USC Trojans head coach Clay Helton sat down for his normal Q and A session on Monday following the Trojans convincing victory over UCLA and ahead of their game with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Helton said the team won in all three phases of the game. He gave a ton of credit to Coach Baxter and the special teams for having two games in a row with a blocked kick and another great special teams performance. The Trojans defense was credited for once again winning in the box and forcing 3rd and long situations.
The Trojans offense went up against a solid Bruins defense and put up 36 points only the Utah Utes scored more points on UCLA this season. Helton was proud overall of the team’s accomplishments but said that they need to get better in the red zone. The Trojans had 3 drives inside the UCLA 30 that ended in a field goal and another that ended with an interception.
The Irish are 4-7 coming into this game but Helton is once again quick to point out that much like Oregon and UCLA the Irish are better than their record. Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer jumps out to Clay Helton for being an amazing quarterback with NFL-caliber talent who can beat you with his arm and his legs. Kizer is a huge reason why the Irish are averaging 30.9 points per game.
On defense, Helton is impressed with the Notre Dame defensive front for how well the line holds their gaps and the linebackers ability to fill the lanes. It should be noted however that the Irish are 77th in rushing defense giving up an average of 4 yards per carry. Notre Dame does have the 30th ranked passing defense (playing Army, Navy and a game in a hurricane helps) USC is averaging 5.3 yards per carry and 7.7 passing yards per attempt.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly also received praise from Coach Helton for being one of the more brilliant offensive minds in the game of football. Helton credited Kelly’s offensive creativeness as a huge part of the reason why the Irish are scoring almost 31 points per game.
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Here is a bonus video: Post Game press conference following the victory over UCLA