This weekend Coach Helton continued to focus on situational football. In practice number 9 coach turned the noise up over the speakers to simulate crowd noise and other distractions in the arena. Coach was not please as the quality of play dropped when the sound was turned up. USC faces the defending National Champions in Jerry World which will no doubt be loud and rowdy. Helton Stated they would need to practice again with the noise turned up.
Coach Jon Gruden was also at practice. Gruden is a friend of USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. Gruden offered Helton the advice that he just needs to go out there and be himself.
Helton was also asked what a quarterback on his team would have to do to win the starting job. Coach responded that they need to produce. When elaborating he made clear that they have to get the ball in the end zone and not make mistakes.
One of the most encouraging moments in the offseason is when Helton state he thought the defensive line was farther ahead than he thought they would be. The talented but inexperienced defensive line for the Trojans has been a point of worry for USC fans particularly since the Kenny Bigelow injury. Hearing Helton have positive things to say about the advancement of the defensive line is encouraging.
You can watch the full presser from practice 9 below:
In Practice 11 Coach Helton lined up the offense and ran 16 run plays in a row. During the spring there was an emphasis in practice on being able to finish games. In 2015 the Trojans in spots had a tough time running the ball well when they needed to run the ball well. Helton once again practiced running the ball when everyone on defense knows they are going to run the ball.
The NCAA cleared incoming freshmen on the team and Helton anticipates that on Wednesday that all his current players will be cleared academically as well.
In addition to running the defense once again worked on going fast. With the Pac-12 loaded with teams likes Oregon moving rapidly on offense the Trojans are going to have to be comfortable moving quickly on defense if they want to return to the conference championship game. Helton also stated practice 11 was the defense’s best day.
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