The USC Trojan football program is at an interesting point in the season and as it relates to the tenure of Coach Clay Helton. They have won 3 straight. Coach Helton is 19 in a row and undefeated at Home in the Los Angeles Coliseum. Those alone are reasons to be encouraged. But this team looks like it’s still struggling for an image and culture of just who they are. A coach is all about the culture of the team. He or she sets the tone and then drives it in every practice, film session and on the field of play. Period. End of conversation. This team feels like it’s happy where it’s at and is settling for another South title. Well go talk to the LA Dodgers right about now!
USC settling is unheard of. I remember when a bad season was underway they would talk about turning down a bowl game if they didn’t turn things around, assuming they qualified in that year. This team seems like its just comfortable right now.
The game of football is fierce. It’s about physicality and coach Helton is not a physical football coach and his staff is falling in line right behind their leader. Leader is the key word. Clay is leading the program to a soft ceiling. In fact, I would argue that we are there. We may win another Pac-12 Championship but nothing beyond that. CFB playoffs are not possible with this leadership. It’s very apparent and no longer a question anymore.
Three in a row and 19 straight at home the wins feel like a loss. Go figure. Blame the referee’s as they hate USC right? Or is it that we are holding on the line and we are grabbing jerseys in the backfield with our CB’s and Safeties? Replay doesn’t lie. Whether we agree or disagree with our beloved PAC-12 referees the replays supported a lot of their flags. Excessive? Yes as we see way too many but the film doesn’t lie.
We face a very tough and focused Utah this week. Our players have some injuries and we lost our best defensive captain in Porter Gustin for the year and thus his career. He will be missed both on and off the field. There is depth on this team as we have seen all year long and the good problem is going to be keeping the minutes distributed with the young players as well as the veterans of the program. We saw several amazing highlights of what is here and where we are going on defense. Clancy will have to dial it up to keep our offense from having to play from behind.