Sunday Night With Clay Helton

Clay Helton said Notre Dame ran some new schemes against the Trojans that helped them run the ball better. He also said there were more instances of players getting beaten physically than assignment errors and credited Irish QB Brandon Wimbush for the defense’s problems.

Helton said cornerback Iman Marshall had an MRI on his knee today. I’ve heard he will be out 3-4 weeks, which could mean the regular season.

I asked Helton if college football pundits overestimated USC by picking them as a top-four team.

“I’ve always thought it’s not my job to worry about anybody else’s opinion,” Helton said.

One opinion who does matter is athletic director Lynn Swann. Helton said he and Swann meet every Monday to go over the previous game.

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  • Alvarado

    Start playing Chopin’s funeral cortege….Helton is clearly out of his class as a head coach for any top 5 program and I mean any!

    • schammer47

      Aivarado, Coach Helton and his Coaching Staff are Outstanding. The 2016 season, culminating with a Rose Bowl win against one of the Top 5 Teams in the country, a 4th quarter opponent held to zero points in the 4th quarter, proves their prowess beyond a shadow of a doubt. Consider this, if Coach Helton would scrimmage the team hard twice each week, his team might not have suffered the incredible number of injuries that have all but shut our 2017 program down. Football is contact, and contact is good.

      • usc fan

        Swann said earlier today that he will rethink the coaching situation for usc football at the end of the season. Sounds like Helton is gone. Rumors are he bringing in a NFL coach.

        • rusoviet

          He’ hoping to catch lightening in a bottle as the Rams did with McVey

          • Treff Bennett

            Loving my RAMS again-Sean is the real deal! THAT is a coach whose future is so bright….I gotta wear shades! Same scenario for Trojans! It happened with Pete, let’s make it happen again!

        • Chris

          how about young guy who is patriots OC, can’t remember his name. But being under belichek for a numbers of years is only a good thing.

          • usc fan

            Now that would be a huge pick up for sure

      • rusoviet

        Hey 70 year old….still a lover of Helton? Seriously are you?

        Helton “This is the worst loss to Notre Dame since 1966 someone told me but hey let’s all hug and smile….what a compelte joke I am huh?”

        Sooner you’re gone Helton the better

        • schammer47

          You twice insult me rusoviet. First, you crticize me for my total support for Coach Helton before the Arizona State game is played. Only a weavel simpleton (where I live we call them D*ckheads) with a heart of coal would give up on Coach Helton before he and his team Right the 2017 Trojan Football Program this coming weekend in Arizona.

          Until now, I can recall only one time when I took rusoviet down. I have hit John B hard several times when he, like you today, falls off the wagon. rusoviet, when Helton defeats ASU, you will Love Coach Helton and his Staff as I do and rusoviet, you should know by now not to mess with schammer47 because schammer47 CAN PLAY HARDBALL WITH THE BIG BOYS.

          • rusoviet

            Grow up boyo – Helton is a nice guy that;s all he is. He has no more business being head coach at USC than Hillary did being president.

            This is his second full year and as much as I loath Brian Kelly he saw his former staff for what they were – clueless. Would to the Lord Helton had taken a look over the Summer noting the need to prepare the new recruits to take the place of theose who departed – he didn’t. His first coached victory in 2017 was the template all used to continuously bring defeat to the door and then WA St. did just that.

            Lynn Swann made note 10 days ago – to a reporter – that USC should have defeated WA St.. An athletic director doesn’t make those kind of remarks to a reporter any nor than Darnold did, and then denied, about the lack of play changes for the offense play book.

            You go on now and keep telling yourself Helton deserved this job – one of the top tier jobs in all of college football you do that and watch the recruits turn away knowing playing for this program is a sure ticket to ‘palookaville’.

          • Treff Bennett

            Talk about being on-point! This is TROJAN football-coach should be ELITE! Man, peeps just “settle”! Why? rusoviet lives in the real world, join him and demand greatness! Palookaville-LOL!

      • Treff Bennett

        schammer47-defense gave up a thousand and one yards against Penn State in Rose Bowl-we were lucky to win that game! This year’s team is right near the very bottom as far as turnovers, we can’t seem to actually return a punt, we have absolutely NO IDENTITY on offense, the play calling has all the imagination of a wet bag of hammers, Sam is regressing with such alarming speed that Tee and Clay should be sued for defamation of character, the adjustments after halftime…the coaches know that’s legal, right? It’s allowed! Even Clancy is stinkin’ it up-how many times have we been gouged on third and long? Stupid penalties extending downs, the O-line is as consistent as Trump’s hairline….This is among the worst 6-2 teams I have ever laid eyes on! This team is essentially NO FUN TO WATCH-DAMMNITT!

    • Treff Bennett

      CORRECTOMUNDO! SABAN, MEYER, HELTON. See how crazy those three words look together-WE ARE USC-head coach should fit accordingly!

  • Chris

    The defense, while playing pretty poorly, is not the issue. It’s our terrible offense. You cant keep giving the other team the football and hoping it will not come back to bite you. Three times, all three stupid mistakes that could have been prevented, took the game to blowout status before we knew it. Fix that first!

    • Alvarado

      Are you serious? Did you see the way the left line of the Irish repeatedly exploited the USC counter over and over? Yes offense did not use any credible ball control time wise but ‘bluntly’ the defense was totally and completely out manned from start to finish!

      • rusoviet

        Sorry it happened again

      • Chris

        yes, serious. If the offense puts any points on the board and doesnt just give it away so quickly, maybe the undermanned defense can actually get a rest. The defense is bruised but not broken. The offense is broken. Fight on!!!!

        • rusoviet

          The defense was as clueless as the offense

          • Chris

            Agreed. But in the whole, meaning the season, the defense has played much better than the offense.

          • gotroy22

            Except at the end of the Texas and Utah games.

  • Old Trojans never die

    On to be a fly on the wall during the meeting with Helton and Swann…
    However whatever happens I am betting nothing changes during the season. This could change if ASU Kiffins us. Lose big in AZ and the Tarmac and feather treatment is looming .

    • rusoviet

      No won’t happen….who do you put in another ‘assistant’ as Orgeron was? This is Helton’s regardless of how the season plays out – 2017 is all his: his choice of assistants, his game plan, his practices, his ‘hunch’.

      USC needs Helton to stay where he is through the bowl game and then and only then, good riddance

      • Gabby

        Tee raised his hand, He’s ready to guided the ship if the skipper is axed……the blind leading the blind

    • USC jojo

      The only problem is, flies probably don’t understand English. 🙂

      • Michael Guarino

        Not strictly accurate, USC jojo. Jeff Goldbloom did when he was The Fly.
        #OrWereYouOnlyReferringToRealFlies?

        • USC jojo

          Lol….Got me there

          • Michael Guarino

            I just love the idea of humans with the heads of flies on Helton’s office walls when he meets with Swann……

  • 04Trojan

    Seat temperature rising…

  • Arturo

    Maybe Biggie will come back next year as a Safety. At the very least he will be a more experienced, mature CB. I think he gets Wally Pipped by Langley.

    • Jack B

      Grabby insists on playing CB and always has. We recruited guys like Bolden to play safety. The problem, USC misevaluated Grabby as a CB and he’s not good enough there. Nor is he better or as good as our other safeties in the program. The fact he may not play for the next month doesn’t even hurt us. So what. We’ll just have fewer PI penalties. We’ve got others who can step in, unlike in the trenches where we are stuck with mediocrity all year.

  • That running quarterback changed everything. ND looked unbeatable last night. Perhaps they are just really good, and SC is not really bad.

    But now I am worried about Arizona’s running QB.

    • Trojan96

      Stack the box with 7-8 and play the FS in cover 1 or man when it’s a 3 receiver set. Have Houston spy the QB and be patient. If we can keep constant pressure on the QB and limit mistakes they will do fine. If they play sloppy like they did in the ND game, then we are in for a long night.

      • Jack B

        Houston has no instincts and isn’t much of a LB. He’s probably a great athlete. Just not a great football player.

        • usc fan

          Houston was a great athlete. He is broken goods now usc trying everything they can to get him to the NFL. To keep the pipeline running. Bad idea in my book it has only exposed him

        • Trojan96

          True. But if you give just one assignment he might be able to make plays with his athleticism. Anyway we can always hope.

      • JBKayak

        Where was our Spy in AND? I looked a never saw one

    • Powerhouse SC

      Why would you even worry about that? You’re not even a “fan”. lol.

      • Huh?

        Because you are the personification of irrational negativity and I am at the other end?

        • Powerhouse SC

          Irrational negativity? You’re just irrational. Period!

      • Gabby

        John has been posting here for a long time. A very loyal and knowledgeable fan…now apologize

        • Powerhouse SC

          Mind your own f’g business and keep posting for the job security of Gomer. After all, it’s your lone income source, correct? And I know you run a dozen fake accounts in here. Yep, somebody has caught you! LOL

          • Gabby

            You should change your handle to Sherlock Holmes. I have been exposed. You’re no fun!

          • Powerhouse SC

            Is your last name Colombo? What?!! It changes everyday? Yeah, I know. Being a professional Gomer defender sure has its grief.

          • steveg

            Why not tell John you are sorry, he is a huge fan and a very good one. Never seen one of your posts before but caustic for sure. Perhaps facebook would fit you better.

    • steveg

      I think the ND we played against would have given Alabama all it could handle and more. If ND plays like that the rest of the season I would love to see that match up.

    • UtahTrojan

      How many of the quarterbacks that we have faced this year have looked really good? Almost all of them.

  • Jack B

    USC has a horrible offensive and defensive line. Horrible. We’re just lucky we always have good skill people, even though they are often rendered meaningless when playing good teams.

    Hang on Trojans. It’s gonna be a long bumpy ride before we finally fix ourselves in the trenches and a lot would have to be done to make that happen. Watching the USC OL and DL is actually pretty comical these days.

    Fortunately, ucla isn’t any good and is no better than the 6 teams we have managed to beat in ugly fashion this season. Thank God we still have the little gutties to demolish.

    Then we can begin watching the first public signs of changing of the guard among our assts, some of whom simply have to go. The problem will be finding superior replacements who will be hard to convince that Helton as any real security – because he obviously doesn’t after next season.

    • Treff Bennett

      Clay needs to go after THIS season, Jack! We can all see that he is quite simply IN WAY OVER HIS HEAD! And I like the man, but come on, it only gets worse from here…..

  • Trojan96

    The bottom line is that the team was not prepared and was outmatched. Our SC greats like Byrd, Leinart, Cravens have said it. Let’s see how they bounce back. Players and coaching staff. If we lose one or more games this season, I can see Swann clean house. Now this team and coaches will truly understand the meaning of Fight On!

    • usc fan

      Swann already said today he will rethink the direction of the football program at the end of the year. To me that say Helton is fired no matter what

      • Jack B

        Hope so. Helton had a good swing at the plate.

        The chances of CH ever leading USC to even a playoff spots are absolutely zilch.

        USC has to decide if we expect more NCs or not. If not, keep CH. If so, he should go after the demolishing of ucla. Unfortunately, that win might keep him aboard, knowing USC.

      • Traveler

        I think that means, if SC wins out, and goes to the Rose Bowl, nothing changes at all.

    • Traveler

      I don’t see this “team in tatters” bouncing back. Expect another loss at ASU with those hideous low IQ taco-tossers flooding the field afterwards. Then, lights out for SC due to a loss to Zona or ucla. This is not a good moment for Trojan Football.

  • usc fan

    I heard that chip Kelly is currently looking to putting a coaching staff together for a college team. Wonder if it USC. I mean him a swann just had lunch together a week ago only makes sense!!

    • Chris

      Bill moos is at Nebraska. He’s going there.

      • usc fan

        All I can say. Is Kelly is making calls to nfl coach’s. He not looking at any college coaches.

        • Trojan96

          Tennessee is looking too. Butch’s seat is blazing hot.

          • Gabby

            hard to compete when you’re the ugly stepchild

          • steveg

            Tee Martin can have that one.

        • Chris

          Bill moos was his AD at oregon. Just got hired by Nebraska away from Washington state. You don’t go to be the AD at Nebraska without a plan. He’s going to get Kelly or Scott Frost. But more likely Kelly. Plus their boosters will pony up the cash to bring him there.

          • usc fan

            True but don’t forget Kelly comes with baggage like no cause case with ncaa. Those two great friends but ncaa will never let them be together again. So he will get Scott frost usc will get Kelly swann is well respected by ncaa.

          • rusoviet

            Kelly always has and always shall hate to recruit which is why he is NOT going back to college.

          • Lunderful

            I’ve read on numerous occasions that Kelly hats dealing with major media. That said, why move to the 2nd largest media market in the nation. The scrutiny, oh, the scrutiny!

          • usc fan

            Then why take a media job. He is learning how to deal with media

          • Gabby

            That makes little sense, when he works for a major media company

          • Lunderful

            I’d heard that about Chip for years, plus it’s easier to be in media than a media target.

          • Gabby

            and you think Saban enjoys recruiting?….he has his puppets speak for him. Anyway, according to the wolfman, USC recruits itself.

          • Chris

            I don’t want Kelly, only because I don’t think he would stay. Back up the brinks truck at Gary Patterson or David Shaw’s door. Or go get young buck like PJ Fleck or Matt Campbell.

        • steveg

          Right, those nfl coaches love all that time and travel recruiting and are dying to come back down to ncaa.

    • Jack B

      ucla thinks they’re gonna get him. Since they’re closer to making a coaching switch, ucla would make more sense, unless Kelly is just too wary of the imbedded losing bruin culture.

      • trojan_1972

        I am thinking that the gutties are too cheap to engage on the Mora buyout

        • Jack B

          ucla is, but not their monied fans. They can round up the dough for it.

          • trojan_1972

            Yes, they absolutely can. The question is how many strings are attached to the private buyout, and whether Guerrero can manage what would be a complicated transaction within a completely incompetent organization.

          • Jack B

            Once the bruins get done dropping three more games this year, including the one against USC, I think the emphasis will be on getting rid of Mora, not his replacement.

            Personally, I hope The Chimp stinks at ucla. Imagine him next year without Rosen.

          • trojan_1972

            Even with CH at the helm, Trojans beat Gutties by 21

          • Traveler

            BS.

          • trojan_1972

            Traveler, in what way?

          • Jack B

            He’s a time traveler, haven’t you heard? Remarkably talented by all accounts.

          • Traveler

            BS because it is indicative of how Trojan fans continue to be in a state of utter avoidance and denial. SC could/should be 4-4 right now. Be honest.

          • trojan_1972

            Traveler, your point is that SC football has been a circus since 2009. Couldn’t agree more. It is depressing how one bad decision has been followed by several more. My comment was about the Gutties buying out Mora’s contract.

          • Traveler

            It looks like your comment is about a guaranteed 3-TD win over ucla.

          • trojan_1972

            OK, I see. Fair enough. The 21 point spread is what I think of the Gutties, as they are giving up nearly 500 yards a game in total offense.

          • Jack B

            We Trojans like to bag on ucla, their Trolls and their pitiful team and football tradition. If you have an issue with that, too bad.

            I agree with 72. We’ll beat little ucla big, though that’s not saying much. It never is.

          • Jack B

            Where’s all this avoidance and denial? You’re way off.

            Most every USC fan out there has been skeptical of USC, Helton and his staff all season, especially after stinking up the Coliseum against W MICH.

            You must have been traveling in space to another planet to have missed out on the constant Trojan angst about this radically inconsistent and often poor USC team.

          • Jack B

            The little gutties aren’t even a concern, I agree.

            Helton will make a big deal of it, proclaiming we are back on track, but beating ucla is so easily done now that it’s not much of an accomplishment.

        • gotroy22

          They have gone cheapo since Prothro left for the Rams after the 1970 season.

      • usc fan

        Mora has a 15 million buy out. He will stay at ucla for at least 2 more years. Kelly has been talking with swann for a few weeks now. They been spotted all over LA together and even at USC

        • Jack B

          So you’re saying that Swann has been okay with already meeting Kelly on the USC campus? Nice try. Show me a picture and I’ll believe it. No way.

          • usc fan

            Just ask the players brother. It’s a well known fact.

          • Jack B

            Were that true, I’d be blaming Swann for allowing such idiocy. No wonder the players wouldn’t play for CH in South Bend.

            But it never happened. Swann’s got too much class than to undermine his current HC like that.

            And if true, major news outlets would have been all over that, but they aren’t of course because it never happened.

          • usc fan

            Kelly was given tour by swann for his ESPN job. You don’t think swann is doing his ground work for a Helton firing. Also swann said on numerous occasions that USC should be coached by nfl caliber coaches. That he inherited this coaching staff and this situation. He also said Helton had done enough to keep him on for 2017 but no guarantees after that. Fyi swann walked out of the notre dame game. Also left early from utah game. Ad that like there coaches stay for the whole game. Ad that done leave ealry.

          • Jack B

            I have understood since last season that Swann has his reservations about Helton. That’s no secret and is well publicized.

            All I said was Swann did not meet with Kelly on the USC campus. You said he did and that’s completely bogus.

          • usc fan

            They have meet. On campus and for lunch a couple of times now. Swann is the perfect fit for Kelly to get back into college football. Swann is well respected by ncaa. Cause once Kelly gets a job ncaa gonna have a lot of questions

          • usc fan

            Pay attention the next couple of weeks you will hear more about Kelly.

          • Jack B

            That’s so funny that not one person on the entire USC campus has an iphone. Who knew? When did they ban picture-taking phones on the USC campus?

          • usc fan

            Really people in the football world know Kelly not judy in the accounting program. Helton is gone at the end of the season. Swann has pretty much said that.

          • Jack B

            Kelly was never on the USC campus talking with Swann about anything which is why not one person in the universe has publicly said he was except for you.

          • usc fan

            Like I said pay attention the next couple of weeks.

          • Jack B

            It might be worth paying attention to you except for your huge, bogus lie about Kelly meeting Swann at USC about anything. You are completely off your rocker, end of discussion.

          • Goatboy Kiffin

            No chance of that happening an AD meeting with an unemployed coach … that’s what cell phones and agents are for
            Kelly to SC would be great but doubtful

          • Jack B

            usc fan has gone completely off the reservation.

          • 04Trojan

            Maybe they met at Traddies…

          • Lunderful

            Maybe they both wore Grouch glasses to go undetected by the public.

          • 04Trojan

            I don’t buy it either. Nor do I like the idea.

          • Gabby

            He’s pulling your leg…..can’t feel it?

          • Jack B

            Really? People just make this stuff up for posting? It’s a new breed I guess. I figured he was very young, maybe a student, but I felt he might just be caught up in exaggeration, not an out-and-out liar. This everyone-wins-a-trophy generation has me wondering about all of our futures.

          • steveg

            Chip Kelly at USC is a huge failure waiting to happen. He may take an Arizona job.

          • gotroy22

            Except right now both Arizona schools are tied for first in the Pac 12 South.

        • Lunderful

          Would Mora’s buy-out be on the taxpayers?

      • 88 Straight

        Kelly isn’t coming to UCLA. Only delusional Bruins believe that’s realistic.

        • Jack B

          I’ve never thought Kelly was going to coach ucla, but Troll-like ucla people think just that.

          • j metaphor

            No, we don’t, Dummy.

          • Jack B

            Hey, you haven’t been around here much Wimp Boy. Now that you beat downtrodden ORE and you’re all high and mighty, nice to see you back.

            I see you still didn’t get one AP or Coaches vote. Sad that everyone still believes you stink Wimp Boy. Because you do, smell really bad.

          • Ben Factor

            Dummies abound. Jack isn’t a dummy.

          • 88 Straight

            There’s plenty of dumb to go around. Kelly could have his pick of jobs. I don’t see him coming to LA period.

          • Ben Factor

            Colin Cowherd mentioned it. Who knows?

        • gotroy22

          Because of the NCAA taint.

      • j metaphor

        Kelly is a known cheat.
        He’s perfect for SoCal.

        • Gabby

          Nelly said, “woody was a perfect gentlemen”

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      Total lie, he doesn’t fit the type of coach Swann is looking for in any way

      • Gabby

        Dude, you have no f***ing idea what type of coach he might be looking. The majority of S**t you post has no rhyme or reason. Calling the guy a liar is a reflection of your low football IQ……And i thought there might be some hope for you.

    • Arturo

      Let the Chip Kelly sweepstakes begin and let the rumors swirl. Maybe this will light a fire under Helton’s butt.

      • Michael Guarino

        One teeny problem, my friend —–it won’t light a fire under the players’ butts. They already seem to be sensing they don’t need to play for Helton (it’s a dumb approach for them to take —-but it is what it is).

        • RegalTrojan

          MG, if what you suggested is even partially true, it’s a rather serious issue for our team. And it’s really doubtful things of that nature are totally sealed off from leaking outside, which means LS has to be aware of it. Hey, this is getting pretty interesting, to say the least, partner.

          • Michael Guarino

            I’m only guessing, RT. It just looked to me that ALMOST the entire team was sleep walking thru the game. It sure seemed like a bunch of our d-linemen could have made more tackles if they stretched a little further or ran a little faster. It was not an energized effort. And the sideline —wow! That spoke for itself. I’ve never seen such a dead sideline. Nobody but nobody was invested in the game. The Notre Dame game! And nobody cared!

          • RegalTrojan

            In other words, the whole team quit, and I definitely agree, MG. It was simply as bad it could be with a comprehensive breakdown of the team! Do you remember that 84 yard TD run by ND straight through the middle? And the guy was never touched even once by any of our guys? I thought that was just mind boggling, and that showed how badly the team played in a nutshell. Some people talk about how poorly a number of individual players played in that game, but obviously, it was a much more comprehensive team defeat if you’re even slightly knowledgeable about the game of football. And of course, you know who’s not doing their job.

      • Fred Sampson

        There’s no fire to light under Clay Helton, because he did not prepare the team correctly for a championship run . The depth chart is not in order, and they just flat out lack talent on both sides of the line of scrimmage. And not to mention, the coaching staff knows nothing about developing players

        • Ben Factor

          The squad skews a little young bc of the sanctions and the fact that the best players skip senior year. Still, you’ve observed these failings from the beginning, and each point you make merits thorough investigation.

  • jkstewart2

    helton recruited the last couple of classes….he owns the meltdown in Indiana…. being mediocre may be ok at some places but $4M/yr says that SC expects better….

    • Traveler

      $4M/yr. is not the issue. An institution that has fumbled and bumbled and blown its chances since PC left (and long before he arrived!) is the issue. Bad leadership and integrity all around has turned SC football into a circus side show. Entertaining? Sometimes. Shockingly horrific? Many times. It’s absurd that this program lacks stability and credibility given the money, talent, legend that surrounds it.

  • Julio

    As soon as Darnold is gone, Helton won’t be far behind him. He’ll end up lasting one more year than Darnold.

    • Traveler

      You have to ask yourself why any NFL team would be hot to land Darnold now that he has exposed his poor qualities…

      • Linkster

        IMO Darnold is not going anywhere. First, no one would take him at this point and second, he badly needs a lot more experience in the college ranks to have any hope of sticking and playing on Sunday. He caught lightning in a bottle last year and has caught anything this year.,

  • Traveler

    Since misery loves company, imagine how fans of Michigan, Florida State, Texas, Nebraska, Auburn, etc. feel today.

    • Exactly.

      And I bet 90% of their “fans” are calling for the coaches’ resignation, firing or assassination tonight.

      Sports “fans” are truly the most despicable of human beings.

  • David Keeling

    I hope Swann tells Helton, you lose 2-more games and you’re out at the end of the season.

    • USC jojo

      I just hope he pulls the trigger at the end of the season.

  • USC jojo

    Here is a good article from Kevin Bruce, who writes for wearesc(dotcom)

    Defensively Speaking: Notre Dame review
    Our opponents always talk about our team speed and quick strike big play ability. What they never talk about is how physical we are or how surprised they were about how hard we hit them. That’s because we don’t hit them hard. And we don’t surprise them with our superior physicality and toughness either. A lot of metaphors would fit a description of last night’s game but I rather like “we got clubbed like a baby seal” except the seal put up a better fight.

    This game wasn’t about X’s and O’s. It was about a culmination of our coaching mistakes starting with trying to play a very physical game without 1) a real off season commitment to win the one-on-one battles no matter what and 2) recruiting and training the kind of players that will only accept winning the physical contest first before anything else. If you don’t practice physical football you don’t play physical football. If you don’t practice and demand proper technique and assignment football Sunday through Friday don’t expect it on Saturday. And if you don’t like getting run out of town by Notre Dame then you darn well have to urgently do something about it…which starts with an honest assessment of the team. So, think about this, what would an opponent right now fear about our defense?

    I couldn’t help but note Coach Helton’s comments about needing to look at the film to see what happened to our “gap control” with regards to the poor run defense. Really? Everybody who watched the game can tell what happened. We got blown off the ball and no measure of gimmicky safety blitzes and slants will make up for defensive tackles blown 7 to 10 yards downfield and then pancaked, or linebackers skating backwards, or secondary unable to close on an athletic QB. Before the game people close to the ND program said quite clearly that they had no respect for our defensive LOS (line of scrimmage) toughness and had even more disdain for our offensive line calling it “at best a bunch of guards”. We should be so lucky.

    We’ve seen this divergence from historical Trojan toughness over the past five years though somewhat masked by the effects of sanctions and scholarship reductions. I point to the ASU debacle when we gave up 567 yards or so of offense leading to the Lane Kiffin tarmac dismissal, or later on the 352 yards of rushing given up against Boston College in yet another embarrassing defeat, or Alabama putting 52 points on us last year. And now add last night’s total domination by a very well rested, well prepared and well coached Notre Dame team to that litany. The message from Notre Dame couldn’t have been any clearer, “we are going to beat you up and then beat you on the scoreboard…in that order and we will accept nothing less.” And our answer to that to play the victim and provide some of the best Notre Dame recruiting material imaginable on prime time national television. They’ll be talking about this USC beat down for generations to come.

    So, what’s next? Another game…ASU to be precise, in Tempe and at night. Sends chills down my spine. This is the ASU team that just dismantled Utah on the road yesterday with a tough stifling defense, effective special teams and an excellent balanced offensive attack. Looking at our defense I see one quality win against Stanford, sprinkled with some good quarters of defense but with some glaring challenges. Example, last week’s win was at the end based on a great tackle on a running QB for a two-point conversion after Utah scored a touchdown late in the 4th quarter. My point is we didn’t stop the touchdown just the extra point. Last night we didn’t stop anything really. And if folks say we stopped ourselves last night I would just point out that without those three turnovers in the first half the score may have been closer but we still don’t beat ND…it’s not in us right now and is plain to see.

    Right now, these are not teachable moments, that comes later. We’re just in survival mode and that doesn’t feel good but it’s the truth. So, Coach Helton, what are you and the staff going to do? Any personnel changes to consider? Or how about a commitment to starting players that play physical football not just the best athletes? How about communicating a sense of urgency?

    • David Keeling

      A HC whose team continues to play sloppy week in & week out and is out-physicalled is not going to be successful on the Division 1 level. And if the administration thinks they can fill up the coliseum with 8 & 4 type seasons, good luck to them.

      • USC jojo

        You are exactly right.

        His comment, that “ND ran some new schemes” shows that they were unable to adjust and if they tried to, they were not physical enough to counter back. And more importantly, were not prepared.

    • Stephen Randel

      Exactly. The answers to your four questions will be forthcoming within these final four weeks.

      • USC jojo

        It’s hard to imagine these problems being dealt with, especially after watching this happen week after week. We shall see.

        • Jack B

          Same old stuff. We’re fine against anyone mediocre. But put Helton up against a juggernaut and we’re toast, suffering in particular from no OL/DL excellence and now – horrible special teams too.

          • USC jojo

            Sad, but true. We win ugly and lose horribly.

    • Traveler

      Right now, Helton has the look of someone who is – as the Brits say – “quite prosperous”, meaning well-fed and complacent. You can see it on his face and hear it in his weak words which do nothing to suggest he’s taking his job very seriously, aside from the serious $$ he collects. Otherwise he would man-up and 1) acknowledge the problems, and 2) explain how he intends to solve them. “Nice guy”?! Who cares? Great coach? Desperately needed.

    • Chuck Holguin

      Well said!! HC is mediocre. Staff below mediocre. Whenever the Nat’l Title was addressed CH always took a step back and said “our goal is to win the Pac12 Title. This is USC!! Nat’l titles should be expected. If not go get a job at ucla.

    • B.Miller

      If you do not practice physical play; blocking and tackling then that will carry over to games.. In the case of Darnold, if you throw INT’s in practice and the coaching staff not discipline him in practice.. its will show up in games.. No one on the offensive staff says anything to him when he fumbles or throws an INT.. He lacks progressions, and stares down his WR’s.. All due to coaching in practice..
      I mentioned the lack of tackling and Alicia de Artola from Reign to Troy said “But USC tackles with practicing dummies” dumbest thing I have ever heard.. Tackling practice dummies is great, if USC was playing against Practice Dummies!

      • USC jojo

        Now I know why they can’t tackle. Amazing!

    • Treff Bennett

      Just an awesome summation of the current status of USC football-perfect spelled out with blinding honesty, which I hate to admit to, but unless we take an unflinching look into the many flaws of this football team-nothings going to change! If Clay says ” I’ll have to look at the tape” just one more time, when trying to explain “what happened”, I’m GONNA LOSE IT! I have had his back up till now, but this team, with LOADS of talent, is NO FUN TO WATCH and suffers from ill preparation, abysmal play calling, horrible special teams(what in Sam’s Hell happened to special team’s coach John Baxter-this guy was amazing and now….is he alive?) no second half adjustments…..etc. etc. Trojans need to PAY for a proven coach and consistently challenge for National Championships-NOTHING LESS!

      • USC jojo

        I could not have said it better myself Treff.

  • Xenuridesagain

    There’s a certain offensive coordinator for the altana falcons that will be available soon

  • Lajollaboy

    What I don’t understand about Clay’s comments is that ND ran some new schemes. We scouted and prepared for them and should have anticipated everything. To see something new means that we were not completely prepared. This is something no football team should experience.

    I like Clay and respect him but he needs to at least win three of the final four and possibly win out plus a bowl game win to keep his job.

    • USC jojo

      “This is something no football team should experience.”
      Especially a school like USC, that has a football tradition.

    • B.Miller

      lets be honest.. Have you seen USC prepared for any team this year other than Stanford?
      Difference is other coaches at other schools make offensive and defensive adjustments .. Where as USC continues to run the same damn thing each week, with very little to no changes to its scheme or personnel..

  • Avoid the Tarmac

    Classic Clay. always making excuses and never taking the blame for a loss. when he is on the tarmac next week with Swann next saturday night, there will be no excuses then

  • Yale O. Leftwich

    I thought T Martin said there were little to no surprises by ND…regardless, SC has not really stopped any real rushing attack,and good run blocking team; it has been the offense being able to get first downs and keep the ball from the other teams offense.The 2ndary has to be the worst in the Pac12.But there is still time for improvement, I hope. If ND Q/B GAVE THEM TROUBLE wait until ASU and ARIZONA Q/B’s get going!!!

  • timmay

    West Coast aka Cincinnati offense. Full back, tight ends, mobile smart QB under center, WRs blocking emphasized for RBs, ball control, hard nose running game and play action and short passing until defense opens up and boom downfield… That’s what USC needs. It rewards teams that can get the talent and have access to smart QBs. There are plenty of coaches. USC needs to get the brain trust together, with the first calls for recommendation being people like Norm Chow and Mike Holmgren as advisors.

    Btw, Chip Kelly realized that this offense was necessary; he hired West Coast offense guru Dana Bible as his Senior Offensive Advisor to help him remake his offenses in the NFL. I’d say we should hire Bible himself if he were in good health but there are plenty of good coaches out there who can run that offense. We probably should have taken PC’s advice and hired Mooch but he’s a bit old now. But heck, not to be ageist, if you had an old guy like Mooch or Holmgren for five years grooming a staff it could go well.

    • Treff Bennett

      Now we are cookin’ with gas! Timmay has a blueprint THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO PERTAIN TO THIS YEAR’S TEAM! Nice call, brother! Fight On!