• CORTEZ THE KILLER

    Utah wins Saturday night, even with a bad QB

    • Gabby

      Cortez – “Tool of the Year” – predicts a Trojan loss…..imagine that.

      Hey cortez, I guess your post sums up all your thoughts, thanks for your opinion. Now take the rest of the week off, keyboard pounding can be exhausting

    • schammer47

      Cortez, Airheads have no idea so give it up, Amigo.

      • CORTEZ THE KILLER

        Utah wins

        • Chris

          Sure thing

    • marvgoux1

      Utah looked bad at home last Saturday. SC wins.

  • SoCalGreg2014

    Wolf- Don’t you realize this post makes your man-crush Darnold look bad?

  • Old Trojans never die

    Is this where I point out the tinkered with throwing motion?

    • Gabby

      Why fix something that was beyond good enough. Sam is second guessing himself and short on self confidence

      • Michael Guarino

        I suspect Sam felt overwhelmed at the Heisman attention he got throughout the summer—deep down Sam knew he wasn’t the best player (or even quarterback) in college football. Ironically, as a result, he started the season playing way less than his best. Maybe now that the Heisman bubble is burst for good, he can say “f*** it” and just play his brand of football (which proved last year to be plenty good enough).

        • Gabby

          I could not agree with you more. I want the Sam back that I grew to admire. In the words of the infamous Charlie bucket, “I feel tingly all over” when Sam was on a roll

          The real season starts this weekend

          • Michael Guarino

            I think the Sam that runs around in the backfield doing all the things Clay tells him not to do is the Good Sam. And the Sam who stays in the pocket like Clay wants and badly overthrows receivers is the Evil Sam.
            As for Sam’s inaccuracy, on the long ball— it can’t be fixed before Notre Dame. I don’t want to see him throw more than 25 yards in that game unless all Notre Dame defenders have slipped or run into one another.
            The Good Sam CAN beat Notre Dame in South Bend….and get us to the Pac12 Championship game. Isn’t that enough?

          • Trojan96

            I don’t think we have good enough receivers yet for Sam throwing up deep 50/50 balls like last year to JuJu.

          • steveg

            I do. We have some very good receivers, yes several are young, but Burnett, Mitchell, and even Grimes are all able to run deep and catch a ball, just someone has to get it close to them.

          • Trojan96

            Grimes, Pittman, and Lewis maybe. But our receivers are not strong built red zone type receivers. They are more speed and possession / finesse type guys. I’m not saying they are not talented, I just don’t see these guys fighting for balls like JuJu and Rogers did last year. At least not yet.

  • Gabby

    What!….. Wolf posting something negative about Sam. We need to read between the lines, details are missing, His next post will state the problem is actually a combination of bad play calling, bad O-line play and receivers with butter fingers…Did I miss anything

    • Globehead

      He’d point out that Sam was a 4-star recruit but today’s an even day so recruiting rankings don’t matter.

    • USC jojo

      Don’t forget the coaches who celebrate and jump up and down after good plays.

    • steveg

      That just about sums up the offense.

  • Fred Sampson

    That’s what happens when you don’t have a running game, the defense sits back, and they wait for you.

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      SC has a running game, just 3 ex QB coaches calling pass play after pass play. Hugs Helton, Tee11 & Fredo are soft, pass happy booooobs

    • schammer47

      Fred, I believe THE ABSENCE of a Trojan Run Game is at least 70% responsible FOR ALL OF Sam’s problems. A dominant running game makes everything else work. The poor day to day work by the Offensive Line from the first day of Spring Training to the month leading up to the Western Midhigan game is THE REASON Sam Darnold’s game is not what it was last year. What plays the Helton’s call have a chance ?

      • Gabby

        No disrespect, but I disagree with you. Sam is a major problem with the run game. Figure it out

        • schammer47

          From the first day of Spring Practice until game prep started in late August, Sam was throwing Interceptions that exceeded his interceptions thrown the year before BY ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE. SW made mention of Sam’s “problem “and showed great concern. Sam has had plenty of time to lose confidence is his offensive teammates.

          That is what i have figured out. I blame the offensive lines inadequate performance throughout practice more than I do Sam’s infamiliarity with the new receives. His 2017 team needs an offensive line that will open the holes.

          • Gabby

            OK!…but we are talking about the running game. …..I disagree with the majority of your opinion. Go review the film. Not trying to be rude

            Fight On!

      • Brent4c

        Isn’t the running game significantly better than last year? The difference in our offense is turnovers or more specifically interceptions. SD has thrown as many ints as he did all last year. Throw in a number of passes that should have been locked and he is having a tough year. SD has to play better and it isn’t sacrilege to say so. SD is a very very good player who is struggling right now. The good news is he’s struggling and we are 5-1. I disagree w most that this actually indicates the strength of our team not a weakness.

        • schammer47

          No. Last year the competition in games 3, 4, 5, and 6, namely #7 Stanford, #24 Utah, Zona St, and #21 Colorado, saw the Trojans run the ball 129 times for 680 yards, a 5.3 yard per carry average with 5 TD’s.

          This years competition includes three teams with undeniably weak defenses, Cal, Wash St, and Oregon St. The Trojans ran the ball 122 times for 521 yards. a 4.2 yards per carry average with only 5 TD’s.

          • Brent4c

            So you believe the running game was better last year? If you don’t cherry pick your games and just gone the first 6 I imagine our stats are better now. The issue nobody wants to admit is our QB is playing at a very avg level amd we are still 5-1.

          • schammer47

            Brent4c, you’ve been coming down hard at me from the git go. Last years Trojan Run Game was better then this years Run Game in games 3 thru 6. You can bet on it, tough guy !!!

          • Brent4c

            “Tough guy” are we in a bar fight in unaware of? I asked you to compare games 1-6 of this year to 1-6 of last year. In my opinion our running game is better this year. Blaming SD struggles on the run game is a cop out for the decisions he’s made at his position. He has played avg at best compared to his play last year. He needs to perform better period. Many of his poor throws are not under pressure they are simply poor decisions.

          • Gabby

            For this type of offense to be successful the QB has to be a legitimate threat to run the ball. Right now Sam is not scaring anyone with his running ability.

          • Gabby

            Who cares what the running stats were from last season. New season, new personnel

    • Gabby

      Sam’s unwillingness to run the ball or the coaches are protecting him, which is it? This type of offense is a run first. There are numerous times when Sam is not taking what the D is giving him. He puts the ball in the belly of the RB and leaves it there while on the off side a DELB is crushing down

      The running lanes are there but Sam is not taking advantage. If Sam is not going to run the ball as dictated by the design of the play then this is the wrong offense to run for Sam

      Go back to a pro set/ I formation and sprinkle in some shotgun

      • steveg

        Running lanes are there? Tell Rojo, Ware, and Carr about them, for some reason they can’t find them either.

        • Gabby

          This is a QB decision. Has nothing to do with a designed straight handoff

          • schammer47

            Gabby, the extra TE, workable misdirection and student/body right/left are SIGNIFICANT OPTIONS that are apparently NOT IN THE PLAYBOOK.

          • Gabby

            very observant…..I can only post suggestions . I also fell Tee is a little over his skis.

          • steveg

            That is exactly what I said a couple of days ago, or was it games ago.

      • Fred Sampson

        Exactly!!!

  • Yale O. Leftwich

    How about under 20? those are first downs, my favorite…we keep the ball and score …use up clock let defense rest

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      Doesn’t Hugs, Tee11 and Fredo want to run an up tempo offense ? Not much rest for the defense with that type of O, a pound it running game would but the Three Stooges don’t want to do that

      • Gabby

        Tool time!

      • Pete Smith

        I think they want to, but do not know how to

  • Golden Trojan

    If we apply the “Coaching Carousel” logic of earlier, Darnold should be benched or maybe cut from the team.

  • USC Heisman 7

    This blog post leads to another blog post in 3-2-1.. Blame the offensive coaches on Sam’s somewhat bad season.

    I’ve seen enough to think Sam is playing cautiously wanting to prevent injury if he decides to declare.. Chances are slim now due to his lackluster numbers and truthfully Sam’s not ready for sundays..

    I noticed in several practices Sam’s mechanics have been compromised either by design or a bad habits..

    This obviously is not the same player we saw last year. Six games in, same problem, his mechanics are awful.. His QB coach ruined him and now he needs to reinvent himself with 6 games to go.. Who else do we blame, injuries happen, next man up..

    In short, Matt Fink looks more comfortable with the offensive system.. Does Helton bench Sam. I think he should .. It may give him a chance to see the game from a different perspective.

    Either way, USC better get their butts in gear..

    • Christian

      Sam’s been bad at times but benching him for fink? I’ve never seen Fink throw a pass so you may be right, but if it’s primarily based on what he did with his legs against OSU then I’d say that’s premature. I think Sam’s about to get into a groove and finish this season similar to last year.

      • USC Heisman 7

        I hope so.. But even giving Sam a game to reset might work ..

        • steveg

          I keep thinking, what is Fink going to do that would be so bad? He did show poise, I would love to see him throw deep. Got to be better than Darnold.

          • USC Heisman 7

            I agree.. Matt has a great arm along with his running game.. USC is committed to Sam.. Lets see what happens!

      • steveg

        How do you go from what he did in the OS game to getting into a groove?

        • Christian

          23/35 for 316 yards 3 TDs and 1 Int in roughly 3 quarters. Darnold definitely left some meat on the bone but it wasn’t a bad performance in my opinion. Aside from those stats, it’s more a feeling quite honestly. I think he realizes he’s gotta be more careful with the ball and I think he also realizes it’s they’re about to enter a crucial stretch on their schedule where he needs to step it up a few notches. Based on the last year and a half, Sam’s proven he’s more than capable of doing so.

          • Gabby

            I love the positive attitude!

            FIGHT ON!

          • steveg

            Utah this Saturday should be the game that makes or breaks SD. I have really enjoyed watching him play, and he has a talent, but if his natural instincts have been destroyed by his QB coaches, then he is not the same player he was last year. I have seen USC bench RBs for fumbling once. I am for USC and winning, whatever it takes. Including running in a different QB when the need arises.

    • Gabby

      Most would hate it admit it, but your analysis is accurate. His mechanics and refusal to run the football have been glaring issues. Hopefully the fog will clear and Sam will be at his best for the next two games.

    • gotroy22

      Matt Fink is King of the LA River!

  • rusoviet

    As much as many question the real coaching ability of Clay Helton and his staff I have to say what are the locals saying in: Ann Arbor-MI, Norman-OK, Columbus-OH, Stillwater-OK, Auburn-AL and So. Bend-IN?

    I’m watching the ESPN show with Herbstreit, MacFarland, two others and some props towards the Pac-12 but not much and nothing said about USC save that they have a lot of injuries and how tough it will be for them a week from Saturday against the Irish.

    They are stong against OH St. getting in with that one loss against OK esp. if OK has an identical record inasmuch OH St. defeating OK last year in Norman was the basis on why they deserved to be in the final four.

    This is going to be a nightmare trying to select four teams. A 10 team playoff would be ideal with the lower four bracketed in a play0in the same way the NFL has for their 1st round and also set aside one slot for the lower five school and 4 at-large for the ‘big 5’ conferences. I know the current agreement runs through I believe 2021 but this year looks like a titanic mess and I also sense the AP would have no problem sticking it to the FBS just as they did in 2003.

    • j metaphor

      Don’t get out much, do you Ruskie?

  • Pete Smith

    Tim to get off Sam’s back and show him some support Fight On

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    Helton may be unintentionally giving his team a message he would not want to. When Helton gave such attention and acclaim to PAT kicker Jake Olson after the Western Michigan game I looked at the faces of players in the post game interview after they underwent a bruising game. Helton may have given the message that he was more concerned with a social work project than winning.

    Same with his offensive coordinator. It takes forever for USC to get off a play because play calling is done by a committee in order to “coach up” the offensive coordinator so prep him for a head coaching or NFL job. This has led to some delay of game penalties, and worse, allows the other team to show one defense and shift into another as soon as the play is executed by USC.

    I’ve said this before and I will say again: Helton needs to learn how to be feared, not loved. He may be giving inadvertent mixed messages to his team but clear messages to the opposing teams as to how to out-scheme him.

    The only way out of this is to shake things up. Put Fink in for some packages. Put a package of no huddle plays in. Let Ronald Jones stretch the defense with his speed as a receiver. Run some deception plays not laterals to three players for a 10 yard gain. I’m no expert but I have a theory.

    • Michael Guarino

      This would be great stuff, Wayne —-except for one teeny tiny thing: Clay hasn’t yet fully accepted the fact that he’s the Head Coach. He’s retained the personality of a smiling assistant. And assistant coaches don’t dare turn into the kind of s.o.b.’s that people fear —- what if the REAL Head Coach found out he was acting that way?

      • Wayne Lusvardi

        Remember when Tom Lasorda was a 3rd base coach for the Dodgers and would join the players in socializing after games? He had to stop that once he became the manager of the team. Same principle goes for a landlord/tenant relationship: a landlord cannot be a tenants friend or even their neighbor. So you’re right: a head coach has to act differently than an assistant coach.

        • Michael Guarino

          It sure would be good if the transformation took place this week, Wayne.
          Just a thought: One thing that helped Lasorda immensely was his wicked —but totally honest and spontaneous —-sense of humor.
          I love the story of Lasorda being with the team watching television and hearing Bob Costas comment that the Dodgers didn’t have what it took to go all the way. Tommy led the team in a chant of “Kill Costas! Kill Costas!”

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            Hah! What needs to stop is USC’s plodding lining up to snap ball, calling a new play based on the way the opposing defense is lined up, only to find out the defense switches as soon as ball is hiked!! Hey, but what do I know?

          • Michael Guarino

            Double Hah! Very funny!

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    I can’t recall any longer passes in 2017 where Sam hit his man in stride. All the completed longer passes seem to require a come back by a wide-open receiver.

  • j metaphor

    Hey, back off!
    He has more TD’s than picks! (doesn’t he?)