USC Quote Of The Night

USC coach Clay Helton on Cal: “You can see that team is developing an identity.”

So what exactly is USC’s identity tonight? Sam Darnold to the rescue?

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  • John

    Sam had all those interceptions on defense? Offense was horrible, including Darnold.

  • marvgoux1

    They are a reincarnation of the 1969 Wild Bunch. Every game is exciting.

    • Michael Guarino

      …..One might almost say more exciting than they have to be….

  • Michael Guarino

    Clay has said that about every team we’ve played. Next year could be a hell of a year unless we develop an identity too.

    • Trojan Dynasty

      All minus Darnold probably? Yeah, tough would be an understatement!

      • Michael Guarino

        I hope —for our sake AND Darnold”s —-that we DO have Sam next year. His impulsiveness is great for college ball, but his present style doesn’t convert well into the NFL. Clay Russell said that Sam has a lot of Johnny Football in him….and I disagreed. Now I realize he was probably right.

        • Clay Russell

          What I said was that Manziel showed the same kind of genius and it was enough to win a heisman with. The sandlot stuff is great for college, but NFL teams have too much speed on the edge and Sam isn’t fast enough to get away with it. We have to provide a stable pocket in order for him to operate from it.

  • peter

    DEFENSE

    • Sas

      You can say that again.
      As bad as our OL and Offense was including Sammy, it all starts with defense. And we need to get more smarter and tougher. This is ridiculous.

      • peter

        There’s a lot to pick apart.
        Still we are 4-0. Clemson was up 14-7 going into 4th. Oklahoma was in a fight with Baylor. Penn state in fight with Iowa. .Only team that looks unbeatable Bama.
        Coming into this game I feared an upset. Next week is the game most of us feared sense summer. Get through Friday with a W,maybe we can get into rhythm with the Utah zonas and such.Lots of questions, still we are 4-0

        • Michael Guarino

          Boy, you said it all, peter. Top teams are struggling. We are unbeaten. [But “getting thru Friday” is gonna be a lot easier said than done].

        • Sas

          True. FSU and Ohio State have had tough starts so far. Clemson having a tough day. I thought Cal would be a challenge but not for three quarters. Helton and Neil Callaway need to get the message clear to the O-line that they didn’t play well and can’t let this continue and/or light a fire under them some way by rotating the freshman in with the 1’s so the veteran guys can get the point that they need to step it up. And I think Jalen Green has had enough time to have proved himself as the starter but I think Tyler Vaughns needs to be on the field more.

          • Jack B

            FSU is already out of the picture and has no QB. Toothless. OHIO ST got drilled by OU and the Sooners would drill us today based on this crappy effort I just saw from USC today in Berkeley.

            USC fans will of course make all kinds of excuses for USC. We do every week, except for STAN and they are purely average.

            I think objective people see a struggling Trojan team with a bad secondary and mediocre OL. All those picks today don’t show the sieve-like nature of USC’s secondary on 3rd and 4th downs. USC’s OL is consistently inconsistent. I would say Toa Lobendahn is hugely over-rated. If he’s the best we can do, we’re in trouble.

          • Michael Guarino

            Very objective. We have to stop acting like everything is okay. It’s not. Some (but not all) of our line players —-I won’t name names—are starting to play with the kind of nonchalance we saw at the end of Sark’s reign. What happened?

          • Jack B

            Our OL looks soft to me. We’ve got GREAT RBs. With any room they would have romped all day.

            And our DBs, I’m afraid, just lack talent. I think Jones is coming along nicely but Biggee Marhsall is (well, no comment). He exactly the type of over-rated dude from a big-time school who gets recruited off of lists but is just a dude. If I didn’t know who he was, I’d swear he was just 2-3 star.

            Anyway, we are 4-0. Maybe WSU will drill us, Maybe we will drill them. Maybe we will play to a draw and need an overtime win. I don’t have a clue with this team. Should be a wild ride.

          • Michael Guarino

            Jack —and all Trojans —you must watch Mora post game press conference! It has ‘wonderful’ written all over it.
            #ICan’tStressThisEnough

          • Sas

            Lobendahn is really good inside at Guard or Center but I knew in the spring right away that Helton and Callaway were doing too much when Lobendahn was automatically penciled in at OT. I hope Helton and Neil Callaway have seen more than enough the last two weeks and make it a point Monday at practice that the O-line starters aren’t safe and changes in the lineup could be a possibility because if we settle for average we’re doomed. The whole secondary has given up too many significant plays the two weeks. Biggie’s been inconsistent so far, Jones is growing, but Tell and Hawkins aren’t making tackles they should be making and also are getting beat in coverage. Two scares in two weeks is two too many. The coaches and players better react now.

          • Jack B

            Agreed, but I personally just don’t think Biggee’s that talented, period. I don’t think our opponents do either, since they abuse him every game even though he holds constantly. He’s a Trojan, but not much of a player. Yet he starts, so that tells me a lot.

          • Grammymb

            Texas attacked at the outset and Cal did too. He’s overrated.

          • Sas

            He has enough footage to make a small highlight film of his opponent. Just kidding but he’s been “posterized” to use a basketball term for getting dunked on. In his case he was blown up my the Texas and Cal DE’s too many times in a short period and gave up a sack or our running backs ran into wall. Offensive Tackle tryouts should be held Monday at Howard Jones Field if you ask me.

          • Michael Guarino

            Yep. Callaway is not motivating his lineman, that’s for sure. If they don’t play a lot meaner and nastier on Friday, watch out. And it’s gonna be hard because they’re getting a well deserved reputation for being soft.

          • Sas

            We went from being considered a “veteran” group that was gonna play well for that reason. So far we haven’t shown that the last two weeks. Soft. That’s been the case because we couldn’t push off the line and run the ball at all and then we were getting pushed back trying to pass protect. Sam can’t pass, run, avoid sacks, and lead all the time. He’s made them look a lot better than what could be if another QB was behind center. You are dead on with that Mike, they need to play meaner and nastier.

          • Michael Guarino

            You’re right, Sam! Darnold is making an undisciplined team look better than they are. EVERYBODY has to play up to their potential on Friday. If they do, we win. If they don’t, we lose.

          • Sas

            This team needs to go hard in practice, go hard in the film room and go even harder Friday night at Washington State because they’re letting these teams stick around too long in games. It’s too much for Sam Darnold to carry. WASU’s thinking we’re on the ropes and they could knock us out now after seeing Texas and Cal give us problems. We could be in for another nail biter Mike but i think we show up and play better football.

          • Michael Guarino

            I think we show up on Friday too, Sam!
            [We have to! Leach has been thinking about this game and how to stop Sam all summer]!

          • Sas

            We’re both 4-0.
            In the past when we faced a Washington State team that was considered a challenge they ended up being just that and we even missed the Rose Bowl in 2002 because we got beat in a hostile environment to a team that was jacked up to beat Pete Carroll, Carson Palmer and Troy Palmer. They’re looking for some respect and know like you said Leach has had this game on his mind all off season and I think Leach goes all out and won’t hold any punches. We’ll be ready!

          • Michael Guarino

            Hope Pittman, Lewis, Imatorbhebhe and Porter Gustin (along with all the rest of our stars) are on the field Friday. Let Washington State deal with that!
            #FightOn!

          • Grammymb

            I loved seeing Troy Palmer play.

          • Sas

            Those Were fun times watching those teams teams bring SC back from all the years of losing . Troy has to be one best defensive players ever that IMO. He was one of kind. And Palmer ended up living up to the hype and was an important part of Pete’s legacy because that Heisman was like a golden ticket for him to sell future players. Good times!

          • steveg

            If they are a veteran group, then they are simply not very good.

          • Sas

            Bingo!
            I wanted to say that but I needed someone else to pull the trigger since I’ve been pretty critical on a lot of the starters. 4-0 so far. Yes, that’s the goal to win games. In that regard I’m as happy as the next guy. But this has been a disappointing start for our team. I’m not expecting shutouts, 50-0 scores, or the team to look like they’re in mid season for already, but when you look at our roster talent and compare it to others we shouldn’t be struggling in all areas. There’s 4-star/5-star players at every position and at this point our program should be a lot tougher.

          • peter

            Yes, when second half started I looked for O line to take over the game. When the 4th Q started I thought this is where they take over the game. They never did.I really thought we’d see Pitman today. He was taking 1st team reps. During practice. ? O has digressed last 2 games. Tonight we are seeing the Stanford we love! !!

          • Sas

            This is the Stanford we all admire:)
            I believe it was Chris Trevino last week reported that Pittman was close to playing after the Stanford game but Helton wants him 100% before he comes back which is smartest thing right now. But I want to see what Pittman can do when he’s on the field for a full game. Burnett is dangerous, Mitchell has shown a small glimpse of what we all had hoped to see years ago but Vaughns and Pittman could be ready to make a move in playing time soon. They’re too talented and a threat on the outside and it’s only a matter of time when Helton goes with the hot hand from now.

    • Arturo

      OK, I’ll bite with D, but only because Clancy went Vanilla and they were still solid

      • peter

        D has holes, yet it’s been the constant in every 2nd half this year

        • UtahTrojan

          The D is sitting on some pretty heavy injuries. If they can start getting some of them back I will feel better.

  • Arturo

    Resiliency. Confident that they’ll win. That is confidence and attitude.

  • CORTEZ THE KILLER

    What do you expect him to say ?

    • Arturo

      Be specific.

  • RegalTrojan

    Glad we keep winning, but the team’s pattern since the last game against Texas makes me nervous and feel uneasy watching the game. I’d love to see a dose of killer instincts that put the pedal metal-to-metal from start to finish. The team comes out of the gate way too lukewarm and passive right now! Hey coaches, are you listening? It’s YOUR job to motivate the kids!

    • SucKiffin

      Not that good … just playing crappy teams with frosh or new qbs

      • marvgoux1

        The Pac 12 is really bad this year so SC should run the table. Oregon, ASU, UA, f uucla, CO, Oregon State, Utah, Cal are all interchangably bad. UW would be the only tough team SC might play if the Huskies stars stay injury free and they make the playoffs.

  • Michael Guarino

    Mora is having little girl fits like Lawrence O Donnell on the sidelines. He’s SO insane. And his team plays SO dirty.

    • hoohoolianFUCLA

      I was just enjoying that…

    • hoohoolianFUCLA

      Damned Shaw has first-and-goal and instead of running Love into a hrrible Run D, he has the back-up QB, who just has his head rung on an illegal hit, throw the ball. FG.

      • Michael Guarino

        Great defense. No offense for Stanford. They’re so afraid of the end zone.

        • hoohoolianFUCLA

          BTW, that would be 2 QBs the Clowns have knocked out of games this season — and almost a 3rd in Costello. That’s one way to win…How did A&M lose their QB, shot to the head?

          • Michael Guarino

            And that’s the way Mora has always coached the game. It’ll be nice to see him get his pink slip.

          • Lunderful

            I hope Mora stays! UCLA could find a truly good replacement and we don’t want that.

          • Michael Guarino

            They COULD find a really good replacement, yes, ——but being UCLA they probably wouldn’t….
            #InSecretNegotiationsWithSumlin

          • marvgoux1

            Mora is an obedient leftist puppet who pushes the Democrat agenda so the f uuclan administration will keep him.

          • Grammymb

            Yep

    • marvgoux1

      I wonder if that Just Owns character is really Lawrence O’Donnell?

      • Michael Guarino

        It is SO possible….I wish he’d post videos of himself clenching his fists and jiggling with anger……

  • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

    Seems to me like the team gets stronger throughout the game. Hopefully this was a letdown game after back to back physically demanding games.

  • Michael Guarino

    Rosen threw his first touchdown against Stanford and now he’s “throwing the hammer down” on the sidelines. Such a punk.
    Burning question: Will Stanford’s defense be able to keep from vomiting at the sight of their offense?

    • hoohoolianFUCLA

      Stanford’s in trouble. Their pass D is leaving Rosey easy throws for big yardage. This game is already over. With Costello at QB, UClowns have 3 guys go for Love and smother him.

      Stanford could have 8 losses this season.

      Or maybe not…

      • Michael Guarino

        It’s possible that Costello is slightly better than Chryst. [Stanford needs to figure out how to better evaluate high school quarterbacks. I’m surprised they didn’t take Max].

        • Jack B

          Max was a USC fan all his life. He wasn’t going to STAN once USC offered.

  • USC jojo

    USC has scored 7 points in the third quarter and 62 points in the fourth quarter, not counting the 10 the scored in ot vs Texas.
    They seem to pick it up as the game goes on, but they need to play four quarters of solid football.
    Coach Helton seems to be a little laid back and a bit of a nice guy, which his team seems to play like. They are soft and make dumb mistakes. As the game moves on, he gets more serious and his team seems to do the same.
    This may be there identity.

    • Jack B

      Yet USC played horribly at the end of today’s game.

      It was like we just quit early and gave up an easy throwaway TD to CAL at the end. No style points that’s for sure.

      UW plays better and should be moved ahead of us ranking-wise. I know they haven’t played anyone, but USC makes EVERYONE look good, except STAN and The Cards are again showing they are mediocre against ucla.

      If we don’t fix things up, ND will wipe the floor with us in South Bend IMO. Our identity – not as good as we thought!

      • USC jojo

        You are definitely right about that. The offensive line needs to get it in order. They need to move their blocks forward. It’s like the opposing d-lines hold the blocks and react, while our lineman make initial contact and let go of their blocks or just getting pushed out.
        I hear Helton constantly say they want to be a physical team, but I haven’t seen that, apart from Stanford.
        Notre Dame is a big physical team and hopefully they’ll have it figured out by then.

      • Ignore_the_trolls

        I don’t know if I agree with you that they played “horribly” — they played to take time off the clock. They were more than willing to give up a 3+ minute drive with less than 5 minutes to go when Cal had no timeouts. Keep everything in front and let them take time. I had no problems with letting Cal score – plus I had Cal +17 šŸ™‚

        • Jack B

          I didn’t see any legit reason to let CAL waltz in for another late score. I like style points, the kind that ALA racks up most every single week. I like Saban’s approach, which is, you’ll score over my dead body. Any way, we let CAL make it respectable. Whoppeee!

  • MSK

    I get the bloggers negativity schtic but why is Darnold above criticism? He was a hero last year and the pre-season hype was well deserved, but he hardly rescued this team today. Poor decisions, killed drives with bad throws and easily could have had two or three more picks. He is still very talented and I remain a big fan, but he certainly contributed to this game being closer than it needed to be.

    • Trojan72

      It is crazy for folks like the TV commentators and a few wacko fans to plug Darnold 1) for the Heisman, and 2) to bolt early for the NFL. This kid needs another year, or he’ll turn out like Sanchez and be an NFL flop. Hope he listens to some good advice.

      • marvgoux1

        What if he stays and turns out like Matt Barkley?

        • Sandy Underpants

          Is that good or bad?

          • marvgoux1

            How did things turn out for Matt his senior year and in the NFL?

          • Sandy Underpants

            I have no earthly idea. My last memory of Matt Barkley, which is hazy, but I see a Christmas Tree, smiling faces, and I feel joy in my heart. It’s a press conference, but then everything just goes black and never goes back.

          • steveg

            Would it have gone any better for him had he not stayed?

  • Old Trojans never die

    It’s a secret identity. Like Clark Kent suddenly emerging into Kal El. Then without warning back to Clark. I happy with the win but I am frustrated watching these games USC should never have the walk on kicker as leading scorer at the end of 3 quarters.
    I know people are calling for Helton’s head but honestly he’s making progress. We need to dump Tee, up the middle with no hole, Martin. And Pansy Clembergast with the no pass defense guru needs to go back to the NFL.

  • Pac12 fan

    Helton like Nick Sabin tries to make opponents better than they are

    • peter

      Isn’t Sabo’n the French race car driver that beat Ricky Bobby?

    • Grammymb

      And then beats them. 4-0 baby.

  • Pac12 fan

    Darnold way overrated . Makes a lot of bad decisions but rescues team with his improversations

    • Jack B

      Congrats little gutty man on getting annihilated by STAN. They smashed you even worse than I thought they would.

      Poor bruins. irrelevant yet again and the season just started. Bye bye bruins. That was your season you just saw in your rearview.

      • marvgoux1

        And now Rosen will be leaving for NFL riches. Imagine how horrible f uucla will be next year? They may not win a game!

  • BearBryant3

    There Identity on offense is Balance and threaten teams with the mid range passing game and get there athletes in space. The offense needs to improve by running more zone read and get away from the pistol, because they dont run zone read out of it.

  • BearBryant3

    There Identity on defense is stalemate the line of scrimmage and allow there second and third line of defense players come up and make tackles. There coverages are pre-determined by the set of the offense and not situation. They will need improvement of the pass rush earlier in the game.

    • Arturo

      There or here or their?

  • BearBryant3

    The best positive of the team is they play as a family and support each other, rarely do you see another player yelling at another when a mistake happens. It usually a conversation of what went wrong and they move on. Negative is the excuse tee martin gave for the texas game about there speed. Own it you got out coached, learn from it and move on.

    • Trojan96

      Great Insight.

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    Love just broke 260!

    • Trojan96

      What’s the score?

      • hoohoolianFUCLA

        51-34 with 6 to play

        • Trojan96

          Nice!

        • marvgoux1

          We should put 70 on the defenseless f uuclans.

          • hoohoolianFUCLA

            We SHOULD, but have you seen our offense lately?

          • marvgoux1

            It will be the perfect practice game before the NCAA playoffs!

          • Michael Guarino

            It SHOULD be, marv…..let’s hope we treat it that way.

          • Michael Guarino

            If our o-line plays the way it can (and should), we’ll kill UCLA. But if it plays the way it did against Cal, it’s gonna be another needless nail biter.

          • steveg

            After four games, I am really wondering if they can play any better. I hope I am wrong.

          • Michael Guarino

            If this is as good as it gets, we’re in for trouble in every away game for the rest of the year. We might win them, but it won’t be easy. We’ll have to play great on defense and stick with short passes on offense. And Sam can kiss New York goodbye.

    • so cal

      Damn if you didn’t call that earlier in the day! You said Love would get 250 yards in a Stanfurd win. Lol.

      • hoohoolianFUCLA

        Thanks for remembering! I had said last week “over 60 points , Love over 260 and Scarlett over 100” on one post. Closest prediction I’ve ever made! Wish I had money on all that.

        Happy Oregon lost, too. Wish CO had won…

        • so cal

          Definitely could have made some money. Guess I’m outta here for the night. Will see what happens on Friday night. Fight On!

        • marvgoux1

          Oregon must be horrible to lose to the Sun Devils.

          • Michael Guarino

            …or (crap!) maybe the Sun Devils ain’t that bad.
            #AnotherAwayGame
            #RightAfterAwayGameAtSouthBend!

          • hoohoolianFUCLA

            Look at the Half-Full glass:

            Scum Devils may not just roll over as expected when they visit Pasadena…

            In fact, there’s a better chance that UClowns lose out now that AZ St, AZ and Cal are better than expected! (6 weeks ago, I suggested UClowns would lose 7 games this season I hope I am wrong and it turns into 10.)

        • Michael Guarino

          Yeah — I, too, was surprised that your bold prediction came true. Pretty impressive, hoohoolian…..

          • hoohoolianFUCLA

            That’s my ONE.
            Disregard all future predictions as they are likely to be as bad as all the ones preceding that ONE!

          • Michael Guarino

            Ha! It took guts to go that far out on a limb—so, if that’s your ONE, it was a great one.

  • so cal

    Poor little Gutties getting gutted.

    • RegalTrojan

      That’s because that’s where they belong, and they showed the whole wide world why last night. lol.

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    Rosey INT!!

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    Great to see him sulking on the bench!

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    Scarlett for 62!

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    Damn, that means Rosey will get another chance to pad his stats!

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    TD 58-34
    2:25 to enjoy

  • Pete

    How about Tyson Helton for OC? Just Sayin!

  • RegalTrojan

    I could care less about politics tonight. I’d rather relish a Trojan win and a SUCLA loss by generously allowing the Tree to hang “58” points on the board! 58!!! LOL!!!

  • Lunderful

    Sam should stay another year. Either we need better O-linemen or a new O-line coach.

    This win doesn’t feel like a win. Our lack of measurable progress on both sides of the ball leads me to anticipate a loss or two, particularly if we have more injuries. Our offense can’t get any rhythm and our DB’s can’t cover.

  • Grammymb

    I don’t have any problem with Sam being the team savior right now. Happy to be 4-0.

  • steveg

    Sam did as much damage to us as anyone. I didn’t see him do anything extraordinary. He needs to get centered on the game and forget to read anything in social media about trophies and draft positions. Leave that stuff to Rosen, it is all he has left.

  • Sandy Underpants

    Our identity is only play as hard as you have to, to win. Cal is identifying as female.

  • Ignore_the_trolls

    I don’t see how Darnold bailed us out last night… in fact, he almost cost us the game IMO.