going to be hell. Not having a week to rest and recuperate is brutal

  • Gabby

    What are the odds if the Cal game is close at the end, Wolf runs out of donuts? My post is irrelevant just like yours….just saying

  • Paul Muad’dib

    I don’t think USC blows out any team this year until the later half of the season. USC is a 2nd half team in both games and season. Cal will bring their A+ game just like everybody else, because nobody remembers if a pac 12 team goes to a bowl game with a winning record, but EVERYONE will remember if their defeat USC.

    • Michael Guarino

      We were definitely a second half of season team last year—but we had a bye just before that second half began (Cal, Oregon, Washington, UCLA and Nortre Dame all came after that bye on Oct 22).
      #ItWouldBeNiceToBeHealedUpFor2ndHalf

    • disqus_CARwRiuTsK

      the problem we have is that every coach out there is going to out-think helton. our coach thinks he can win on the backs of his talented players (mostly darnold). we need a coach that actually understands their opponents. usc should have been leading by 14 or 21 at the end of the first half. you cant let a physical team like Texas play on those high emotions all game long, you need to kick them down with some big plays.

  • Peaceful Warrior

    In college ball where they stop the clock with first down timeouts are less important.

    • schammer47

      AMEN, PEACEFUL WARRIOR !!!

  • CORTEZ THE KILLER

    Poor clock management.
    Poor use of timeouts.
    Poor development of WR’s.
    Poor recruiting of WR’s with deep threat capability.
    Averaging 8 penalties a game for 77 yds
    Poor special teams

    This will catch up to them eventually. Maybe not in the dreadful PAC 12, but maybe at ND where no visitor gets a break, or the PAC 12 playoff game or playoffs if they make it, you just can’t keep relying on your QB to bail you out each and every time your coaching staff has major brain pharts

    • Michael Guarino

      I agree with you on the poor development of receivers (which would be #3 on your list if you were listing numerically, Mister Killer). Position coaches make a difference. They can motivate and turn players around. Check out the difference a new running back coach has made on Rojo. Nobody would say that we’re turning out world beaters at wide receiver —-the only player I’ve seen actually grow up and improve at that position was Darreus Rogers. Everybody else either shined from the get-go (Juju or Agholar) or never developed.

      • Ignore_the_trolls

        What about Burnett? He was only a “3-star”.

        • Michael Guarino

          Good point. Burnett came to us as the 112th ranked high school wide receiver.

    • schammer47

      Helton’s clock management was perfect in the first half. What say you, Senor ?

  • Pasadena Trojan

    Scooter, it would be nice if you took a timeout, like a suspension for the rest of the year to appreciate what you do, who you report about, and who you work for.

  • Rabb

    I hope the coaches and players alike don’t miss out on this great opportunity with Magic Man Sam Darnold leading this team to a PAC12 SHIP & NATTY. NO MORE EXCUSE. Injuries happen, next talented player up. USC has depth and talent at every position, coach all of them up and let them play. It’s time to dominate everyone from here on out.

  • Old Trojans never die

    I am as unhappy as the next guy about not having time outs at the end of a close game, but I can’t second guess the coaches or players.
    I am sure when time out is called there is a good reason. Although there was a timeout after a timeout that seemed redundant. It was hardly a reason to scream.

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      Trust the coaches, rah rah rah

    • JBKayak

      That time out after a TO feels like bad organization, my only complaint about Coach Helton (similar to too few players on the field on multi-PATs) Most the time TOs have been used to stop a delay of game penalty from being called. The coach calls from the sideline with one second left on the play clock

    • marvgoux1

      Sure you can second guess the coaches . That’s what being a fan is all about. Remember when SC used up a time out on the extra point after Young scored to put Texas up 1 point in the Rose Bowl game in 2006? Poor Matt Leinart only had 8 seconds to go for the tying field goal. We made it to the 43 yard line but the clock ran out. We sure could have used that last time out then with Mario Danelo warming up on the side lines.

  • jim

    Wolf is right about the USC receivers not being coached up very well. The last couple of years they have been bringing in top notch receivers like crazy. There should be a number of good receivers to take that 3rd spot. Where are they? In receiving yards, Burnet and Mitchell are ranked 1 and 2 in the SC receiving yards stats. But 3 and 4 are Ronald Jones and Steven Carr, two running backs and number 5 is Petite, a tight end. Where are the rest of the wide outs? Also, Baxter has done a terrible job this year with the special teams. CH needs to get on some of his coaches to earn their big salaries.

    • Michael Guarino

      I was just thinking the same thing, jim. I expected the new receivers to be way more dangerous by this point —and that’s AFTER seeing how bad they were in spring and fall scrimmages. They seem to be stuck on the idea that Mitchell and Burnett can do it all for them. At this point, they plain aren’t fighting for the ball.

      • jim

        I counted 7 dropped passes in that game. One of them ended up being a pick six.

        • Michael Guarino

          … and the pick six was off a perfectly thrown ball…

    • Ignore_the_trolls

      Or the receivers were just overrated. I know Baxter is doing a terrible job of getting a walk-on kicker ready to win big games. Fire him!

      • jim

        Even if they were overrated, they brought in a ton of receivers in the last couple of years. Could they all have been overrated? A coaching staff can’t just depend on the star system of the recruiting services. They must do their own evaluations. If they were wrong on all of those receivers, they’re not very good evaluators of talent.
        As far as Baxter is concerned, forget the walk-on kicker. The special teams, in general, have done a terrible job this year. We keep wasting scholarships on kickers, punters, long-snappers and a lot of positions that should be filled by walk-ons because of Baxters bullying to give scholarships to these guys. If we’re going to do that, lets give special teams scholarships out to people who will play. Right now we have scholarship punters and place kickers sitting on the bench while those positions are being filled by walk-ons. That’s 2 scholarships wasted. I’m not saying that Baxters not a great coach but he needs to get his act together.

      • JBKayak

        That’s another point against Baxtor, he’s lucky to have a walk-on that can deliver…. Why do we have a a scholarship kicker on the bench?

        • Arturo

          Brown tore his ACL.

          • JBKayak

            Brown was the backup to Chase McGrath for PATs and FGs. Brown was our scholarship kickoff specialist

    • Arturo

      Baxter doing a bad job? Maybe, but I think that it is more complicated than that. Look at the players that are put on special teams: Freshmen and Back-ups mostly. Teams that play well on special teams usually do so because they play players that start on D or O.

      • JBKayak

        During our Championship runs we used our 1s and 2s on Special Teams. Our depth back, it’s time to but them in again.

        • Arturo

          The depth isn’t back. The numbers are there, but quality depth and experience isn’t. Special teams are usually comprised of LBs, DBs, RBs and WOs. A lot these players are FR and walk-ons. You are not going to play Nwosu, Carr, Malepai, Mitchell, Burnett,Biggie, Jack-Jack, Chris Hawkins, Marvell Tell, Cameron Smith, John Houston, or any other starter on Special Teams and risk injury. You have no byes and all of these guys are mostly banged up. JBK, it is easy to say, “Just start the starters,” but it just isn’t that easy, my friend.

          • hoohoolianFUCLA

            The numbers are there, but quality depth and experience isn’t.

            Well said.

          • Arturo

            Thanks, hoohoo.

          • Ben Factor

            I would just change the word order: “but experienced quality depth isn’t.” The kids have quality ability, but not it’s not fully realizable now, because of their inexperience.

            But coaches would do well to bring them along a bit faster, with longer play periods.

            Arturo may be right about special teams being the necessary casualty. But this staff is not all that flexible to adjust to what’s not working on O and D.

          • JBKayak

            Coach Carroll played plenty of stars, even last year we had Adoree on Special Teams and he was irreplaceable. I bet as the year moves on more 2 will land on the Special Teams squad to improve their play. There’s only offensive, defense and Special Teams, my friend, can lose that battle every weak if you want to win a National Championship

      • jim

        That may be true. I can’t be dogmatic about this. But whatever the problem is, they need to get those special teams straigtened out. Usually his ST’s are the best in the nation. With the talent that SC has on that bench, they shouldn’t need to use starters. They’ve already got a major injury problem. Why risk more injuries? They need to find somebody who can kick the ball out of the end zone on kick-offs.

  • JBKayak

    Timeouts were used after slow play calling cause the play clock to run out; coach’s calling timeout at the last second to avoid the delay penalty. Coach’s need to clean that up.
    Special teams is a disappointment this season, excluding a winning FG. Was the coaching good or did our kicker have ice for blood and converted without getting caught up in the situation? We have Baxtor, we need to be better.

    • Arturo

      Only back-ups, Freshmen, and walk-ons seem to be playing special teams. How well can units composed of these types of players do?

      • JBKayak

        Was it Ajene Harris replacing Jones on KR, he seems smooth and shifty. How is Harris’ injury?

        • Arturo

          Harris doesn’t start on D. He’s a nickel back.

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    I wonder if Tee is overwhelmed as OC and his coaching of WRs is
    suffering. The play-calling is suspect, too, so he’s not got a handle on being the OC yet.

    I won’t agree that the WRs were over-rated. Tee has proven he can pick good WRs and coach them.

  • Arturo

    Maybe you are the one who needs a TO, SW- go to your room.

  • Rock2112

    Wolf is whiny, but he is right about the timeout thing. This is Bad Clay Helton from early last year rearing his ugly head. I thought this was fixed later last season, but we have reverted. It was ridiculous in a game that was close all evening that Darnold was handed the ball for a final drive with no timeouts. The timeouts we took were bad — including before a PUNT?! Baxter and those special teams needs to get themselves wired together and operate more efficiently in game. And we are taking way too many delay of game penalties as well. I hope the coaches are honest with themselves in their eval and get that stuff straightened out in a hurry.

    • disqus_CARwRiuTsK

      i am afraid that what we found out against texas is that helton got lucky he has darnold. without darnold, helton would have been fired, because helton just isnt a good coach. huge talent at SC being wasted on a second-rate coach.

      • schammer47

        No, Helton isn’t second rate. Twelve victories in a row and Rolling. You missed the rink, discus.

  • SucKiffin

    Sam is a one man Show .. coaches could stay home and he probably would be better off