Clay Helton joined Trojans Live Monday night to discuss USC’s victory over UCLA and their upcoming game with Notre Dame on Saturday. Helton has been working on shifting the mindset of the team to take some of the emotion out of the game and get more analytical. Toning down the emotions according to Helton allows the team to stay poised, not panic, and get back to work doing their job. This approach has allowed the Trojans to go on the road against a playoff team and win, to go down early in a rivalry game but come storming back to crush UCLA, and start off the season at 1-3 before rattling off 7 straight wins.
On the injury front Adoree’ Jackson went down in the UCLA game but it was just a tweaked ankle and Helton expects him to return to practice on Tuesday. JuJu Smith-Schuster went down several times in the UCLA game he is dealing with a sore arm and a hip pointer but Helton expects that he will return to practice on Wednesday or Thursday.
Helton was amazed by Notre Dame’s roster and how it is loaded with far more talent than their 4-7 record would indicate. Helton was quick to point out that all 7 of their losses essentially were down to a single possesion. None of Notre Dame’s losses were by more than 8 points. This suggests that if even just a handful of possessions turn out differently for the Irish, then this is a much different story. The Irish offense has an NFL-caliber quarterback and some excellent receiving targets. Notre Dame is more than capable of scoring plenty of points.
The Irish have routinely put up 4 scores or more even in defeat. The only 3 times this year they failed to score at least 30 points wer against Stanford, Navy (who routinely shortens games by dominating time of possession with the option, ND had 6 possessions that game) and finally against NC State who many argued should have been rescheduled since a hurricane was pummeling the East Coast that day. While the USC defense is no stranger to stopping elite quarterbacks this season they may yet have their hands full stopping DeShone Kizer and the Irish offense.
You can watch all of the interviews below.
Trojans Live 11/21/16 - Clay Helton
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Trojans Live 11/21/16 - Justin Davis
Trojans Live 11/21/16 - Deontay Burnett