10 things USC needs to fix during the bye week
1.) Introduce Clay Helton to reality
When Helton says, “I can’t wait for people to see this team come November, because I believe in where they’re going, I see where they’re going,” does he any idea people have seen this team in September?
He believes in where they are going? They have not gotten better. The pathetic Pac-12 schedule is what he believes in.
2.) Wrap JT Daniels in cotton
We already knew Daniels does not like to get hit. But he looked like he almost wanted to come of the game after taking a hit against Arizona and did not look the same the rest of the game.
I was no fan of Cody Kessler but he took a lot of hits and never acted like he would out of the game. Also, since Daniels’ arm is being rested this week maybe he won’t underthrow long passes against Colorado.
3.) Get some discipline
This could be a weekly feature. But it’s hard to lecture the team about penalties when the coach is getting a sideline interference penalty in the fourth quarter. Or when a senior (Tyler Petite) commits a false start coming out of a timeout. Does USC need to commit a personal foul every week?
4.) Don’t give special teams a break
USC’s blocked two field goals the past two games so John Baxter is drawing compliments from Clay Helton. But what about the two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on a punt against Arizona?
Does Baxter know how to teach someone to return a punt? Last year, Ajene Harris struggled nearly every game. Now Tyler Vaughns looks like he is lost at times when it comes to knowing when to catch a punt.
5.) Force Lynn Swann to speak
USC athletic director Lynn Swann needs to defend Clay Helton and why he gave him a new contract. His last Q and A with USC’s website was in January.
6.) Stop pretending things are better
There’s been a myth this season that Iman Marshall is new and improved. Two penalties in four plays popped that balloon. Marshall said the officiating was “terrible.” But we will see if NFL teams agree in the spring.
7.) Who teaches pass defense?
This piggybacks off No. 6, but Isaiah Langley’s had problems all season; Greg Johnson got demoted; Talanoa Hufanga couldn’t cover deep routes and Olaijah Griffin had a rough debut against Arizona.
Can everyone be this bad or is someone not doing much teaching?
8.) Put performance above recruiting
USC coaches must hit the road Thursday to go recruit! That is why there can only be two bye week practices. But USC has had great recruiting classes for several years and players do not improve or fix sloppy errors.
So who cares who commits if the players will just underachieve?
9.) Figure out what Neil Callaway is doing?
USC’s offensive line cannot get through a game without a false start. There was also a chop block and holding and then the bad snaps. Remember, there are three seniors and only one new starter on the line this season.
Tim Drevno is expected to take over next season but I don’t remember the line being too special the first time he was at USC.
10.) Run the ball
Since USC can run on bad teams, why not just run it like it’s 1979? Remember USC beat Ohio State in the Rose Bowl that year by just running it down the field on the game-winning drive.
So this team should do the same until they get stopped. The linemen will be happy because they can’t pass block. JT Daniels will be happy because he can’t get hit. The tailbacks will be happy because they get the ball. And Tee Martin will be happy because he will actually get to call those plays.