3 min Read

Clay Helton media call (9-9)

Clay Helton media call notes from Sunday, September 9th

* I was proud of the team for the way they competed last night. They fought hard to the end and showed resiliency against a tough Stanford team. All credit to Coach Shaw and his staff for having his team prepared and I think there’s a chance we could wind up playing them again at the end of the year. All of our goals and aspirations for this season are still ahead of us. It was a tough loss but it’s not the end of the world for this season. We’re a week-to-week football team and we’ll put this behind us and move forward for a game against a really good Texas team.

* What makes it tough for me is missing out of some good field position opportunities. To get an explosive play to start the third quarter and get down to the plus 14, and then to put together a nice drive to get to the plus 36 yet only come away with three points is tough. We had 6 total possessions in the plus side of the field and only three points. We need to improve on that and get the ball in the end zone.

* Injury-wise Isaiah Pola Mao has a shoulder and we’ll let it rest for a couple weeks, he definitely won’t play this week. We’ll have C.J. Pollard and Talanoa Hufanga available plus we’ll move Chase Williams over. J.T. Daniels has a hand contusion. We took an MRI today and there was no ligament damage. It’s sore, anytime you have a hand contusion it’s going to hurt. We’ll get him some rest and have an update for you on Tuesday.

On the lack of separation for the wide receivers

We did get separation. I thought Tyler did a good job of bouncing back and he had some plays where the defense dictated the hitch was there, so you take your 8-9 yards and move on. I thought Pitt (Michael Pittman) created an explosive play.

On the need to bounce back physically for Texas game

It’s not just physical, it’s mental too. I loved where the kids mindset was after the game, they knew Stanford finished two drives and we didn’t.

What was the problems with getting the football to Amon-Ra?

It wasn’t for lack of trying. I thought Tee did a good job of creating a package with Amon-Ra in the slot that got him freed up. We missed a couple shots, two overthrows and one underthrow, but he also had one play over the middle where he almost had to twist a 360 to make the catch. The ball just didn’t find him like it did in week 1.

How is it for you to lose a game like that?

Frustrating. To see the defense play so well, to slow Love, to slow Whiteside, but the one thing we didn’t get is that turnover, and we came close to blocking a punt. We did a lot of good things and that’s what keeps me optimistic. We just gotta get the offense finishing drives and scoring points.

Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.

More Articles By Garry