This years vintage of USC Trojan Football is locked in the Ground Hog image of years past. The podcasts are angry last night and today and with so much talent we get the same result. But let’s not forget that this team does have talent. It does have a tough schedule which if you can compete this year you get the results of your labor at the highest level the sport offers. I’m from the opinion that we are getting the best of Clay Helton. He continues to show us that he has a ceiling and it’s his domain knowledge of the game and competing at this level is not something he showed up with. We knew this and can thank Pat Haden for all that we are seeing as it will be like this under Clay. One example is his inability to comprehend the Time Out tactical side of the game. We had Fresno State about to go for it on 4th down. They were not going to call a timeout. They were going for it and we had a defense that was starting to stop them. We stop them there and we have a 3 score game. But no, Clay calls that timeout because he is Clay. Gives Fresno time to think about things and really the FG is the right move. Thanks Clay I owe you one, Coach Tedford.
Clay in the postgame presser is what he is. Happy in a win and happy in a loss. Says all the right things with the exception of a Leader who has the desire to dominate in a world that swims with sharks. He looks for the row boat and hopes. Sorry folks but we have a really nice guy coaching JUCO football and is very pleased with his results that “his family” produces. He hasn’t separated the Head Coaching role from being a Players Coach and being their friend. He loves that image and relishes every interview to talk about the love the team and his love of them. He knows no other way folks.
J.T. Daniels showed a lot of growth. The injury sounds like it might not be as serious as it appeared on the field as the X Ray’s were negative as announced by Clay Helton and ESPN. So we all hope he can practice and play this week as I saw progress. If we can figure out what to do after the scripted 15 plays we have something to build on here. Kedon Slovis, was thrust in to the limelight in a game that should not have been a tight one. Kid has that Brett Farve feel (long way to go of course). Seemed poised but rusty as expected on handoffs and reads. No real surprise there either. Personally, I would have put Fink in as I think at that point in the game he could have addd a run first QB option that would have altered their defensive thinking. Oh well. Kedon was the back up and inserted as such. My score card on Slovis was a B. His postgame presser was an A+. Bet he wasn’t expecting that!
Clancy and the defense looked like they weren’t getting the communication from the Press Box. John Houston should have been spying Jorge Rena. Do that and his 20 runs would have been a very different story. We allowed Rena to look really good for a True Freshmen. Defensive safeties were good last night. Corners are coming along but clearly not where we need to be. Might get a break next week against Stanford if Costello is out. Unknown at this point of course.
So where do we go from here. Home game with Stanford is huge. Every game is huge this year given the schedule but next week is Game 1 PAC-12 so it has that added pressure as you think about the future. Still control your own destiny of course either way but a win against Stanford at home and you are 2-0. If JT can play and play to the level we saw against Fresno I believe we can compete with what I saw in Stanfords first game vs. Northwestern. It’s week one in the books. The Stanford game will be won or lost on mental mistakes and the battle in the trenches. If Costello is out we will see a true freshmen so preparing for him is impossible outside of the Stanford Way and Coach Shaw who is fairly predictable.
If JT can play Im calling for. a win at home. Tight game and as I said the trenches and mental errors will be the true swings in this game.
Get your https://usc24x7.com/game-day predictions in early this week!