USC Morning Buzz: A Victory That Ended With Quiet Celebration

USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold celebrates after defeating the UCLA Bruins 28-23 during a NCAA college football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

USC held off UCLA, 28-23, but even many of the fans seemed to grow weary of the Trojans not passing the eye test.

Excerpt: The Trojans did just enough to win but not enough to make anyone think they would defeat a top 10 team. That will not matter to Clay Helton but it matters to the Trojans’ fan base and to Athletic Director Lynn Swann.

They will want to know how USC rushed for 153 yards against the nation’s worst run defense, which surrendered 302.3 yards rushing before the game. That was 9 yards less than Memphis gained against UCLA, the Bruins’ best effort of the season.

They will also want to know how USC’s secondary allowed 421 yards passing and wide receiver Jordan Lasley to catch three touchdown passes. This is normal for a garden-variety Pac-12 defense but USC is supposed to be an elite team.

Wolf: USC won Crosstown Rivalry but few celebrated

294 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: A Victory That Ended With Quiet Celebration

  1. The Gomer era will end quietly after next season. Completely out coached by this rag tag guttie team. If not for them bring the gutties with all those dumb mistakes they win easily.

  2. It was a win column addition…that’s it…rivalry games are always emotional, particularly for under dog trying to prove something and be a spoiler…almost…only the trick punt return saved SC…they were dominated in the stat column by a team that dominated rarely this year…onto the battle with winner of the north and some bowl game…wish my hope was based on something substantial…12-2 seems remote right now, looks more like a 10-4 season, which is just ok…don’t see recruits getting excited ….

  3. As a USC alum and an avid fan of SC football, I have somewhat of a hobby to replay the exciting and fun parts of SC games in my leisure time. Even some older ones. With the exception of the Stanford game and the suspenseful ending of the Texas game, I can’t think of any other games that I would enjoy watching again from this season, including last night’s game against sucla. What does this mean? This team under Helton is simply NOT FUN to watch because they’re often so consistently sloppy and unfocused that they just can’t seem to put together four clean and complete quarters to put the games away even against the teams they’re expected to beat easily. In other words, I’m not so much dissatisfied with the 10-2 record as I am with the content of their plays and the team’s character. However, I’ll still be watching the next game and rooting for the team because they’re still my team. Fight On!

    • It’s like watching a Kiffin and Sark team … overcoming itself to barely beat a bad team.
      That guttie front 4 was awful, yet Jones couldn’t find a hole. Gutty lbs were pointing the direction of play each time. And it even got worse in 2nd half NO adjustment whatsoever.
      No wonder Gomer teams get completely drubbed vs teams with equal talent Bamer, ND, Stanford last year.
      This staff is amateur at best

      • This is only a suggestion, but your handle might be pretty obsolete now. Kiffin’s long gone, and he’s not affecting our football team in any way. In fact, many people might take you for a troll with that name.

        • To truly understand the stain that is USC football .. u have to understand the damage Goat and Suck have done to the program since 2005.
          Gomer was an assistant to those idiots … an assistant to those clown ! And stumbled on to this job due to their idiocy and no other reason.
          No one would hire Gomer as HC ever

        • Except he has been a regular since the Pete Carroll days on Wild West. Thus he isn’t a troll and he has consistently detested Pete’s basketball pals since they back-stabbed Norm Chow 12 years ago. And he’s been consistently right despite the rah rahs wishing it weren’t so.

          • SucKiffin has an origin story? And we care about it? And he’s hated Kiffin since the Pete Carroll days? There’s something called Wild West? Basketball players back-stabbed Norm Chow? I thought Pete told Norm to take a hike and Norm’s been exposed as a loser ever since. I think you should open up a blog for SucKiffin, cuz I’m fascinated by this sage

          • If 86er is showing his ugly lib mug can Owns aka Lavar Ball the Three Thieves Denier be far behind?

          • Chelsea is as dumb as her mother Hillary and as ugly as her Daddy Webb.

            #rememberwhenDumbocratssaidkidsare offlimits?

          • Santiago, all I claimed is that she is smarter than Trump, Jr. IMO, that’s a very low bar based upon what I have seen from him.

          • Hey look who has crawled out from under his rock! It’s 86er the ruin loser. It’s been quite a bad 12 months for you. Now Mora is canned by Chancellor Blockhead even though he is politically active and politically correct. You libs have no loyalty. You ran away from him faster than SNL ran away from the Democrat Molester US Senator and SNL alum Al Franken.

          • I heard you had your official Democrat Party endorsed breast-shaped stress squeeze-ball nearby to keep your blood pressure below 220/140 during the game. You must have squeezed that thing into a pretzel by the 4th quarter.

          • I’m pretty sure that was Pete Carroll coaching in the Rose Bowl. We saw Norm Chow Get 10 wins, in 4 years before he got fired from Hawaii, and before that he got fired from Tennessee, and before that he got fired from UCLA. He rode Pete’s coattails was replaced by a complete divot head and Pete didn’t miss a beat. So if that’s not a failed loser, you don’t know failed losers.

          • I’m pretty sure Norm Chow, who earned Hall of Fame credentials as OC at BYU under Lavell Edwards, was the OC for USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl and Pete was jealous when he was interviewed on the field after the destruction of Oklahoma and he was asked about Norm Chow’s unbelievable offensive explosion that blew the Sooners out of the game by halftime. But you wouldn’t know that because you are a ruin and weren’t watching the game.

          • And when Pete fired his ass…er.. parted ways with Norm following the BCS championship, Pete Carroll’s USC team went right down the drain right? Only a clueless Ruin would endorse Norm Chow over Pete Carrroll. Speaking of Ruins, Norm was OC over at UCLA during the Neuhiesal debacle and was one of the many guys Neuweasel threw under the bus to save his job losing season after losing season. Only a true loser would get fired ahead of Rick Neuheisal, and that’s Norm.

          • Pete doesn’t get the USC job until he informs Garrett, he can bring Norm Chow.
            USC O has been amateur hour since.

          • And this ruin troll doesn’t remember when Norm was used with Monte Kiffin as a selling point for Lame Kiffin taking Pete’s place…the “Dream Team of Assistants”…

          • Yeah, boy oh boy USC was bad after Norm Chow left. Let’s see without Chow, Pete went 65-10, won 4 conference championships, won 3 straight Rose Bowls, and 1 Heisman Trophy. Norm Chow got fired from his next (and last) 3 jobs including being the OC of UCLA leading them to a 15-22 record, finishing 2010 season ranked #116 in passing yardage and #118 in passing efficiency. Norm Chow was garbage and trying to credit him with the success of Pete Carroll is the biggest joke in college football lore. The stats prove it.

      • jones is a great running back, the front line at SC is a mess. the problem i see at SC is a lack of discipline and structure. it is like there is no adult supervision. helton seems to want to be their friend and never has a critical thing to say about their performance. lynn swann needs to fire helton right after this season is over. no decent prospect is going to come to SC with Helton as coach. sc has great talent at quarterback, receiving, running backs – and it all goes to waste based on poor coaching and lack of crisp execution.

        • I appreciate your comments, however the unfortunate trith is that we have to suffer many losses before Helton goes and X is hired. Let’s hope that Jack Sears lives up to the billing.

          • BREAKING!

            UCLA fires head coach Jim Mora
            Posted on November 19, 2017 by Thuc Nhi Nguyen

            UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora with his team in the tunnel prior to a NCAA college football game against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

            One day after UCLA lost its third straight rivalry game to USC, the school announced that it has fired head coach Jim Mora. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch will take over as interim head coach as the Bruins finish the regular season on Friday, Nov. 24 with a chance to clinch bowl eligibility at home against California.

            “Making a coaching change is never easy, but it’s an especially difficult decision when you know that a coach has given his all to our University,” athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. “Jim helped reestablish our football program, and was instrumental in so many ways in moving the program forward. While his first four seasons at UCLA were very successful, the past two seasons have not met expectations. We thank Jim and his family for his service to our school and his unquestionable commitment to our student-athletes.”

            Mora is due a buyout worth more than $12 million. UCLA said the terms will be honored and covered by department-generated funds.

            Mora started his career with the most wins in his first three seasons for any UCLA head coach, but went just 17-19 since the beginning of 2015. The Bruins went 4-8 last season.

          • Had USC not recovered the onside kick, would USC fans be reading this news about their coach?

          • watching the sc game i was almost OK with a loss because it would have led to a coaching change. helton seems like a great person, but not even a good coach.

    • Part of USC’s inconsistent play apparently is the way football is officiated in the PAC-12. The PAC-12 does not have the filled stadiums and TV draw that, say, the SEC does. And TV revenues rule. So to keep TV watcher interest and not let games get lopsided the officials “shape” the games by calling penalties against any team that gets 2 touchdowns ahead in a game to curtail their momentum. What i am about to say is pure conjecture, but it might be that the USC coaching staff knows the unofficial “rules” in the PAC-12 and thus might figure it is better to allow the opposing team to get back into the game than allow the refs to do it. At least they would be in some control of the game. So after getting a 2 TD lead the defense goes into zone coverage and splits its DB’s wide to dare the opponent to split the coverage. NBA does the same thing: a team gets a 35 point lead, then the other team catches up but the refs allow the two teams to fight it out during the last 2 minutes of the game. The players must know this is how the game is played which can lead to morale problems that must remain buried. This isn’t much different than what is taught in USC or Stanford or Washington State classrooms in that students are assigned group projects and individual achievement is not rewarded. The individual is only allowed to be rewarded if he or she pulls the rest of the group with him or her. This isn’t socialism or meritocracy but a hybrid that takes the worst of capitalism (TV ratings and revenues) and the worst of socialized sports rules (no team can be allowed more than a 2 TD lead or in baseball a 2 run lead) and combines them. I believe some Little League baseball is also played this way. My guess is that this sort of social system is why US Navy ships in the 7th Fleet have too many mishaps. How can anyone judge coaches in such a system? Football apparently does prepare players for real life in a politicized system where individual or team dominance is not allowed. This is pure speculation and what do I know?

      • Your reply may be a bit too far reaching perhaps, but there is definitely some truth in what you are saying….

      • that is the most absurd thing ever, but i do think it points to the mental attitude of SC coaching – excuses.

      • Although I do see the refs shaping the games I had never thought of it in the terms you postulate. If you watch the scoring and long pass plays Ucla managed to pull off, you will see holding so obvious it is unbelievable to think a ref missed it. In one case a Ucla lineman had a blitzing Trojan in a half nelson hold a few feet from Rosen with no call.
        I believe the TV crews might be in on the charade because they often make comments that agree with bogus interference calls.
        As for coaches going along with this I doubt it. If my team was being robbed by the refs I’d pull the team off the field and forfeit the game that would end the bologna and expose the stupidity

        • There is little to no way to square the way PAC 12 officials manage games. It was proven during the PC era that PAC 12 officials severely over penalized USC and under penalized their opponents on a consistent basis. The calls they make on seemingly insignificant events combined with their blind eye turning when USC lineman and WR are held in significant parts of the game is not reasonable unless their are “unwritten rules”. It saying USC is the most disciplined team, but they cannot be the most undisciplined team in the league every year for 15 years.

          • Except once again you are making your facts up you brainless rah rah. PC’s 2003 and 2004 were two of the least penalized teams in the nation.

          • You clearly don’t know what I’m talking about. Over a period of 3-5 years in the late 2000’s a study looked at PAC 12 officiating by team. This concluded USC received more penalties vs EVERY PAC 12 opponent than that teams typical foe each week. It also determined EVERY PAC 12 team commmittrs fewer penalties vs USC than any other opponent they faced. This is damning evidence against the conference and their officials. Other conferences are fully aware of how poor the PAC 12 officials are.

          • PC only coached 2 years? Who won all those other games? Is 2003 and 2004 the late 2000’s? You don’t Jane to like or agree w the data, but it clearly showed the PAC 12 had an officiating problem when it involved USC. Anyone watching games knows USC is flagged consistently for things ignored by the same crew when it happens on the other sideline.

          • 2003 and 2004 are when USC won two national titles and the offense was coached by an adult instead of two of Pete basketball pals, Lame Kiffin the nepotism creation and the Drunk. Surely even you can’t be that dishonest to ignore that detail to your conspiracy theory that the world is against USC football? Oh wait you are that dishonest. Never mind.

      • You’ll take a lot of knocks for saying what a bunch of people are already thinking—-but the truth is the Pac 12 is the “entertainment conference” —and the games seemed to be as shaped as “60 Minute” interviews […and the ABC announcers are obviously committed to crowd pleasing “story-lines” —-“Nice drive by USC—Now watch Rosen respond again”].
        But here’s where we part company, Wayne— the USC coaches are unwitting —not intentional—participants. Because of Helton’s lack of killer instinct, it doesn’t take much fudging from the refs to keep things exciting. Our style of football plays right into their hands.

        • Did you see the pic on Twitter of Nwosu getting held right in front of the ref? The player had his arm around his neck and got no flag, Langley barely grabs a ruin on a ball thrown out of bounds and they give them a new set of downs. Nwosu was held all night, and blatantly so.

          • Yeah, I saw it, Pudly —-I saw it so much that I got sick of yelling “HOLDING!” at the television.

          • You’d think we’d be used to it by now, gt.
            But the non calls get harder to take every year. [I think maybe it’s because of hi def….]….

          • If Darnold leaves, gt, you won’t have to worry about that next season……

          • Did you notice on the replays of the fumble that they (announcers) only talked about his right knee the whole time, as if they wanted the fumble and turnover to stand. The whole time they were debating whether that knee was down the opposite one was getting grass stained. espn agenda?

          • Yeah, I noticed —just like I noticed them saying that a USC interference call that couldn’t be detected on replay “had to be called!” Here’s what I think, Pudly —a lot of fans are so dim or so brainwashed, that’s it’s easy to convince them that a biased call is the correct call.

          • I think they were wanting us to lose so badly that it became more than obvious. Maybe they just wanted to put a knife in any further playoff talk. After all, there are many 2 loss teams, and they could just as easy end up with 3. In any case they certainly come across as leaning towards an agenda.

          • ABC and USC isn’t exactly a match made in heaven to begin with, Pudly. There’s nothing about who we are that they like.

          • Yeah —they can’t just call the game straight anymore. It’s getting like the news.

          • Yes journalism is dead. The era of calling a game or politics or news or even the weather straight is gone.

          • I guess —when you think about it —it’s easy to see where and how we went wrong. Hundreds of millions spent on delivering news. Unlikely that the incentive behind all that money is a desire to get the ‘truth out.’
            It was inevitable that the bias and slant was going to seep into sports broadcasting sooner or later. Luckily, I think most people are fed up and can read between the lines.

    • I am also an alum, season ticket holder and contributor. Your comments are good and I agree with most. But let’s not forget, this UCLA team was playing for their coach and season. While we were focused on winning a conference title, their focus has always been on us. What happened to Rosen’s “mysterious” injury? You think he might have been watching game film on us? He’s a great QB, but he was a little too prepared for my liking. No excuses, we need to be better, but rivalry games against teams looking to make their season can be dangerous. Fight the Hell on!

    • Observations…
      The Trojans week to week are always just flat.
      They seem ill prepared to play the team in front of them.
      The pac 12 officials suck.
      They play like a team with plan A or plan 1A Then no adjustments…
      In a strange way it reminds me of the Rams under Chuck Knox. You knew they would be hanging on in the end and score just enough to pull the game out like 10 to 6…
      Anyway truth is UCLA never led at any point in the game last night and again the boys from Figueroa Street held on and pulled the game out.
      And the band played Conquest…

    • Clay Helton will eventually play himself out of a job after Sam Darnold leaves, just be patient, because I’m not sure how he’ll be able to attract top coordinators without a contract extension. Helton’s current staff are unmotivated, lack identity, and have no direction . USC established a 10-2 record because of inferior opponents, nothing else.

      • Another poster earlier this morning reported that Swann plans to fire Helton at the end of the season and has boiled his replacement search down to 2 NFL coached and 2 from the college ranks. I don’t know aht to believe, however that posting provided interesting detail. We shall see.

  4. “Darnold should be mad at Helton because the Trojans did not have any timeouts left at the end of the first half”, the ABC announcers, on the other hand remarked, an elite QB should know what to do with 14 seconds and no time outs. Throw to the end zone, get the field goal if incomplete. Trash journalism.

      • Maybe stop calling timeout because you don’t practice correctly … and then after those wasted timeouts run a play that doesn’t work anyway

        • Keep hoping, sooner or later you’ll be right. But the truth is 10-2, you just troll on. You’re more concerned with coaches than team. Truth is he should have downed the pass as soon as the play broke down, and would have had time for one more play, should not have taken more than 5 seconds.

    • I get it against Western Michigan, but in Game 12 Helton can’t be organized enough to not squander time outs?

  5. 10-2 is 10-2, winning ugly is still winning. This team finally gets to rest. They’re a tired banged up squad, has anyone considered that maybe this has something to do with winning ugly or not playing four quarters. They will beat Washington State by the way people keep saying Stanford. Then it’s off to Phoenix. Fight On.

    • Looks like you’ve already forgotten about the game one against W Michigan. That’s when it all started and it became the pattern throughout the season, except for the Stanford game.

      • You mean the game they won. No I haven’t forgotten about it. It’s was game one. Yes I also remember the Stanford game and the Texas game which started the injuries and the daunting task of this schedule. Look I’m not saying changes won’t come they will. But some people it’s seems just can’t be happy. I think most people thought 11-1 if things go right. Well 10-2 when everything went to sh** and a very young team Learned how to win under difficult situations .

        • spot on. One win away from PAC 12 championship, which means nothing anymore to the blogger and most of the people on this board. Two wins away from a top 5-6 ranking. Finally a chance to get healthy and a very real possibility of a 12-2 season. Fight on!

          • What are you talking about? Next year? I Don’t buy your stuff. I root for the team not against it just so I can say I’m right. Must kill you they keep pulling rabbits out of a hat. I love college football for just this reason. How many USC coaches have had a run like this.

            I don’t car who coaches, period.

          • Never a good thing. Just be real about it. They had no classes that week nor a game and we went in without our entire d-line being healthy or even playing. I hate losing to them worse than anything. But it is the truth.

        • You mean the game that was an omen of what was to come ? A game where SC should have run them out of the stadium and gotten back ups in to play ? WMU went 6-5, not exactly Bama there.

          • No because it’s just a matter of time
            Check the archives same post type when dumb and dumber were here with their crap staffs which Gomer was milking a pay check on

          • Only time will tell, until then you’re still wrong as heck, 10-2, undefeated at home for two yrs, only losses were a short week when we lost 60% of our o-line the day of the game, and at nd, when they had a bye and no school the week of the game. And contrary to what you said at the time our injuries were substantially higher, 18+.
            I don’t care who coaches this team as long as they’re winning, something Petros wouldn’t know about, nor you it seems. Winning is all that counts in my book if the players are invested and not given up hope. Unlike yourself it seems.

          • To be clear, I don’t give a F who coaches, just can’t stand the negativity, over and over and over. Right or wrong No ones getting fired if they win out. If they don’t it’ll be on to the next ones. I’ve got no dogs in this fight, except the team.

          • That’s because you are a fan, a real fan. Not this I hope the ski is falling, even though it is not, joy stealing critical know it all’s. They act as if they know football and coaching better than Clay, who literally grew up in it and lived it for his whole life. I guess I am a rah rah who actually is happy we are back to winning and not a train wreck from year to year. I like our grown up coach who isn’t petty, isn’t a drunk, and is a man of character. Oh and he wins, quite s but actually. Fight on Pudly.

          • Having a good early signing class will help bring out more positive attitudes, but things have changed in college football with the advent of the “final four” and now everyone thinks it should be ours by birthright. Lost sight of what college sports was meant to be. IMHO.

  6. Jack Jones was fully exposed again. Rosen was all over his weakness. I am just glad we arent in the CFP . I would hate to go thru another Alabama beatdown if we performed like last night. I am not sure this teams goals were actually high enough because Helton rationalizes every loss or poor performance

    • He rationalizes every loss. At ND he said they didn’t miss assignments they got beat physically in matchups. That isn’t rationalizing that is brutal honesty. Since the coaching is so poor who gets credit for the punt return scheme? How about the development of Vaughns and Mitchell into far better WR over the season? Our D gave up 23 points to the likely 1st round pick. A different crew last night and ucla has 3-5 obvious holding penalties. They let their OL get away w a lot last night

        • Untrue. 42 also has a name and if you weren’t a ucla troll you’d know it and use it. He has benn called for offsides several times and more than makes up for it w his disruption. He was tackled 3 times last night preventing sacks and nothing from the pac12 crew shocking

          • That’s right Brent, if you don’t know the players name you must be a bruin.

            If I kicked Gomer in the crotch I’d hit your head as well.

          • Nice reply, I guess I hit nerve gutty. Enjoy basketball season you have a great D ready to steal anything not nailed down.

          • He is a troll, don’t let his attitude get to you. He’s gone so far as complaining about SC in other sports as well. In one breath he says he has daughters that run xcountry, in the next he says if he had kids he’d send them to stanfurd.

          • Except he isn’t a ruin troll, he’s been a regular on WW for over a decade. You on the other hand are a paid SID troll who will say anything to protect the hired help.

    • Like I said last night, Jack Jones is a loss waiting to happen. This is a 5 star? He has the same problem AJ had, play sloppy and let his athletic ability make up for it, except Jones does not have the same ability AJ had. Kid is missing fundamentals or cannot remember them. These are things that should have been taught in high school.
      Marshall is just plain not very good, and both are to slow, ucla ran away from them all night.

    • The coaching staff had to know Rosen would go after Jones. Had to know! What adjustments did they make to lessen his exposure. The blitz package never materialized. Jones was one on one almost all the night. The kid can’t cut it. Hard to disguise but something had to be done. Maybe bench him.

      • Jones exposes HS rankings. He was a 5-star in HS and now a 1-star at the college level…… an immature loud mouth.

  7. Rumors are starting to come out that Helton will be fired at end of season. Not sure who swann has I’m mind. I did hear that he has it down to 4 coaches.

    • Helton can get the Trojans to a certain level top 10ish. I question whether he could ever get this team to a National Championship.

    • As much as everyone hates “Gomer” around here…who started this “rumor?” Sources? Pretty sure you can’t fire a coach who is currently 10-2 and heading to the conference championship.

      • Why not? This team reflects Helton’s ineptitude and his staff’s inability to make very good athletes better. As has been mentioned here ad nauseam, USC is not a better football team today than they were September 1st. The entire coaching staff is responsible. Swann has been on great Super Bowl winning teams. He gets it. It is time for Helton to move on. The real question, who can Swann get? I like Jon Gruden for $7m year. Make it happen Lynn!

        • Assuming that a new HC candidate wants some vision of job security, who would take the job after a coach with a 10-2 record is canned?

          • If a new coach is brought in, he needs to know what is expected from him. He needs to know the team has to be disciplined, fierce, and mean.

        • I used to like Gruden, but after reading why Tennessee is having second thoughts about him I tend to agree with them. He has been out of coaching pro for to long, only had one super bowl win, which he inherited the team for, and has not been in college ball for decades.

      • USC was #4 pre season and has struggled winning games.. Yes the ‘rumor’ has legs.. Swann wants to win and he knows Helton will not do that for him.. His 3 year deal is up next year.. What is it $3.4 mil.. Easy to write a check and thank him.. Keep in mind the entire paid staff are on 1 year deals.. Clancy’s is done too.. ‘Rumor’ has Jeff Fisher as Swann’s #1 target followed by 3 current NFL coaches with NCAA ties .. Recent ties!

      • Not fired, but with all the job openings in the country (Arkansas likely, Tennessee open, Florida Open), they may grant permission for those schools to talk to him. Bigger Payday for Clay and an opening for Swann to bring in a NFL pedigreed coach.

      • Said he was going to practices and watching and that Helton lost the team. Funny because practices have been closed except to media. Also said he’s a former d-1 player and coach. What a troll.

  8. Trojans would fare better against Stanford in Championship game. Luke Falk might shred this secondary especially Jack Jones

  9. Once again your agenda driven writing shines through. Sam was very uneven yesterday. The end of half was 100% on him, terrible decision. But that does not fit your narrative of Sam being the only thing that “saves” USC. Baxter has great punt play called, no mention of that as you continually bang on him. Also, anyone could clearly see the best player on the field was Josh Rosen, it stinks to say that, but it is true. The guy is NFL ready, great reads and accuracy. Good college quarterbacks almost always torch the opposing defenses, yes, even Alabama. Our defense bent like crazy, but did not break. We did enough to win, which is the objective. Fight on!

    • I can understand your being happy they won, yet there is little joy in it. Had they lost it would have been because they deserved to the way they played. There is winning and there is not losing, this team is not losing, but not winning decisively like they should be. Not saying total blowout, but last night was a perfect example of what should have been a total blowout.

      • Sam is a huge part of the mess, he’s young, like most of the team. He’s spectacular and very average all at the same time. He wasn’t great yesterday by any means. Or this year for that matter, you Helton haters refuse to see that. He is one of the leaders in FBS in turnovers, yet, we have overcome that for the most part. Helton isn’t bear Bryant, but he has the boys competing and winning.

          • I side with the team. I pull for Sam and the coaches. I want Clay to do well. He is a man of great character and will represent our university and team well. I want for him to succeed. I think he is close. He recruits well, has kids playing hard for him, and handles pressure (at least from the outside) with calm and steadiness. I guess that makes me a rah rah.

          • Are John McKay, John Robinson, Howard Jones or Pete Carroll just hired help? Most of the hired help, including Clay Helton, are at the university longer than students. Yes, a lot come and go, but those that stay and have great success become woven in to the fabric of USC. I hope that is what happens for Clay.

    • Rosen lost the game with that unforced Interception in the end zone. Try watching the game. The Rosen Era is officially over and it was officially a disaster for the ruins. Cal will shred them next week.

  10. Rather be us than Florida State..or Michigan..or Florida…or Tennessee…or LSU…or Washington..or __________.

    • Yep! Funny how superior talent doesn’t do much for those programs like it does for us. That’s the only reason we win. LSU and Florida ST have out recruited us the last 5-6 years, Michigan, Tennessee, and Florida are really close to us in recruiting rankings.

  11. Looking at the scores USC is 6 points better than Mercer. lol
    Same staff
    Same result
    Same look
    Same comments
    A team full of talent that seems to be striving for mediocrity for some reason. This USC team is not playing to win, it is playing not to lose. There is a difference.
    The conversation the last few weeks was keep Helton and replace the staff that needs to go. I still stand with that. Martin, O line coach, Bradford and Tyson. They could do it right after the ccg.

  12. Glad we got the win. If you look at stats we lost, yes stats are not points. But again we did not dominate in a game where we should have. We seem to be happy with just getting by and that is on Helton and staff. Championship teams do not just get by they win and win big, leaving no question or any thing on the field. We leave lots on the field and seem to be happy. WHY??? Yes we are banged up and need a rest. But if Helton does not push the team in the right direction and coast through this time off we will not win the Pac 12 play off game. Fight On

    • It’s been on display for 2 seasons. He wrecked the Rose Bowl. He wrecked the division championship, and he’s about to wreck the conference championship for the first time in USC history.

  13. What a game when both sides feel like they were out coached. In the history of this series, this one is pretty forgettable.

    • I have watched every game since 1967 and this is one of the worst ones. The most exciting play for the USC people was the trick play punt return early in the first quarter. Hats off to the Bruins–they came to play.

    • No … your staff despite having a high school front 4 stuffed the run all game long
      and threw to wide open receivers while running the ball effectively
      Only getting fooled on a punt, a iffy clip call bringing back a TD, and Rosen throwing a horrible unforced pick in EZ kept u from winning.
      Gomer and his Pile were clearly outcoached

  14. Gomer has been able to unite the Trojan fan base….

    1. That he is in over his head

    2. That his play calling is poor

    3. That his clock management is embarrassing and unforgivable

    4. That Jack Jones can get torched repeatedly and should not be playing

    5. That SC is undisciplined (115 yards in penalties)

    6. That SC is consistently out coached
    a.) 2-10 on 3rd down conversions
    b.) allowing 421 yards passing
    c.) only 153 yards rushing against nations worst rush defense

    7. That SC should be better than they are demonstrating




    • The sad truth is we all want SC to win but losing was the only way Swann would have been forced to make a change.

  15. Don’t you think it would help if they called a play in the huddle, lined up and snapped it rather than look to the sidelines while everyone on the team is yawning waiting for a play to come in. This sideline play calling is killing any chance of a natural momentum.

  16. The game was anti climatic to say the least. I am happy with results but have had enough of the PAC 12 As a whole.
    If you want inconsistent calls watch a PAC 12 game. If you want awful banter during a game watch a PAC 12 game. If you want a long commercial break watch a PAC 12 game. If you want football written like a soap opera watch a PAC 12 game. Finally if you want watch a game on your PS4 because no provider carries the signal and your game system let’s you use a pirate channel watch the PAC 12 channel.

  17. An onside kick away from losing the game. Rosen would have scored on the last drive and won the game. Way too close for a 16 point favorite and #11th team in the country. Is Gustin Porter playing the championship game?

      • Whichever quarterback we face in the Pac 12 CG will see a different rush than the one UCLA saw—-if Porter plays.

        • What really stood out to me was how worn out Cam Smith looked, he’s played an awful lot of football and will benefit greatly from this downtime. He’s never been the quickest of guys but yesterday he looked tired.

          • I bet you’re referring to the play where he missed a relatively easy tackle in the backfield and kind of just watched the runner go by as he stayed on the ground. I thought the same thing as you —-“Cam needs a rest.”

          • I saw that, but the one that really showed was when he was dropping to cover a te and looked like his feet were made of concrete. He’s never been the fastest of guys, but he really looked used up.

          • Yeah. I’ve even notice in post game interviews, Cam is less energized than everybody else. He’s played hard, he’s absorbed the brunt of the rushing attack for a lot of weeks in a row and he’s exhausted. The bye will do him and the team a bunch of good.
            Expect a different, fresher team in the Pac 12 CG.

          • Craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Toe surgery, then the same week, with all the torque the foot and toes in particular absorb, I couldn’t understand it either. Would be interesting to hear the doctor’s explanation.

          • It was so early in the season, the coaches should have told him no to save him for games like last night.

          • I’m sure playing at Cal was better than ND and Ucla..staff should have aved him from himself. Of course he wants to play …

  18. If I were Clay Helton, I would go hire two of the best coordinators money can buy , because his current coaching staff will get him fired when Sam Darnold leaves, that I guarantee!!

    • Except Gomer thinks they are both doing a great job. And Fred, Gomer needs a whole new staff, not just new coordinators

    • Fred, in order for Helton to save his job he needs to replace the o line, dB, o and d coordinator who all have discipline and a toughness to them. Sc plays too nice. There is no meanness to them

  19. Didn’t Darnold throw zero interception during fall camp two years ago and then, this year, start the camp by throwing a bunch of picks? Was that because of his new throwing motion or him getting to know the receivers? Find out the answer to that, and get Sam back on track

  20. Same old, same old: Even when USC is ahead in a game, it feels like they’re trailing by 14 points. Last night also showed once again why it’s so important to have a 2 tight-end, 2 running back, or some kind of power formation, not the single back finesse-style crap USC uses. And ANYONE can see the only thing holding USC back from ever reaching its full potential it’s the lack of an elite coach. Do you think Nick Saban would have only beaten the gutties by only 5 points? Glad USC won the game and would’ve been sick if they haden’t. But it’s really frustrating and obviously won’t change until the coaches do.

    • Million $ question, Aloha Trojan: Do you think Helton would thrive with an all new, first rate staff ….or undermine them with his “I just love these guys —-they’re my heroes” approach?

        • My chicken s**t answer? A little bit of both.
          I think it would take Helton some time to adjust to a focused, fully professional staff. After all, he picked the present staff for the express purpose of creating “a tight knit family” (translation: a bunch of guys he could feel comfortable with). But, after a period of adjustment, I think he’d be okay. He needs an imaginative offensive coordinator and a more charismatic defensive coordinator (Clancy’s not bad —but I get the feeling that the players just aren’t playing 100% for him —-it’s probably hard to get excited playing for a coach so icy and remote).

      • The problem is nothing will be done because of what rah rahs like brent and Chris have articulated- we are 10-2 and Pac 12 South champs so there are no problems.

      • MG, the outcome would be a homogeneous mix of the coaches, especially if he hires really good experienced ones. If Helton is worth anything then he will listen to his staff and the face of USC football could change drastically, depending on who Swann decides to let him hire. Won’t be any more brothers, thats for sure.

        • I tend to agree, steveg. It’s nice for a coach to feel he’s surrounded by “family.” But it’s nicer for fans to see good football. I think Helton could grow with a top notch staff —just as surely as he’s growing out of the one he’s got.

  21. I don’t think I care about any of this. SC won, and that’s the bottom line theme for this season (and last (and this football program currently)). This team is one of the worst performing 10 win teams I’ve ever watched, but there’s 2 (or 3) games left to play and if they luck out and win those, great. Years from now, nobody’s gonna micro-break-this-team-down and say buh buh buh they won games too close, if they win the conference championship for the first time in history, and win the college playoff for the first time in history, everyone at ESPN’s heads will explode, and that’s a good thing, and Trojans will be Victorious, and that’s even better. And Scott can remind us that the team didn’t blow everybody out every week, so what, who cares. Winning.

    • Actually I think many of us will never forget the always-win-ugly, good-never-great, hugely-mistake-prone USC team of 2017. The most frustrating USC team many of us have ever witnessed.

      It’s been a very unique bunch for just that reason and I’ve never seen another USC team that matched its consistency for bone-headed winning week after week, punctuated by the brutal losses to WSU and especially ND. Some amazing close, last second wins too which are unforgettable!

      This is a very memorable USC bunch and they deserve a lot of credit for what they have accomplished because we have some major talent holes that were exposed once again last night.

    • Ten minutes ago, the posters are InsideUSC. Quick post. USC has a habit of getting UCLA coach’s fired

      • It’s a good move by Guerrero. The Chimp was good when they had Hundley. I think his players got tired of him – though I thought he had his team really ready last night.

        bruins can’t afford to keep falling further and further behind big dog USC. We own L.A. It’s tough being #2 like ucla.

    • Mora has similar personality to Harbaugh (but not the coaching record). His personality doesn’t wear well over time.
      That said, I don’t think they realistically could have played better yesterday.

      With the exception of a 9-3 season every 5-10 years, they are a .500 ball club. And no reason to except that they will be better than that down the road.

        • Surprised as well. I guess they still have a few wealthy boosters who care, and who put the pressure on.

          • They destroyed their fan base by tripling season ticket prices after Rosen’s poor first season so I assumed they were happy being mediocre.

          • Their alums and Chancellor Blockhead need to accept they will never be good at football and drop it.

          • Interestingly, the dismissal press release expressly reads:

            “The terms of Mora’s contract will be honored by UCLA Athletics, exclusively using department-generated funds.”

          • They are finishing their centennial capital campaign. Athletics must have received some major gifts in this campaign. Otherwise, that would be a huge hit to their athletic budget.

  22. If UCLA hires Chip Kelly, Clay Helton might get exposed. We all know that Kelly’s teams at Oregon were juggernauts. Imagine what he’d do with UCLA’s talent.
    I was surprised how well the Bruin DBs and WR exposed SC’s counterparts. Some of it has to do with coaching and technique.
    You gotta think that Dan Guerrero has been working on this hire for a while- it would be the smart thing to do. If Kelly is his Plan A and Helton remains his counterpart with our beloved team, not good.

    • Chip Kelly sucks, and I hope he goes to UCLA. He got fired from his last job. And where did UCLA get all this money all of a sudden? 12 million to hand to Jim Mora on the way out to the door and 5 million a year to hire Chip Kelly? Thought they use Tax Payers money.

    • Some people have said that Kelly won’t be drawn back to the College ranks because he doesn’t like to recruit. He didn’t like to recruit at Oregon because it is Oregon and the state has a small talent pool. Most of his recruiting success came from CA and TX. He had to travel a lot to see these recruits. If he were to end up at UCLA, he could fall out of bed and find recruits anywhere.

    • Don’t drink that Koop aid. Kelly’s system isn’t novel anymore, and he had management issues both in philly and sf. Actually, was called racist by some. Not good for a coach.

      • Philly and SanFran are pro teams and there’s a big difference between college and pro. i dont think the racist tag has stuck. Oregon almost winning a natty looms larger.
        As far as a system goes, Kelly will be out to prove himself after his failed adventures in the pros. No one is a slam dunk but I’d take a chance on Kelly were he available, amigo.

        • The system was new, now not so much, everyone runs up tempo, and many run rpo/spread. He even bragged about his nutrition and endurance program and that was a miserable fail. I’m just not sold on his success any more. To each their own, right.

  23. I am happy for the players that stuck with the school through the sanctions and have been rewarded with last year’s Rose Bowl winning team and this year’s 10-2 record. I don’t want to rain on their parade. The team isn’t at full strength yet, numbers and maturity wise, and a 10-2 record is a fitting record for this team.

    What isn’t fitting for this team is getting blown out like they did at ND and playing with no heart that night, and the fact that the players don’t seem to be developing as much they should.

    Let’s hope UCLA doesn’t hire a real coach and doesn’t expose Helton for it is fun beating the Bruins 3 years in a row.

    • The ucla coaching move should benefit USC and I bet Helton stood upright when he got the news.

      There will be immed increased pressure on CH to fly right and fix some assistant problems. Things just got urgent for for Helton’s staff and the program has to begin getting ready for an improved ucla in the future.

      • Yeah, things have changed but perception still is everything. 10 – 20 years ago, you couldnt imagine being on the hot seat after the 10-2 season SC just had. seems like the perception on Helton is not positive to say the least. Nice guys finish last. Recruits see this.

  24. USC’s offense needs to slow down the pace. Darnold needs to learn how to take snaps from under center. Helton needs to start utilizing the FB position. At least give the I-Formation a chance. This Trojans offense seems to be trying to do too much too fast. Take what the defense gives you.

  25. Honestly, the defense has more than held its own and actually has played really well all year if you consider all the 3 and outs it has had to endure from the terrible play calling. Not to mention Darnold’s 12 INT and 8 fumbles he’s had on the year.

  26. Clay Helton iis luckier than Kiffin and Sarkisian. USC has been able to win 10 games not so much because they’re a better team now, but more because the Pac-12 is that much worse. Helton doesn’t have to deal with a top 5 Oregon team. Oregon St. has bottomed out. UCLA couldn’t even get to a bowl. Utah and Stanford are having down years. USC didn’t have to play Washington this season.

    If I’m Clay Helton, I need to find a new defensive coaching staff and rethink my own philosophy on offense.

  27. Generally speaking, college football player’s skill level is a lot closer to High School than it is to the NFL.

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