USC Sinks To Lowest Point Under Clay Helton
Now you know why I picked UCLA.
USC was its usual self against even the lowly Bruins on Saturday and paid the price in a 34-27 loss before 56,117, the smallest crowd in the Crosstown Rivalry since 1950.
Once again, Clay Helton’s stubborness killed any chance of a victory. He insisted on playing JT Daniels, who threw a couple interceptions and never performed in crunch time. He also allowed Toa Lobendahn to play despite two horrendous snaps that resulted in false starts.
On the game’s big play with USC facing fourth-and-3 at the UCLA 29 in the final minute, Daniels locked on to Amon-Ra St. Brown and threw to him despite double coverage. At least one other receiver was wide open but Daniels only had eyes for his Mater Dei teammate.
USC wins this game if Jack Sears plays. He is bigger and mobile. USC runs an RPO offense and Daniels is not athletic enough.
If that wasn’t enough, defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast was completely clueless at stopping the run. The Trojans’ defense looked slow and ignorant USC pundits said in the summer this was going to be the best defense since 2008.
Will Helton get fired after this? I will have more on that during the week including inside info on a top candidate to replace him.
Meanwhile, here is some post-gam reaction:.
Helton, who got heckled by USC fans as he came off the field:
“It doesn’t bother me. It rolls off my back, so I’m not worried about it.
““I know the job. The job is you win, people are going to pat you on the back. If you lose, they are going to get after you. If you don’t like it, don’t be in this profession.”
Helton on Lynn Swann: “He hugged my neck and said, ‘I’ll see you Monday,’ I’ve got great support from USC, from Lynn Swann, and these players.”
And from JT Daniels, who said his second INT slipped from his hand and he meant to throw the ball out of bounds.
"If you blame Clay Helton for that loss, you have no idea what football is. There's things that players aren't executing. That's it. That's the players' part of the ball game, just to make the plays."
Daniels was asked if he felt bad for Helton: "Absolutely. I completely feel that. If you ask Coach Helton if he could do better, I promise you he'd say yes."