USC Radio Interview Of Day

Here’s an interview I did with 97.1 in Columbus, Ohio, on the Cotton Bowl and USC’s season.

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  • Stuart Leventer

    To be real honest, SC hasn’t got enough ammo to trounce the Buckeyes in this game other than Darnold possibly playing like he’s possessed in and out of the pocket. Compounded by the unexpected early exit by Tyson Helton, things are looking pretty bleak for SC at the moment.

    • rusoviet

      Not sure Tyson Helton will be that missed i.e. he was the ‘qb’ coach per Tee Martin’s statement he didn’t want to coach any ‘qb’.

      Who is to blame re. the shotgun <3 yds from the end zone?

      • Stuart Leventer

        Not that Tyson Helton’s abilities will be missed in this game, but a distraction is a distraction, and his abrupt departure before the bowl game will not help the team one bit.

        • Jack B

          Tee and Tyson were in conflict, sometimes open, during the season, which is the main reason Tyson is now at TENN. It got so bad that Swann had to get involved because of it. Now, that was a distraction.

          USC is a better team now with only one person in charge of the offense. The players just want to win a follow a leader. Easier for them now.

          • Stuart Leventer

            I see where you’re coming from, and your point’s well taken. However, in short term, I think it’ll work as a distraction for the bowl game coming up in two weeks.

          • Jack B

            I don’t think the team is giving Tyson’s departure a 2nd thought. That’s old news and bowl teams all over the country are dealing with common, expected staff changes. A lot of ’em are gonna win games too.

            If USC’s players are all weak in the knees about the loss of a QB coach with play input come Cotton Bowl game time, then we need to start recruiting a different type of kid.

          • Stuart Leventer

            I’m not absolutely sure how the kids will respond to the departure of Tyson Helton for this bowl game. But importing a coach from W Kentucky isn’t exactly going to make them feel previlged. To be real honest, this current SC coaching staff seems to be pretty subpar in terms of credentials.

          • Jack B

            Who are we importing? Ellis has been a USC offense admin asst with QB experience since earlier this year. No QB coach moves will be made until 2018.

            Tee now doesn’t have to be distracted (or annoyed might be a better word) by Tyson’s duties anymore and they were causing a problem.

          • Stuart Leventer

            Alright, I stand corrected. It should’ve been said “having imported”.

        • rusoviet

          Clay Helton’s body language was telling when he was asked about this departure. He acted as if he wasn’t sure what day it was.

    • Linkster

      What are you smoking? Tyson Helton means squat. The Trojans will have to play well but they have plenty of ammo. Sam and RoJonwill do just fine. You my friend have been reading too much from this blogger.

      • Pudly76

        Same things said prior to PSU last year and stanfurd in the CCG this year..

        • Sas

          Hey Pudly76,

          S.S. said that he spoke with Penei Sewell last night and he says that he would be very surprised if he doesn’t sign with SC.

          • Pudly76

            Yup, I’ve believed the same thing for a while now, evidently his official visit went a long way… if anyone doubts the Helton effect on recruiting their is a great interview of Peneii on TrojaninsiderDOTcom. It’s free, but he talks about the he feelings of the guys on the team..

      • Stuart Leventer

        Not much of a smoker, but you obviously smoke something of low quality because SC will have a struggle in the line of scrimmage in this game, especially with its OL against the DL of Ohio State. I’d be more surprised by an SC win in this game than by a loss in it.

    • Peaceful Warrior

      So your saying USC in not as good as Iowa? Big 10 is way overrated.

      • Stuart Leventer

        We shall see if Ohio State is indeed overrated. Call me in about two weeks.

        • Peaceful Warrior

          Ohio State is a good team but we can play with them any day of the week. We stop the run we win the game.

        • trojan_1972

          I would say that OSU is a high variance team. They can look very good (Michigan State game), or they can go in the tank (Iowa). Wisconsin hung in with them in the second half of the Big 10 CCG, and Wisconsin doesnt have much team speed. Barrett is an up and down QB, if Trojans play physical football it should be a great ballgame.

          • Stuart Leventer

            Agreed on your assessment on Ohio State’s occasional inconsistencies during the season, but it’s no indication the team will display the same pattern during the bowl game as I’m sure they’ll prepare for it to avoid them. Also, we must ask ourselves if our team has been a model of consistency throughout this season. I think it’ll be a real tough game to win for us.

          • Jack B

            Are you predicting a Trojan loss, consistent with the spread? May as well lay it all on the line.

          • Stuart Leventer

            Unfortunately, my personal prediction on this game is a loss.

          • Jack B

            I’m sure you’ll have a lot of company.

          • Stuart Leventer

            Not much of what I’ve seen from our team throughout the season convinces me that it’s capable of defeating one of the top 5 teams in the country in a major bowl game this year. Hope I’m wrong, though.

          • Jack B

            You should have watched OHIO ST vs IOWA. Remember how USC looked vs ND? OHIO ST looked just as bad. I think the reason the Committee left them out of the POs is because they were afraid they would get slaughtered, like they did last year against CLEM.

            USC’s uneven and I don’t like our OL or our CBs. But the Bucks have gaps too and USC won more close games this season than I have ever seen a Trojan team win. We win ugly, but any team that can beat STAN twice in one year, has a potential #1 pick at QB, and has other players like Nwosu, Hawkins, RoJo, Carr, Pittman. Vaughns, Tell, Burnett, Green, Fatu and Smith can cause real problems for anyone.

          • Stuart Leventer

            Yes. Only if those pieces would all come together to play one helluva game. However, it’s doubtful if we can beat them in the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball. That’s the biggest question mark going into the game.

          • Jack B

            Ya, we’re not favored. I’m kind of glad about that. It seems USC is always favored because of the brand. Nice to see us walk in as dogs. Since ND humiliated us, I think both the team and the coaches were forced to take stock of itself. And we can win even when we play horrible, like against ucla.

            We’ve got a decent shot. That’s all I’m asking for out of this bunch, which has already won 11 games. Did you know that ucla has never won 11 games in its entire history?

          • Stuart Leventer

            Yes, I’ve been aware of it, and it’s a pretty staggering stat. But I wonder how in the world our team has won 11 games with all the inconsistencies, stupid penalties, turnovers, and boneheaded playcalling. Guess the main reason is two words: Sam Darnold. And yes, even with all of his errors committed mostly in the first half of the season.

          • Jack B

            It hasn’t been all Darnold. The TEXAS, UTAH and last STAN game were all won by our D, straightaway. Strip fumbles, amazing stops. This team is the Wild Bunch of 2017. Crazy. Opportunistic. Sloppy. Hairball. Error prone. Maddening. Downright dumb. Brilliant. Tough. Athletic. Our OL is plodding and weak sometimes. Our RBs are awesome and run hard. Our WRs have come a long way and are now healthy. This team’s a crapshoot, but with just one more win, USC can get to 12 wins – only accomplished on 4 other occasions in USC’s all-time history.

          • Stuart Leventer

            I never said it was all Darnold. But he’s the key player that made it happen. Can you imagine the team being where it is with Max Brownes or even Cody Kesslers? I sure can’t.

          • Jack B

            Imagine the 1967 team without O.J. Simpson, or ’87-88 without Rodney Peete or 2002 without Carson Palmer. Those teams are all totally marginalized without those players. You can play this game all day long. I can’t imagine USC without Reggie Bush either. Think he wasn’t key?

            Imagine the 49ers without Joe Montana. Bye bye all those Super Bowl wins. Poof! What was Tom Landry without Roger Staubauch? Just a good coach who wore a hat.

            All great or really good teams have key players. I guess Tebow wasn’t a key player for UF, and Deshaun Watson wasn’t a key player for CLEM and Johnny Football Manziel wasn’t a key player for A&M.

            But a lot of people just don’t like Helton because of the way he got the job. I figure it will always be that way until he wins a NC without Darnold. If he never does, most Trojan fans will say, “I told you so.” With Helton, every single next big game is the one he has to win – or he’ll be exposed. And if we beat the Bucks, Darnold will get all the credit, even if he throws 2 picks and misses 3 receivers deep.

          • Stuart Leventer

            You are correct in most of what you said. But this current SC team is very much average without Darnold in it, compared to other elite teams in the nation. It sounds like you’re a long time follower of SC football, and I’m sure you feel the same about it. Do we have a star-studded coaching staff? No. Does our current team have a bunch of the First Team All-Americans like we used to under McKay, Robinson and Carroll? Not exactly. We’ve been expecting Darnold to be near perfect since his brilliant performances of last season, and he hasn’t lived up to that standard until late this season, but his stats prove he’s done more than his part to give his team the chances to win with other weapons despite his errors and turnovers.

          • Jack B

            Us Trojans are a fractured bunch. Kind of like republicans vs democrats nowadays. A lot of people here will never like Helton. I don’t care. I just want USC to win. If he falters, he’ll leave USC in a much better place than when he found it.

            We don’t have a bunch of All-Americas on this team. Is that Helton’s fault? This is only his 2nd complete year. He’s only signed one class as a permanent HC.

            People want everything to happen now. Swann’s got more patience than that and he knows what it takes to be a champion. He must wonder what life would ever be like if Helton slips below a 10-win season and a spectacular Rose Bowl win over PSU. And it was USC’s D that won that Rose Bowl at the end. If USC doesn’t stop superback Saquon Barkley for that big loss when all PSU needs is one more 1st and the game is over and then pick off the pass with the big return…

          • Stuart Leventer

            Well? That’s the price you pay when you accept the head coaching position at the places like SC, where the alumni and fans expect the team to win at whatever costs. And I’m sure Helton knew full well that he was expected to deliver it. In fact, he said personally he would “embrace” all the challenges and expectations associated with the job in his introduction a few years ago. That being said, the pressure to win immediately doesn’t seem to be limited to only our program. My personal perception is it’s being demanded by more and more fan-bases around the country going through more frequent coaching changes than ever before.

          • Jack B

            Helton got lucky to get the job. But the truth is, nobody really wanted the USC job after Carroll left and sanctions loomed. USC was in a very poor spot. The Kiffer was about the only guy who would take it when he did, actually. And then with the brutal sanctions, Haden had a hard time filling the spot once The Kiffer was tarmacked and Ed O was turned away. Petersen basically turned Haden down and that’s a fact. Sark jumped at it, but after all that so-called searching, all Haden and Mark Jackson had been able to come up with were Petersen and Sark, the drunk.

            I think Helton has “embraced” all the challenges. He should. He’ll leave USC a rich man and set for life if he’s smart. Then who will USC get. Fans are always quick to want someone fired (at huge expense) when there’s always a 50-70% chance that the new hire won’t work out either.

            But it’s clear winning ugly doesn’t go over well at USC. That much we’ve all learned for good.

          • Stuart Leventer

            Yes, indeed. For many SC fans, winning ugly or playing boring games won’t cut it, which seems to be exactly the Helton-brand of football so far. Can it be changed with Helton learning more about what’s required to be a dearly loved SC football coach? I certainly hope so, but it might be as difficult as changing his own personality, and we all know how nearly impossible it is.

          • Pudly76

            I love this team as much as any I’ve watched for over fifty years, they are the most entertaining if nothing else.

          • trojan_1972

            SL, agree with you on this. It boils down to whether Helton and staff pull it together so the team plays its most physical game of the season, and gives Sam the support he needs to perform. Great test of Helton to go head-to-head with Meyer. If it is close, Trojans have Darnold, and OSU has Barrett. I like SC chances in that case. Can we keep it close?

          • Stuart Leventer

            That’s a good question. I think we might be able to keep it close only if we can match them physically in the trenches, otherwise the game might get out of hand early.

          • trojan_1972

            Agree – can’t have another Notre Dame experience.

          • Stuart Leventer

            Jeez…that was simply horrendous. The worst SC game ever as far as I can remember.

          • JBKayak

            ND was on the road, after their bye and they were looking for some payback from last year. The game just snowballed after the first turn over and some Irish refs, as usual. ND played relaxed and aggressive once they got the lead. A team has to overcome many obstacles to win in South Bend. ‘luck’ of the Irish is very real when they play at home.

          • fast fred

            PAC-12 refs!

          • JBKayak

            Pac-12 refs have the same agenda against SC as the Irish

          • JBKayak

            Our bowl prep last year was not impressive. Again, Darnold refuses to loose, the ultimate competitor. We should stop calling them ugly wins, they’re we’re games Sam refused to loose

          • Ted

            What about Jack “i get burned” Jones and Iman “tiny” marshall?

          • fast fred

            Are you?

          • Jack B

            Don’t you get tired of following me around all day wimp? Get lost.

  • rusoviet

    Good radio points made by Wolf – the interviewer is the home commentator for the OH St. Buckeyes. Wolf asked about a ‘prediction’ “It’s early but just based on the season I have to go with OH St….” at the 10+ minute mark.

    I agree with Wolf

  • Brent4c

    How about Ohio St better show up. If SC loses this it will be right off the bat or in the 3rd quarter. If it is close in the 4th SC is one of the best teams in the country in the 4th quarter.

  • Golden Trojan

    Wolf is talking to a guy who doesn’t have the credentials to even go to the Cotton Bowl, does his usual negative spin on USC. A month to prep and rest, SC will be as ready as it will ever be all season. Will come down to coaching and who wants it. Porter Gustin would tip the scales to SC.

  • Porfirio666

    A discussion that shows what a “Debbie Downer” that Scottie is.