10 Things USC needs to fix to beat Arizona
Here are 10 things USC needs to fix to beat Arizona:
1.) Find a philosophy
USC seems like it has a split personality when it comes to playcalling. I’m sure it has nothing to do with two people (Clay Helton, Tee Martin) calling plays.
But you can’t come out and run the first five plays for 75 yards against Washington State and then decide it is more important to pass the ball.
The offense against Washington State was to send the receivers deep and just hope to beat some below-average cornerbacks.
2.) Change the offensive line
Sorry, it’s time to make some moves. I don’t care who you bench, but there are a lot of veterans who are not carrying their weight.
The bigger problem is offensive line coach Neil Callaway, who seems to be in his own world when it comes to techniques.
3.) Learn to play situational football
Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast seems incredibly naïve or stubborn. His schemes seem to always be all-or-nothing. Watch the cornerbacks. Do they know when to press a receiver and when to play off a receiver? It doesn’t seem like it.
USC seems to be in the same formation whether it is third-and-3 or third-and-21.
There are ways to pressure to quarterback without blitzing and Pendergast doesn’t seem to realize it.
4.) Watch some film from the Pete Carroll era
USC does not have an interception in four games. It has one fumble recovery in four games and that was the first play of the UNLV game. Does anyone make plays?
Remember how some media said this was the best defense since 2008?
5.) Toughen up Clay Helton
Clay Helton viewed as an extremely nice person. But does that get the best results from the players? Even within Heritage Hall people say the players are not afraid of the coaches. This is because Helton does not like to punish players.
Then all of a sudden last week Helton holds a team meeting and starts yelling at players. Did USC look more inspired against Washington State? Not really.
It has to be genuine, not staged anger.
6.) Stop back-slapping special teams
USC committed at least two penalties on special teams and the punting still looks unremarkable. But all we hear about is how John Baxter was responsible for the blocked field goal, where a Washington State linemen went the wrong way and fell to the ground.
7.) Pray to the schedule gods
USC plays Arizona this week. The Wildcats have been mostly awful. Could Arizona possibly get its act together Saturday night? The odds are against it. And that is just fine with Clay Helton and Co.
8.) Get JT Daniels a makeover consultant
I spoke about this last week. Does JT Daniels realize how he looks with the bandanna and baseball cap? He is not playing in the NFL. He is supposed to be an 18-year-old college student. If he wants to look obsessed with his image, someone should show him this picture.
9.) Club Med U.
Is there ever a midweek practice where at least one offensive lineman is not absent or takes part of the practice off?
10.) Get the sideline under control
USC barely got an 11th man on the field before Washington State’s two-point play. After stopping the Cougars on one third down, the defense was so busy celebrating, there were about 15-16 players on the field and a couple staff members had to shove players off the field.
This is all stuff that happened last year too but the same mistakes do not get corrected in this program.