Sunday Night With Clay Helton

I asked Clay Helton about his handling of Jack Jones and whether something different needs to be done to control his emotions.

“Part of being a coach is developing players, physically and emotionally,” Helton said. “Jack is an emotional and passionate player. It’s my job to reel that in (when he loses composure).”

I asked Helton why lining up in a shotgun formation is a good idea on short-yardage situations.

“We’re comfortable right now in the shotgun. (The advantage is) the tailback lines up right behind the quarterback.”

Helton was asked about Pac-12 teams being 0-6 on Friday nights the past two years when they play a Saturday night road game the week before.

“Coaches really don’t have a say,” he said.

Helton on USC’s 18-2 record in its past 20 games: “Sam (Darnold) is the reason we’re here today.”

Helton said he wished he had a bye after the Washington State game but since USC made the Pac-12 title game is happy to have one next week.

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  • Arturo

    I’ll take every one of those answers and , since it is Sunday, will take two of them today.

    Jack Jack had a less than memorable game, but has had a solid season- his first as a starter.

    I’m a traditionalist too and never liked when opposing players talked smack, but think Helton is smart in how he is handling Jones.

    I know all of you who watched The U beat down ND saw the Gold Chain celebrations on the sideline after the INTs. Let the kids have fun and talk a little.

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      USC isn’t Thug U

      • Arturo

        Watch yourself. Even in the doc film Cath v, Cons did some ND players admit that BOTH schools had shady players. It is football man, it isn’t some home ec show.

        • CORTEZ THE KILLER

          I’ve watched SC football since 1967 and we’ve almost always had classy players, why go thug ?

          • Arturo

            There’ s a difference between talking trash and going thug. I don’t consider wearing a chain on the sidelines as being THUG. I respect my elders though and therefore see your point about being CLASSY.

        • rusoviet

          Remember that ad years ago, forget what it was for, where this black linebacker playing for the Green Bay Packers in uniform during the game rises up and yells ‘This ain’t a tennis match!”

          • USC jojo

            I had a NFL Football Follies video and Tim Harris was the loud mouth you are referring to. He was great.

          • rusoviet

            Man thanks! I’ve wondered for years who he was!

          • USC jojo

            Yeah, I remember that quote.

    • Brent4c

      It’s funny how everyone wants the team to play with swagger, but not actually have swagger. I believe JJ needs to tone it tone it down about 4 notches until he actually does something, but is also understand to be good at that position you have to be a different guy. JJ played very physical yesterday and he stil had his once a game blown coverage.

      • Arturo

        Ali could back up his talk. As could Bird, Jordan, and even Mayweather and MacGregor.

        • Michael Guarino

          I think Jack believes what a lot of kids I played with in high school believed —-that he can get inside the other guy’s head, that he can steal the other guy’s heart with just the right insults. Problem with Jack is I think he distracts himself and his team more than anybody else. I hope he takes the advice somebody gave me, “If you’d shut up, you’d play better.”

          • Arturo

            Spot on. Don’t know about it bothering his teammates though. I’d have to ask them. What is not disputable is that an unsportsmanlike penalty on a critical third down always hurts the team.

          • Pac12 fan

            So help Jack . Its ridiculous at this level

          • Arturo

            He’s an emotional kid. You should read about how Uchenna Nwosu almost quit the team back in 2014 because of his emotions. Jack has played well mostly. These kids are not cookie cut. He’s worth trying to help and has been more beneficial to team than detrimental.

      • Jack B

        I’ll take the Troy P’s any day of the week over JJ’s type.

        His big shotism wouldn’t be so bad if he backed it up. It would even be fun, but he gets hammered a lot.

        It was great watching Robert Woods have a totally spectacular day with the Rams today. There’s not an ounce of JJ in that Trojan star.

        • Pac12 fan

          So who is reeling Jack in as Helton states as coaches? Havent seen it.

        • 04Trojan

          Grootegoed.

          • Jack B

            The ultimate.

      • Pac12 fan

        Forget the blown coverage. His antics and penalties need help

    • rusoviet

      I concur and I will say Helton isn’t ignoring the true impact Darnold has had these past two years and hopefully for one more

      • CORTEZ THE KILLER

        Gomer knows that without Sam he’d be unemployed

        • Golden Trojan

          WHO RECRUITED SAM? WHO COACHES SAM? GET OFF THE GOMER ALREADY!

          • CORTEZ THE KILLER

            Gomer and Co have damn near ruined Darnold

          • SucKiffin

            USC recruited Sam

          • Arturo

            Helton convinced Sarkissian to offer Sam even though a five star early enrollee had already signed with SC- Ricky Towns.

          • SucKiffin

            Sure Gomer did … kid was going to SC regardless

          • 04Trojan

            His act and multiple handles are tiring.

          • CORTEZ THE KILLER

            I have one handle you simpleton

          • 04Trojan

            Simpleton? Please. Your handle ruins a great song and I rep Trojan Football like a lot of great people around here. Your act is tiresome.

            What would Belicheck be without Brady? This staff ain’t perfect, but they’re pushing through. Piss off already. Simpleton.

          • gotroy22

            You just compared Helton to Belichick???

          • RegalTrojan

            Warning…You’re surrounded by a bunch of spammers! LOL!

          • Gabby

            What’s your excuse?

          • RegalTrojan

            What’s your hourly pay?

          • Gabby

            More than you could afford…………must suck living paycheck to paycheck

          • RegalTrojan

            This is exactly what happens when a genuine bonehead tries to be smart. LMFAO!

          • Gabby

            This is exactly what happens when a genuine bonehead tries to be smart. LMFAO

          • gotroy22

            Sam’s grandfather recruited Sam.

        • Gabby

          Same comment 438 times….OCD

      • SucKiffin

        Glad Gomer admitted what we all know

    • Michael Guarino

      “Let the kids have fun.” That’s what Carroll did. Seemed to work pretty well.
      #NowLet’sWaitForOwnsToBringUpInstitutionalControl

      • Arturo

        Carroll’s teams never seemed uptight. From a different perspective, I know that people can be more creative and productive when they “Get into a state of Flow”- a term I learned in college about getting maximum output from students. My goal is to get my students to that state where they are self-motivated and where they grasp ideas easily. With Kindergarteners I do it through music, dance, and being funny (trying to be).

        To Owns, another victory for your Bruins. May the better team win on Saturday.

        • Michael Guarino

          A teacher who cares. I envy your students.
          I take it your message to Owns can be effortlessly decoded to mean, “get ready for disappointment.”

          • Arturo

            There was no implicit message to Owns. I made peace with him a long time ago. I really was offering up some goodwill. I don’t hate the Bruins, Owns, or even Beefcake.
            I do, however, despise the cynical attitude of some bloggers. You would think the team was winless by some people’s comments. i’m trying not to become too cynical myself as I get older.

            As they say, you can’t win an argument with a cynic.

          • Michael Guarino

            I hear you, Arturo. And I expect the Bruins to really bring the fight to us. But may I offer a rejoinder? It would be a flat out crying shame if a team that has slept through roughly half it’s games beats a team that has scrapped it out every Saturday since the first of September without a bye. It’s gotten to be standard operating procedure for the Bruins to take at least a few weekends off and point toward the November show down with USC.
            Not being cynical, but there’s something a little wrong with making ONE game into a life goal.
            #UCLAMotto:AllIsForgivenIfWeBeatUSC

          • Arturo

            Yeah, I don’t see what recruits see in wanting to go to a school with that kind of mindset. It is such a low bar. Funny because that school has such a good academic reputation that demands excellence. Unfortunately, having lofty goals academically hasn’t transferred over to the having lofty goals football wise. SC definitely wins in the heart category.

          • Michael Guarino

            After all we’ve been through, USC wins in the heart category —and the poetic justice category. UCLA winning would be a little like Mordred defeating Lancelot.

      • gotroy22

        Until one kid put SC on probation.

        • Michael Guarino

          One kid…..one agent….one parent….and one step parent……
          #ItTakesAVillage

    • Pac12 fan

      Jack needs to be reeled in . Hes a nightmare . Thinks he is twice as good as he is. Makes stupid penalties . Demonstrative even when he evens get beat badly like he did something good.

      • SucKiffin

        Nice punt catch at ND too

    • SucKiffin

      There u go … be Miami

    • Grammymb

      10 or 15 years ago I would have hated the turnover chain. Last night I was loving and laughing at it. Not sure why. But it was so over the top.

  • Arturo

    It is time to give UCLA and ND full credit. For they, along with our beloved Men of Troy, are the only FBS teams who have never scheduled an FCS oponent. Just saw who mighty Alabama scheduled right before their biggest game of the year, the Iron Bowl v Auburn, and it isn’t even worth mentioning the opponent’s name- no disrespect. One word- P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C.

    • rusoviet

      Why sir you are speaking about the ‘Mighty Mercer Bears!’ from Macon-GA

      • Golden Trojan

        Just glad I’m not a Bama season ticket holder, having to pay for a scrimmage in November!

        • CORTEZ THE KILLER

          Yeah because SC never plays cupcakes.

          • Golden Trojan

            Not an FCS team, ever.

    • Arturo

      RUSOVIET
      Thanks for the info on Mercer. I knew it was them and have heard of them. Now, thanks to you, know where they reside.

      • rusoviet

        Why sir you are quite welcomed and BTW us southern boys have got ta’ stick tagetha’! (Dirty Dozen – Mjr. Reisman (Lee Marvin) speakling as he leaves Athur Maggott’s (Telly Savalas) cell.

    • Golden Trojan

      Unlike the Pac 12, that does every thing it can to derail the top teams. Hey Larry Scott you aren’t the NFL comish, you don’t need to promote parity.

      • Arturo

        It’s funny you mention parity. I think if Scott were smarter, he’d promote and support SC more. When SC wins, so does the conference. I actually think that parity via recruiting will take care of itself because of social media. All the teams got better recruits and therefore got better as teams when SC was on top.

        • Michael Guarino

          “If Larry Scott were smarter….” Ah! So many sentences can be built using that as an introductory phrase.

          • Pac12 fan

            Larry Scott smart gig. Millions of dollars to him meanwhile Pac12way behind other conferences in future revenue with other conferences. Plus the Pac12 network looks like amateur hour

          • Arturo

            We call them sentence frames in Kindergarten. Here’s one:

            If Larry Scott were smarter PAC 12 games would air at a time when the rest of the country could watch.

          • Michael Guarino

            Ha! Nice! [Wish you were teaching at UCLA, Arturo —-ever notice the sentence structure on Inside UCLA]?

          • Grammymb

            Longest book ever written.

    • Grammymb

      The fighting Mercers.

  • CORTEZ THE KILLER

    “The advantage is that the TB lines up right behind the QB”

    Nevermind that it doesn’t work

    • Arturo

      We agree!!!

      • USC jojo

        I think Helton was being a bit sarcastic. The running back also lines up behind the quarterback when the quarterback lines up under center.

        Whether the quarterback lines up under center or in the shot gun, our offensive line is not doing their job. Opponents are getting in the back field so easily.

        • SucKiffin

          Gomer doesn’t know how to be sarcastic

          • USC jojo

            That may be true. Having to listen to sw’s voice, on a weekly basis, may cause someone, as nice as Helton, to become sarcastic.

          • Cloud Shaman

            it’s a whiney Gilbert Godfrey type voice

          • Michael Guarino

            Correction —Clay didn’t start out sarcastic. But, then again, neither did Kiff or Sark. What single, common factor could be altering so many coaches’ personalities?
            #Scott:ChangingTheWorldOneCoachAtATime

          • Gabby

            you should teach him how to be sarcastic. ….and don’t forget to address him as “Gomer”

            One more thing, tell him your new handle is SucHelton

        • Jack B

          Agree. Our OL needs SO much improvement, both from a pure talent level as well as coaching. If that part of our team was wired tight, we’d be a PO team regardless of our other deficiencies.

          • USC jojo

            You are exactly right.

    • AlohaTrojan

      And what exactly is the so-called “advantage” he thinks this provides? What an idiot!

  • LamontRaymond

    Damn, those are the best you can do? Scottie… you’d get crushed in the SEC 😉

    • rusoviet

      Kidding right? Imagine anyone asking any SEC coach a question that Wolf asked Helton – the 4th estate in the confederacy is the ’12th man’ throughout the entire region.

      • LamontRaymond

        Not kidding. He may be the dean of the SC beat, but his questions are milquetoast.

        • rusoviet

          What would you have asked?

          • LamontRaymond

            I would have asked if he feels the play-calling duties – as bifurcated as they are – is problematic for the team. And if the fact that one of those play-callers is his family makes holding him accountable an issue.

          • Michael Guarino

            Good questions —and better asked over the telephone.
            #It’sSafer

          • Jack B

            Only Dr. Phil would ask that. Then he’d say, “How’s that workin’ fer ya?”

  • ItsAllAboutTheBall

    Was it just me, or did Darnold look physically better (both Arm & Legs) on Saturday than he did all year?

    • Arturo

      Looked like Fink on that TD run.

      • Michael Guarino

        Sam actually made a nice cut to get into the end zone —-Matt just gets to the sideline and turns on the speed.

        • Arturo

          Ahhhh but we haven’t seen all of Fink’s antics yet. The guy can run and Sam looked pretty nimble on that jaunt up the middle too.

          • SucKiffin

            So Fink will miss
            Most of next season

  • Pac12 fan

    After this i know why we wont win a National Title

    • Jack B

      ucla will never win a national title no matter who your coach is. You little gutties haven’t even won a conference title in 20 years. So cool.

  • Fred Sampson

    There’s no power advantage, when you lineup in the shotgun formation in short yardage situations, opposing coaches know it, people announcing the game know it, fans know it. But Clay Helton has no clue, because he thinks he’s smarter then everybody else, he’s Steve Sarkisian, Jr. without the alcohol.

    • Pac12 fan

      So true. Put a fullback in or tight end in the backfield under the I formation. Even a drunk Sarkisian might know that

      • Arturo

        His name is Ruben Peters (FB)

      • SucKiffin

        Sucky would run a jet sweep ( losing 4 yds)

        • Grammymb

          Bubble screen

    • Michael Guarino

      There is no Steve Sarkisian without the alcohol, Fred…..

      • RegalTrojan

        Or no Kiffer without the hoodie and Denny’s menu.

        • Michael Guarino

          And the black eye. And sunglasses to hide the blackeye.
          #AtLeastHeDidn’tStealThem

          • RegalTrojan

            Yeah MG, that was his another trademark. LOL! You see, I’ve been thinking lately about this…Helton was already around with the team when The Kiffer and Wino Sark were still at SC, which means he was actually behind those two guys for the candidacy for HC of the team. So in other words, here’s a guy who got the job fundamentally by luck and simply being there at the right time, exempt from the due process and careful consideration for the job. And I’m quite certain that he was very much a known quantity inside the team, but Haden wanted to take an easy way out by hiring the guy more out of convenience than anything else, which leaves very little to surprise us that he’s still learning the job and the process will continue for a while if he stays with the team in the foreseeable future.

          • Michael Guarino

            A long (long) time ago —-when I played a bit of football, we had a coach who was much like Coach Helton. A gentleman who loved his players —-but was, perhaps, not the most dynamic personality that ever came down the road. I was the nearest thing to Scott Wolf in the locker room —-always pointing out the problems with his plays and smirking at the answers. Once he had to yell at me —-“I’m sick of you mimicking me!” When I look back, I realize that, while not perfect, he was a damn good coach—-and I was lucky to play for him [….although he did step out of character once when one of our overweight d-linemen intercepted a pass and he yelled “Yes, Bruno! Run! Run like an antelope!”].

          • RegalTrojan

            Rotfalmao!!! Thanks for sharing that story, MG. I had real good laughs by it! Yeah, I played a little football, too, and I’m sure I can write a little comic book based on some of the hilarious events that took place in the team between players and coaches on the sidelines and in the lockeroom. I always thought football brings out the extremities in human minds and emotions because it has a way of pushing people to the limits of their physical and mental tolerances. Hey, I think Helton would be able to be more than an adequate coach for a high school team. In fact, his personality and demeanor would be perfect for it because he hits me more as a father figure/teacher than a college/pro coach who needs to be a lot tougher and hard-nailed than he is in my estimation.

          • Michael Guarino

            Great thoughts, RT! Yeah —-I really identify with your impressions of high school sports —lots of great days with your buddies and the coaches. I hope you’re serious about the comic book! You’ve already got me lined up as a buyer!

          • RegalTrojan

            You think so, MG? So I should seriously consider getting my comic book published, huh? Hey, never say never. Sometimes things can happen suddenly without any signs. I will let you know when it happens if it does. And I already know I’ve got one real buyer already and a very important one at that.

          • Michael Guarino

            You have (1) fun football stories to tell and (2) you have a very engaging sense of humor— I say go for it, pardner!
            #Nobody’sDoneAComicLikeThat!

          • RegalTrojan

            OK, MG! Now that you’re empowering me, I’ll give it some thought!

            #MG’sGotMyBackNow!

          • Michael Guarino

            Got your back? Always, man!

          • RegalTrojan

            #MGSaidHe’sGotMyback!

      • Sas

        Mike what did Jack do?

        • Michael Guarino

          Same things as always, Sam —— (1) non stop jabbering and taunting after the whistle and (2) getting so turned around by the wide receiver that he winds up outside the television frame on 2 touchdowns. He’s only playing a little more intelligently than he played when he came in for Adoree in the Rose Bowl. For a guy who has the makings of a great corner, he’s sure slow on the uptake.

          • Sas

            Got it

    • Arturo

      No. 20 from Colorado was in the backfield on both 4th down runs. He didn’t even need to sniff it out. Jones bailed them out on that second run.

      • Cloud Shaman

        nobody blocked this guy

    • USC jojo

      It’s not necessarily the shot gun formation. Alabama runs out of the shotgun as do many other teams. It’s the offensive line that is the issue. They have been getting pushed around all year long.

    • RegalTrojan

      Non alcoholic Cutty Sark! LOL!

    • LamontRaymond

      He doesn’t come off as a guy who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. That’s a little unfair. You can disagree with his calls, but the personal shot seems a little out of bounds to me. But you’re entitled to your opinion, of course.

      • Fred Sampson

        When you go against the grain of common sense, then you definitely think your smarter then everybody else, especially when your decisions fail

        • LamontRaymond

          Conventional wisdom got Jeff Fisher fired. Going against that grain is why the Rams are killing it now. And 9-2 is failure? I like your perfectionist thoughts – I have ’em too. But the kids play for this guy like they haven’t played for a HC in a long time.

          • Jack B

            Fisher sure flamed out bad. He seemed really golden for awhile (even though he lost an insane amount of games). It’s totally amazing how much better the Rams are without him.

          • Jack B

            Helton seems a mixture of a lot of conflicting qualities. Strong in some ways, weak in others. Will be interesting to see what USC’s staff looks like next March.

        • RegalTrojan

          Warning! Spammers! LOL!

    • Pac12 fan

      Fred, do you know our record on teams over .500 this year? I bet you do

    • John Pepper

      Helton has no clue yet you always defend Tee. Just listen to each of them talk for 1 min and see who has a clue.

      • gotroy22

        Who hired Tee?

  • Pac12 fan

    Jack Jones is hurting this team. He thinks he is Adorre Jackson which he isnt. He needs discipline like sitting him obviously. Most other coaches would

    • SucKiffin

      Gomer has little control

  • Pac12 fan

    Helton is a calm positive guy, win or lose. The heat wont be on him til hear three or when Sam is gone.JT Daniels looks good in the future. But the expectations of a program like USC is National Championships not Pac12 South

  • Pac12 fan

    Hes not doing a good job reeling in Jack Jones so far . So if thats his job , get on it

  • Whew, I bet most of you posters are glad the season is almost over so you can stop having a terrible time watching this year’s Trojan football team.

    Such a pity.

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      If SC went 7-5 you wouldn’t mind

      • Grammymb

        They’re 9-2.

        • CORTEZ THE KILLER

          Really ? Re read my post, I said IF

      • gotroy22

        As long as the pregame tailgate has tri tip and potato salad he doesn’t care.

    • Golden Trojan

      JW, this is pretty fun, SC is 9-2, in the top 10, set up nice to win the Pac 12, big bowl game, a better team and staff next year. The future is so bright I gotta wear shades! Too bad there are only 3 more games.

      • Grammymb

        Did you buy them or get them on a street corner in Westwood?

        • Golden Trojan

          LMAO, a Westwood distributor gets them from China! Real Cheap!

      • CORTEZ THE KILLER

        Yeah, with Darnold and Rojo gone the future will be so bright !

        • GT

          Rojo will be gone, but not Darnold. I think he will stay one more year. You watch

      • gotroy22

        Losing by 35 to ND was so much fun.

        • Michael Guarino

          Look at the Big Picture, gt —-It could have been worse…..
          #Well,Actually,No……

  • SucKiffin

    Should had asked … Monte Kiffy D gave up a SC worst 406 yds a game
    Pendy’ soft D is giving up 401 yds per game
    Who is worse ?

    • Golden Trojan

      Pendy and Baxter probably need to move on. Bring in some bright guys to replace them.

      • CORTEZ THE KILLER

        Gomer and all his clown staff need to move on

        • Golden Trojan

          It would seem that if Baxter, Pendergast and Martin move on, the staff could improve. But not convinced Martin and Pendergast are all that bad.

          • CORTEZ THE KILLER

            Clancy isn’t that bad ? His defense is so complicated that he doesn’t want to play freshman and sophomores , and those are his words. And his complicated defense is giving up 401 a game, he needs to go as does Callaway

          • Golden Trojan

            Would not be sad to see him go, just hope SC gets somebody better.

      • Grammymb

        Need to keep Baxter. That being said special teams have definitely had a down year.

  • Lajollaboy

    Would everyone stop picking on Helton. He is doing a good job. If we win the Pac-12 title and the bowl game, he deserves more chances as the head coach.

    • CORTEZ THE KILLER

      You must be a bruin

      • Golden Trojan

        You Are A Troll!

        • Porfirio666

          A troll? Are all SC alums trolls?

      • USC jojo

        Lajollaboy is a USC alum,

      • Lajollaboy

        No Cortez I’m a USC alum. I’ve watched every game this season and love how the team has done this season. It hasn’t been easy but I think we can win the PAC-12.

        • gotroy22

          You loved losing 49-14 to Notre Dame?

          • Porfirio666

            GoyTroy has spotted a ketchup stain on somebody’s teeshirt.

          • gotroy22

            Poorfaggio has another non sequitur to share with the group.

    • Porfirio666

      Yup. The hyenas are picking on a coach who is 18-2 over the last year. They weep in their beer for Pete Carroll.

  • AlohaTrojan

    You will never be a physically powerful team, as you claim you want to be, lining up in a a finesse formation.

  • AlohaTrojan

    Sounds to me like Clay Helton may be suffering from dementia

  • Trojan96

    I thought Scott didn’t read our posts. Good questions Scott. It’s a complete head scratcher on Helton’s answer about running out of shotgun on power run plays.

  • Sandy Underpants

    I just watched the Colorado game, and USC totally blew them out. What’s the contention here? That SC didn’t win by 100? Hopefully SC gets to avenge that ridiculous loss to Waaazuzuuuu in the p-12 championship game. That will be fun.

  • Yale O. Leftwich

    SC is 9-2…against who? The once believed tough schedule is no more. Pac 12 is a weak conference this year. When ND and Stanford play at Stanford we will see another example of this. Stanford is playing better than SC… they played early Sept. They were having q/b problems and seemed to have settled in now. ND visited Miami and ran up against a real coached up team…the gift from Georgia turned that program around. Miami and Clemson will be a good game. Sunday night with Helton…what an adventure…never changes …nothing…every thing is fine. Good thing Sam is still the best and Jones one of the best, and receivers are getting with it.

  • Pasadena Trojan

    To Coach Helton: On third and one on the goal line, you get the qb under center, get two fb’s perferbally linemen and one tailback. Get two te’s and run the ball inside the tackles. The two fb’s will blast a hole big enough to let Scooter run in with his soccer shirt which will be in the color of pasley.
    On Jack Jones, have him meet the field on Monday morning at 5 A.M. and have him run, do bear crawls, burppes, windsprints until he pukes his brains out. That will help him develop real fast.
    No discipline on this team. Dissappointed.

  • Hubert Wilkins

    Helton on USC’s 18-2 record in its past 20 games: “Sam (Darnold) is the reason (I’M) here today.”