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Wolf: USC charade comes to an end at Notre Dame

By in Press Enterprise on October 22, 2017

By Scott Wolf

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The charade that is USC football finally got exposed Saturday night.

For nearly two months, USC never improved, made too many mistakes and played to the level of its opponent. USC coach Clay Helton never acknowledged this and questions on these subjects were regarded as an affront to a 6-1 team.

Helton can no longer hide from reality after No. 13 Notre Dame crushed No. 11 USC, 49-14, in front of 77,622.

The fallacy that USC was an elite team came to a crushing halt as Notre Dame rushed for 377 yards while the Trojans gained 76.

“I’m embarrassed,” USC safety Chris Hawkins said.

But no one should be surprised. USC’s played virtually the same every game this season but got their comeuppance against the Irish (6-1), who were more physical and intelligent than the array of mediocre Pac-12 teams the Trojans toyed with but usually defeated.

But Notre Dame is not a team that beats itself. It requires a full effort to be defeated. And USC (6-2) is incapable of that because it never plays with a sense of urgency.

This coaching staff does not improve players. It does not coach them up or dress them down when things go poorly. The Saturday night massacre at Notre Dame was a disaster because there was an alarming lack of emotion on the sideline.

And a complete denial of reality.

Offensive coordinator Tee Martin was asked why USC has not gotten better on a weekly basis?

“I don’t think that’s the case,” Martin said. “We’re getting better and better every week.”

He actually said it with a straight face. USC is not better in any area. It’s offensive and defensive lines are weak. Its running game is nonexistent against good defenses. It cannot stop the run. It […]    

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