Ed Orgeron Loves USC, No LSU

 

orgeron-lsuAt his press conference right now, Ed Orgeron said the LSU job “is the greatest job in America.” Didn’t he say USC was the greatest job in America?

If Orgeron is successful, Pat Haden might have to enter a Witness Protection Program. Or a better one than he is currently enrolled in.

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This Is Why You Don’t Punt

ucla-stanford-2016When I objected to Clay Helton’s decision to punt from the Utah 37-yard line in the fourth quarter, this is why: Saturday’s Pac-12 games. Stanford defeated UCLA with 24 seconds left in the game; Colorado interecepted a pass in the end zone with 48 seconds left to defeat Oregon; Washington beat Arizona in OT; Arizona State scored a TD with 48 seconds left; Oh, and Utah scored the winning TD with 16 seconds left.

Pac-12 games tend to go down to the final possession. So don’t assume your defense will make a stop even if Utah has to go 93 yards to score.

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USC Morning Buzz: An Ironic Nomination and Keeping Positive

You want irony: USC nominated tailback Justin Davis for Pac-12 offensive player of the week despite the fact Davis did not get a single carry in the fourth quarter against Utah. Maybe this sums up USC’s season. Why USC needed to play Aca’Cedric Ware a series over Davis makes no sense. The Trojans got a field goal.

Above, JuJu Smith-Schuster remains positive on the rest of the season despite the 1-3 start.

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The Latest Line

USC opened as an 8-point favorite over Arizona State according to Bookmaker.eu.

And now for a stat of the night: USC ranks No. 102 nationally in team sacks. The defensive line is not beating anyone on the pass rush and Clancy Pendergast needs to blitz more if he wants to pressure quarterbacks.

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Who’s Worse? (Cont.)

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder after the Irish gave up 134 points in four games. USC’s allowed 117 points in four games so at least we know the bar for firing a coordinator.

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Morning Buzz: Is USC Improving Every Week?

darnold-utahClay Helton said he believes his team keeps getting better.

“The biggest thing for me as a head coach is, ‘Are we improving game to game?’ Did we improve from Alabama to Stanford? Did we improve from Stanford to Utah? I see that improvement. Now, I’m a realist, too. We lost those three games to good teams, and we expect to win.”

I would agree for two reasons: 1. Sam Darnold is now playing quarterback. 2. The opponents have gotten worse each week.

But you also need to ask if the offensive line is getting better? Is the defense improving? Can there be a game where a glaring coaching decision is not influencing the game? When those things change for the better, then USC might be a team to reckon with.

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Saturday With Clay Helton

helton-alabama

USC coach Clay Helton said tonight Justin Davis did not get ball in second half because there were only three drives and “limited opportunities” in the second half. Helton said it was a Catch 22 because he also wants to play Ronald Jones. The odd part was Aca’Cedric Ware and Dominic Davis entered the game in the fourth quarter but not Justin Davis.

Helton said USC has improved from the Alabama to the Stanford to the Utah games. Helton said he spoke with Lynn Swann today and Swann was “very supportive.” Helton said several players told him, “Coach, we’re close,” after the game.

Helton said he trusted the officials to make the correct spot on the third down in the fourth quarter before he controversially punted to allow Utah to come back for the victory.

Freshman cornerback Jack Jones sprained his ankle and is wearing a boot on it.

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