Here are my thoughts from Scrimmage No. 3, where Ronald Jones and Stephen Carr had good days . . . against the reserves. And all under the watchful eye of Colin Cowherd.
Excerpt: Even one loss in the first month this year would be considered a disaster. USC scrimmaged Saturday with its super fan, Fox radio host Colin Cowherd, watching again. Cowherd has turned sucking up to USC and Clay Helton into a cottage industry.
And Cowherd doesn’t like losers. So if USC has a slow start, he might turn on his buddy, Helton. That is what fans do.
But if USC’s starting defense does to teams what it did to its own offense during training camp, Cowherd will be pumping up the Trojans all season. The thought of that might be worse than USC losing a game.
Walk-on linbacker Grant Moore earned a scholarship last night. His father is former USC linebacker Rex Moore, pictured above in the 1985 USC-UCLA game. Grant will have a long way to go to be match his father’s quotes.
Here’s what Rex said about playing Washington State in 1986.
“Everybody there thinks we’re Hollywood surfer weirdoes — long hair, sunglasses, thongs. That’s OK. Because we all think they’re rednecks.”
USC scrimmaged at the Coliseum today but the No. 1 defense did not even play. The No. 1 offense played one series and scored a touchdown. So if you read breathless reports elsewhere, remember that the starting offense was against the reserve defense. Sam Darnold threw a TD pass to Steven Mitchell to end the series.
The kickers were inconsistent: Frontrunner Michael Brown was 2 for 5 while walk-on Chase McGrath was 4 for 5. So the kicking competition remains open. Clay Helton confirmed cornerback Jonathan Lockett will miss the season after undergoing hip surgery. Defensive end Hunter Echols underwent an operation for an infection in his hip joint. He is supposed to redshirt this year.
In my analysis today, I look at how USC has gone nine months without a depth chart, the longest period in at least 22 years. There was no spring depth chart and nothing appears imminent until August 27.
Excerpt: History tells us Helton does not always like to make definitive decisions anyways. Remember last year Max Browne was named the starting quarterback but Darnold still played in the Alabama game.
The weird part was Darnold barely played in the loss at Stanford, where he could have made a difference. It turned out to be Browne’s final start at USC and the Darnold legend was born.
If you listen to the coaches, they act like first-team reps don’t matter when deciding who starts. So why is Steven Mitchell getting first-team reps over Tyler Vaughns?
If USC started a game today, the starting receivers would be Deontay Burnett, Jalen Greene and Mitchell. It’s a perseverance crew: Greene was a quarterback in high school; Burnett was almost an afterthought when he came to USC in the shadow of higher-ranked Serra players and Mitchell’s overcome two knee surgeries.
When USC unveiled Tommy Trojan in 1930, the respected actor George Arliss attended the ceremony. One of the speakers at the Hecuba ceremony was former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a graduate of UCLA. USC went out of its way to note Villaraigosa’s daughter attended USC and he taught at the university.