Here is my analysis of last night’s game at Pauley Pavilion, which focused on the added pressure USC faces in marquee Pac-12 games because it plays an ignorable non-conference schedule.
Excerpt: USC has no doubt exceeded expectations this season. But when you go 14-0 to start the season and win 21 of your first 26 games, you need to do more than lose to UCLA by 32 at Pauley Pavilion. Full story here
And here’s another stat from the Andy Enfield era: I don’t believe USC has won a Pac-12 road game against a team with a winning record in four seasons.
Nick Saban hired Patriots assistant Brian Daboll as Alabama offensive coordinator. He was previously the offensive coordinator with the Browns, Dolphins and Chiefs. Now one could argue there’s been too many offensive coordinators at Alabama in recent years. Saban’s had three in the past six weeks alone (Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian, Daboll). But they all were experienced at calling plays.
Who is the last USC offensive coordinator that was experienced at calling plays before getting the job? Did Tee Martin? Did Clay Helton? Did Kennedy Polamalu? Did Jeremy Bates? Did Sarkisian? Did Kiffin?
Helton was offensive coordinator at Memphis, so I assume he called the plays. But that means one of the past six had playcalling experience. No, USC is not Alabama.
P.S. — It’s also true Kiffin and Sarkisian called plays as the head coach. But I’d argue that created its own set of problems and each eventually gave it up at USC.
USC goes for its fifth straight victory over UCLA tonight. That would be the longest winning streak since USC beat UCLA 42 straight times from 1932-43. But more importantly, here is a color photo from a USC-UCLA game in 1967 at the Sports Arena. The game went to overtime, where UCLA won, 40-35. And yes, that is UCLA center Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).
Long Beach Poly is being mentioned as a possible destination for former Oaks Christian QB Matt Corral. And Calabasas is the early frontrunner for Mycah Pittman. Former USC players Chris Claiborne and Marshall Jones have been coaching at Calabasas.
John Jackson Sr., the running backs coach at USC while Charles White and Marcus Allen played for the Trojans, died Thursday from complications following intestinal surgery. He was 81.
Jackson Sr. also held the title of USC offensive coordinator and was at USC from 1976-81. He also assistant head coach at UNLV from 1999-2004 under John Robinson. His son, John Jackson Jr., was a wide receiver at USC and currently serves as the Trojans radio analyst. His daughter, Tracie, works at USC.
First quarterback Matt Corral left Oaks Christian. Now wide receiver Mycah Pittman has decided to transfer. Pittman is the younger brother of USC WR Michael Pittman and already has an offer from USC. He is a Class of 2019 recruit. So Corral and Pittman will be a big package deal for some school.