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USC Football

YAY Or NAY: The Trojans Will Be A Physical Team

October 16, 2020

It’s really starting to feel like a PAC-12 football season will happen.

YAY--USC and unless I missed the memo, the PAC-12 was able to get through their first week of fall camp and are still plodding forward.  On Wednesday the Trojans completed their first full contact practice in pads, and one of the first concerns on everyone’s mind was the injury report.  Not the most positive aspect regarding practice and football, nevertheless, the two go hand in hand.  Just to be able to talk about football from a coaching point of view made yesterday feel just a little bit better, even though we’re not physically out there...yet.

Palaie Gaoteote will be a huge benefactor under Coach Todd Orlando’s influence.

YAY--Fair or not, Gaoteote[IE] is one of a handful of players on the roster who has not lived up to the lofty ‘expectations’ coming out of high school.   Thursday morning during our daily ZOOM Meet-n-Greet, Coach Helton, candidly broke down the relationship between Gaoteote and Coach Orlando.  "I have been so impressed with the relationship between him and Todd Orlando. Todd has been really, really hard on him, and in doing so, IE is becoming a better fundamental football player."  “This is probably as good of a thing that could have happened to IE and his career.” Clay Helton discusses relationship between Todd & IE

It also underscores Palaie’s development or the lack thereof up to this point.  With the new defensive staff having more than a hint of linebacker flavor profile lingering in the background with Chris Claiborne, Michael Hutchings, and Hayes Pullard,--- it’s easy to smell what’s cooking in the kitchen.   

Now it’s up to Chef Todd Orlando and his sous chefs, with a limited amount of time to prepare a full course meal of Palaie Gaoteote.

USC’s offense in 2020 will appear more physical.

YAY--Yet another benefactor from the Todd Orlando effect.  

I loved what Coach Helton had to say yesterday when we asked him about the culture shift going on within the team.   At first I was concerned he may have interpreted the question as a slight to his leadership style.  Instead, Clay, was excited to explain the teams mantra of being “tough, disciplined and united.”    There’s been some criticism, including from yours truly, on whether or not Graham Harrell is committed to the run game.  It’s no secret, running the football breeds physicality and if there is one thing Coach Orlando bleeds, it would be physicality.  

So when Helton talked about “unit sawpping” yesterday...and the purpose for the idea, it made sense; “What’s been nice since we walked into this camp is our No.1 priority has been for our players to get to know all of our coaches.   It has been a point of emphasis for the coaches to get connected with all of the players: "We've actually had offensive players do defensive tackle drills and our defensive players work with our offensive coaches on ball security and catching."   “TO has brought a really great energy...and a great attitude of toughness!”   The shorter answer might be simply to “toughen up” some of the offensive guys who play in the trenches.

USC will cover the (-11) spread against Arizona St.

YAY--Considering the Trojans have barely wrapped up their first week of fall camp, this is an interesting opening line.  When the line opened with USC as a double-digit favorite, my first thought was which way will the money move...will the money see the Trojan’s covering and will the number get higher? 

One thing is for certain, based on the offensive trends we’ve seen so far in the the over!  These football score totals are starting to resemble basketball scores

Former Notre Dame quarterback, Brady Quinn, has gotten over the “Bush Push” game.

NAY--Not only has the Golden Domer not gotten over the game 15-years later, he’s making lame analogies attempting to prove the illegalities. 

Looks like Trojan Heisman winning quarterback and the guy who hammered the final nail into the Domer’s coffin on 10/15/05 has it handled 15-years later.

Parents, family members AND the media should be allowed to attend the PAC-12 games.

YAY--Sometimes the teacher becomes the student, and in this case, the parents have followed the lead of their ‘kids’ putting together a petition requesting permission to watch their children play the sport they love.  

These young men have made unnamed sacrifices, as have their parents, and the emotional toll is starting to have it’s effects on the families, so the last thing anyone wants to do upset Mama  and Papa Bear.   Because when those protective instincts start flowing, being on the other side of the argument is a lost cause. 

The PAC-12 gave their blessing.  When Clay was asked about the petition yesterday his response was a bit more diplomatic because the decision is out of USC’s control and lays with the county of L.A.;  “As we have been, as Trojans, we’ll always support their decisions and respect their decisions. Our prayers are that things do continue to get better, that we see infections continuing to decline.”

Would I have appreciated a ‘stronger’ plea?  Sure.  However, I’m also 100% positive everyone involved with the USC football program and athletic department want to see “their kids” hug their parents before and after a game.

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