117 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: It’s Time For The Friday Notes Column

  1. The outcome of this game really depends on which SC team will show up this Saturday against ND. And we all saw the two incredulously polarizing teams in our last game against Utah, didn’t we? So it’s real simple. If we play like the first half of that game, we’ll lose, but like the second half throughout the whole game, we’ll win.

    • I concur – unlike notre dame, we (USC) have the better quarterback and we have a great passing game.

    • How could USC only score 17. They would do that much by accident. And if you look at who ND has played and the points scored, no way will they put 38 on USC. Pure agenda driven prediction. Even Wolfs remarks on game chat reflect his unprecedented bias.

      • Like I said before, we’ll surely win tomorrow if we play the entire game like the second half of Utah game. Fight On!

      • Go ahead and hit the repeat button…..bad coaching, bad coaching, bad coaching, bad play calling, bad play calling and more bad play calling….I’m sure I missed a few, we get get it…..thanks

    • You’re right, RT —IF we play sloppy [for 2 halves] we lose. But that’s not gonna happen. And even IF it did happen —-there is NO way in hell the score is gonna look remotely like the one predicted by Scott.

        • I’m really surprised that he went that FAR out on a limb. I’ve read Wolf for long enough to know that he’s smart enough to leave himself a well defined piece of turf to defend. He’s so far off on this one that it’s gonna embarrass him. Posters will be bringing up this prediction from now on every time he makes a criticism.

          • Outside of the Alabama game, when was USC more than a two TD underdog……can you remember?…….Oregon?

          • Scott got carried away. The brewing bad blood between him and Clay influenced that 21 point spread. First time I’ve ever seen Scott make a completely emotion-driven prediction. It’s one thing to do this with top 25 lists —you get to amend them each week. This LIVES ON.

          • Going back to the PC era, wolf has always developed personnel issues with the coaching staffs. Being objective and fair-minded are traits wolf lacks

          • I checked to see if Scott’s prediction impacted the Las Vegas line. I was wondering if they would install a new 21 point spread favoring the Irish. It’s still three and a half points —-down from an opening of 4 points. But I like the idea of all the Notre Dame people having to spot us 21.

          • Last thought on this subject, gt: Could this 21 point Notre Dame victory prediction be Scott’s shrewdest ‘hit creating’ device ever???

    • Tough week to have injuries on the D-Line, but I agree with the analysis. And prediction on Scottie’s prediction – if USC wins, he’ll belly-ache along these lines: “Why couldn’t they have played that during the Wazzu game? Why couldn’t they beat the spread in the other games?” Or some nonsense like that. Mark it down.

  2. Are the irish overrated? We’ll find out soon enough, and I’m sure they’ll be high as a kite coming out of the tunnel as always. But with all the talk about their vaunted running attack, I give you this to consider, this offense couldn’t spring their running back loose for more than 56 yds on 9 carries against Michigan st or for 53 on 19 carries vs Georgia. Most of their yds come against teams with a losing record.
    That’s not to say we win just by showing up, we’ll have to play tough up front no doubt. But this is certainly doable. Especially, if we get an early lead and force them into second and third down and long yardage. F’ da leprechaun.

    Beat the irish.

    • I agree Pudley, they have been challenged some, but nothing like they will be tomorrow. Stop their run, pick off the passes thrown under pressure, USC moves way up in the polls.

      • Ever the optimist, I am feeling positive about tomorrow. The pressure to beat us and make a good bowl game is weight around kelly’s neck, much more so than Helton’s. In the end, I just think we’re better all the way around.

        Beat the irish!

  3. I like SC in this one. The Trojans have the capability of coming from behind with its passing attack. ND, not so much. A plodding running attack takes time to score. The ‘Rioting’ Irish will get theirs, but I believe SC will get more.

  4. “Banged up defensive line”? I know nothing about this allusion, SW. I did hear a rumor about the AD not liking the coach … that you didn’t bother to substantiate. And there was some stuff about last year’s game. Oh, and more hero worship of Sam Darnold. But nothing that made me understand your prediction of a 38-17 SC loss. Work the reader, not the agenda.

    • Both OL and DL banged up and holes now being filled by Freshmen that were originally designated to redshirt.
      The awe of the stadium and the rivalry may take a toll, especially early in the game.
      Rhythm needed on offense and the earlier in the game, the better the chances.
      Still like the Irish to win in a close one.
      And as Jack B so eloquently stated, the OL really has to step up its game.

  5. I have not heard a weather report for ND, so I am assuming weather is not a factor. I like our chances in this edition of the game as long as we don’t hit panic mode too early. And in this I believe our coaches need to listen. USC has come back from deficits against Notre Dame, in the past (see 1974) so play out game up to our best ability and we win.

  6. I don’t think Lynn Swann would make a coaching change before he gives, Clay Helton a chance to hire experienced coordinators, which is something he should have done in the first place .

    • Fred, he got who he could, nobody wanted to come to the uncertainty of USC when Helton was hired. True about the identity though.

        • Conversely, if we lose to the Irish, will we lose our edge against some remaining opponents? Helton has won the vast majority of his important games and is on quite a streak.

          I think ND is tougher than UTAH and we barely squeaked by the Utes at home.

          Most of the experts are coming out against us. Gonna take a great Trojan effort, better than any we’ve given all year. We should be ready and should win if Darnold reverts to his old form. Our WRs have matured.

          I’d be a lot more confident if we posed any type of special teams threat.

          In the end however, I still say it’s up to our OL to win this game. If they open the holes and protect Darnold, we got ’em. If not, I
          don’t see the victory.

          Too close for me to call objectively, so I’ll just be a homer and predict a close Trojan victory based on some late Darnold heroics which re-establish his credentials as a Heisman candidate.

          Fight On and Beat the Irish!

          • I wonder what all those experts would say today had Sam not fumbled twice and hit Rojo in the face with a backwards pass? I suspect the Utah score would have been way different and the point spread would be in USC favor.

          • I’d agree but USC has been playing “weird”, for lack of a better term, all season long. Just way too inconsistent. You ask why? Coaching, pure and simple.

            ND is comfortably favored because they are playing in South Bend, USC is really banged up, USC looks really bad sometimes and Tee Martin takes a lot of heat for some ridiculous play calls. I also think people perceive this as more a must-win game for ND.

            No way would I be making SC the favorite were I a bookie. While 6-1, USC has looked disappointing all year except for STAN. SC has legitimately earned its legion of doubters. I’ve never seen such a potentially good team look so bad sometimes. And then there’s Grabby Marshall. Don’t get me started on USC’s most overrated player. He plays more like the Ting Brothers. And we have nothing better? Come on!

          • We would have beat TEXAS for the NC, despite all our mistakes, if Ting doesn’t drop that lollypop pick at the end.

            Good thing about ND though is apparently they can’t pass. So if Grabby can keep down his PI calls, we should be okay. Then there’s always the possibility that Grabby has a good game. They all do eventually. Hope it’s this weekend for Grabby.

        • There is a reason the RB coach wasn’t retained and allowed to go to LSU despite Gomer wanting him to stay

          • And I don’t know how common it is for a defensive coordinator never having to recruit, but I bet Swann’s not happy with that nonsense, either .

    • The only reason that Notre Dame has a chance is that Kelly brought in almost all new coaches. It’s Kelly ….and a brand new staff facing us on Saturday. Now Kelly can say what Mike Tyson said when he got out of prison and resumed boxing: “I fired my trainers, my managers and my accountants. From now on when I get screwed over it will be by a whole new team of people.”

  7. It is very do able, even with all our injuries, not having home field advantage, But we have to come play to win all 4 quarters. nd will have a couple wrinkles on offense that we must be ready for! The half back pass, the double pass and fake punt i see them pulling out all the stops to get the win that would make their program real. BEAT the irish FIGHT ON

  8. Bold, Flow, bold. If USC wins this Saturday they’re guaranteed to win the Pac12 Conference? I like the confidence though.

  9. This will be the week our offense finally shows up. Darnold has no turnovers, receiving corps goes off, Jones pops big one in 2nd half. Defense bends a little but does not break. USC 38 – ND24.

  10. It hurts but I agree with Wolf. Unless Helton can get the team to play a full game of disciplined football and execute like a team playing its 8th game of the season should, I just think ND will get ahead early and start stretching that lead as Darnold will have to take chances with his throws to get USC back in the game. Brian Kelly will not try to keep the score down even if its a runaway. Come on USC, use your talent and your will to win!

    • I liked the optimistic twist, at the end, David! Glad I read the whole post!
      I think we match up pretty darn well against the Irish —–and I’m betting we DON’T throw the game away. I say we’ll play well and win.

  11. You gotta love the Wolfman! We’re 6-1, #11 in the country, have won 15 of 16 and after ND we play a bunch of cr@ap the rest of the way…….and Wolfie explores the possibility of losing 3 or 4 more games!

  12. Come to think of it Wolf – if Bama loses their last 5 games 75-0 Saban might catch some heat too.

  13. USC 24 – ND 21. Defense plays well, offense just well enough. Jones has 100+ game and Darnold shines. The blogger is wrong again. USC moves to #7 in National rankings.

  14. ND defense gives up on average 366 yards of offense, and Darnold delivers in big games, so Trojans can and should move the ball.

    If O-line performs as they should, opening some holes, and giving Sam some time to throw, then I like our chances. This is Trojans vs. Domers, no excuse for the team not to be prepared for this.

    Trojans 27 – Domers 17

  15. USC 38, ND 31. I am building in room for improvement so I would like to see that actually happen this time. But Wolf acts like ND doesn’t have key injuries (they do), or weaknesses that SC stands poised to exploit (they do), or pressure to win (they do). He’s acting like ND will respond well to the pressure of this game and we won’t. But I think we learned well enough last year at Washington and in the Rose Bowl — and this year late against Texas and in the second half v. Utah — that SC responds well to pressure. That aspect HAS to worry ND.

    • All good, Rock2112. And throw in one more big plus for us—-one of the leaders from last year is back—Daniel Imatorbhebhe. He’s vocal, he’s a great player —-and Sam has said before that he feels better just knowing Daniel’s in the lineup.

        • It would be wonderfully surreal if the team we expected for 2017 showed up in South Bend, and demonstrated it Big Time against the Irish.

          • Take it to the bank buddy, this game is about USC and how dumb the writers are to have them at 11 or 13. USC cannot be ignored after tomorrow.

          • I think we get it done. I could see ND panicking if the run game is not working. Jack-Jack and/or/both………….play a better game. It shows up.

          • I SO hope you’re right about Iman, Sam. But I worry about him…..not about his abilities, but about where his head is at. I just watched a tape of the corners practicing this week and Jack Jones looked great….and Iman was getting beat.

          • We see eye to eye with Marshall. The eyes don’t lie. He looks unsure if he was wrong or right sometimes. But he has the tools. His plays that i can remember that were “good” were border line PI’s or were PI’s. He needs a confidence booster tomorrow in this game.

          • “The eyes don’t lie.” So true. And I didn’t like the look in his eyes on a couple of ABC tv closeups after he was called for pass interference. He didn’t look confident. I think Ronnie Bradford has failed to get through to Iman. On the plus side, Iman rarely gets totally beat on plays —-if he can’t stop a play legally, he’s willing to give up the penalty rather than the touchdown. That’s something.

          • I agree word for word with the first part. And I’m starting to feel the exact way as you on the other more now. Mike, Iman needs to turn the corner and an upperclassmen having a big game could lead the way to a turnaround the rest of the way. I hope.

          • Why do you think Grabby really has the physical talent? From what I’ve seen. he doesn’t have the “hips” or instincts for corner, and that’s a physical limitation, not coaching. Not all players can be coached up, and the good ones using coaching to “refine” their games, not learn the very basics.

            Bradford can’t cover for Grabby. For instance, watch Jack Jones. His coverage ability was ALWAYS better than Grabby’s, plus he’s improved significantly this season. Seems to me the coaches have worked great with JJ (obviously), yet Grabby’s still in the dark. It’s Grabby who still can’t cover squat even though he’s in his 3rd year and came from football factory Long Beach Poly.

            I’ve seen Grabby get totally beat numerous times this year, as well as last. I think you and I are looking at a completely different player. Funny how people see talent so differently.

          • I think we probably see Iman pretty much the same —–as a qualified disaster at corner (‘qualified’ only in the sense that I’ve seen worse). He brings speed (between a 4.4 and 4.5 forty), size and strength —-but, as you —and pretty much everybody –point out, he never seems to improve in his coverage of the deep ball. We’re all thinking the same thing when we see a ball coming his way: “crap!”
            But on to happier thoughts, Jack. I’ve been watching practice tape and listening to interviews with Daniel Imatorbhebhe, Uchenna Nwosu, Cam Smith, Jack Jones, Ronald Jones and Sam Darnold ….and everybody, and I mean everybody, sounds as confident and focused as you could possibly want them. The only person who seemed a bit over-awed at the prospect of South Bend was Brandon Pili —-and that’s to be expected from a freshman. Hope he gets it together before the game, though.

          • I read an interview with Pili yesterday, and he sure seemed awed by the responsibility thrust his way. But I’m thinking once he gets hit instinct will take over and he’ll defend himself. He played most plays on the utah side of the line even though they’d double teamed him. But he is a kid, could be a career defining moment for him.

          • Pili will come through as well as can be expected —-but it sure is rotten luck that Fatu can’t play. I mean what were the odds? Especially after we all thought we used up our bad luck in those pregame collisions at Washington State.

          • I’m not sure, but Green was available in a week, Iosefa in too, and there was another who was in just a few days. Good golly, what awful luck.

            Beat the irish!

          • I expect a great game and am hoping we win in a close one. :Lots of angles to this contest and frankly I don’t think a lot of us have the faintest idea of how it’s gonna go down. Both teams have real weaknesses which are exploitable and both teams have good enough coaching and talent to be very dangerous.

            I hope ND doesn’t throw to Grabby a lot because I haven’t seen him cover anyone all year and it’s asking a lot for someone to finally be good against ND and the ghosts in South Bend. Come on Grabby. Get your act together, if that is remotely within your power.

          • Well, looky here —Jack and meself agree on everything: It will be a great game, there is no way of calling this (you’d need a quantum computer —and one hasn’t been invented yet), both teams have weaknesses, and Iman better step it up big time or he, personally, will be the single biggest problem we have to overcome (if I were Kelly I’d throw his way every time Notre Dame gets behind).
            Now, we get to your part in all this, Jack. At about this time tomorrow your mission—should you choose to accept it—-is to don your uniform and give the best damn pep talk you’ve ever given to the television. I’m hoping your sincerity will transcend space and enter each Trojan players’ soul.

          • With this Trojan team, I’ve learned to not expect too much, because you can never tell who will show up, quarter to quarter. We could be great or just mediocre. Big range there. So, I’m expecting the unexpected. Hopefully, that means victory!

            Fight On! Beat the Irish!

          • Yeah —it’s impossible to take an educated guess as to the score —the way you could when we played Texas or Stanford. The only thing I know is that no one is winning by Scott’s predicted score of 38 to 17. Even Scott is wisely walking that prediction back now. [Secret sharing time again: right before a game, I get a good or a bad feeling about whether or not we’re gonna win —-and it usually turns out to be right].

          • Wish our team the best of luck tomorrow, JB! Hoping for a glorious Trojan conquest! Fight On!

          • I totally agree on the hips and he just quits plays and grabs right away, before he’s even beat many times. He’s always insisted he’s a cb but it just isn’t going to work out for him, certainly not as a pro, safety maybe.

          • Our safeties are better than Grabby. We don’t need him there, but he’s a pure bread corner in the mind of he and his dad anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

            I cringe whenever I see Grabby in pass coverage. I didn’t give him the nickname by the way. Other SC people have been calling him that since he was a frosh. The name stuck for obvious reasons.

          • Nickname he has earned, unfortunately. Actually he must be feeling intense pressure as he watches Jackie move past him in talent. Such is the life of top athletes. You know how Pittman got hurt? They were running db drills wearing boxing gloves so they couldn’t hold. Pittman went up for the ball and came down on a glove. Expensive lesson.

          • Wow. I didn’t know that. We’ve had some very strange injuries this year. Maybe we’ll get a little lucky in South Bend. We’re overdue.

            I like the boxing glove coaching idea though. At least we know the coaches are doing the best they can to stop the PIs. Thanks for the good info.

          • You mean your actually giving Grabby brownie points because he gets called for PI’s frequently when he’s beat? Wow. That’s a good gig if you can get it.

  16. Hey wolf, same old s**t, just a different pile. You’re telling us USC is a 21 pt. underdog. Dude, quit sniffing cakes’ jockstraps, you’re delusional.

    Trying to generate fake news about Clay is ridiculous……and you wonder why the coaching staff treats you like an idiot

    • Yep. Not going to get any “insider” info from the staff. Why would they? He’s not objective in any way. I honestly think CH will be here for a decade. He’s diligent and can recruit. He may not be Saban, but he’s righted the ship, which is saying a lot.

  17. SW your assessment leans on boarderline delusional. SC can and will run the ball. As long as the mistakes arn’t big, SC should put up 28 plus on the domers. Our defense will be fine. ND is not designed to put up huge points. It will be war but SC should pull it off in the 4th. Fight On!

    • I don’t think we get that Penn State loss this weekend, Gabby. But —honestly—-if USC kicks butt on Saturday, I won’t be the least bit disappointed in the outcome of the Penn State game.

      • I am not sure who I dislike the most, Mich or Penn. If there was a way they could both lose I would be real happy.

        • Got ya, steveg. I’m working on it!
          [It’s going to involve satellite technology ….]

  18. This is the game VELUS JONES can make a huge name for himself. Field position by our special teams will breath confidence in our offense and defense on the road in an hostile environment. Hope our DL plug up running lanes and our OL dominate one on one matchup. Continue to use those big TEs. Fight On✌

    • He could! But will he? He has the speed but he needs to catch the ball in traffic and keep possession of it when he hits the ground. If he develops surer hands —-watch out!

  19. We can all agree this team is not like last years Rose Bowl team that beat a sound PSU..

    6-1 is somewhat misleading, injuries, coaching, playing all 4 quarters.. But, I and most of us hope the Sam we all fell in love last year can put together a great game .. Tomorrows game will seperate the men from the boys, all hands on deck will be needed to come away with a win in South Bend …

    I see Sam playing well above his abilities tomorrow, a game that will define who USC is. Like many of have shared, both teams have issues..

    The old bend don’t break victory on either side..

    Establish the run and run some more and pass and pass some more..

    Other than GA.. ND has not played a complete team.. USC basically is that complete when we show up as we did in the second half vs Utah.

    Sam and USC win a wild one!

    USC 38-35 ✌

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