USC is trying to pick up the pieces after being destroyed by Alabama last weekend. That was rock bottom for them.

At least they better hope so. I’d say that they’re getting Utah State at just the perfect time. That Utah State is the perfect slumpbuster for an embarrassed and broken Trojan team. Then again who knows. USC has lost four of its last five games dating back to last season, and three straight since they took the interim tag off coach Clay Helton.

And when you go through that type of adversity; one of two things happen: that adversity forges a bond and it brings the group closer together. Or the finger pointing begins, guys are looking to knock each other out, and the team rips apart. In this case, it’s looking a lot more like the latter.

Star receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster reportedly got into a fist fight at practice yesterday, kicked a ball, and then, according to the LA Times, slumped against the wall for a while, before Helton, offensive coordinator Tee Martin, and teammate Adoree Jackson came over to speak with him and encourage him to come back to practice. They couldn’t get him involved in the game on Saturday and had to work hard to keep him involved in practice on Tuesday. That doesn’t help the questions about team discipline. And neither does the image of linebacker Osa Masina and defensive end Don Hill practicing while they’re being investigated in a potential sexual assault case.

Any reason why they don’t just rip this program down to the studs and start over? Better yet, why is that even a question just one game into Helton’s first season as head coach?

Sure it was just one game. And if you’re going to lose, better to lose early than to lose late. Losing early to the defending national champs isn’t the end of the world. But losing the way they did, by getting steamrolled and seemingly giving up, might be. And if this is how they’re handling the loss, it certainly is.

But leave it to SC honks to have an excuse locked and loaded for that hospital job. — namely that former head coach Steve Sarkisian, announced Tuesday at an offensive analyst for Nick Saban and Alabama — could’ve lent some intel on the Trojans heading into the game.

Right. The head coach of the defending national champions needed help from the disgraced coach who was fired last October to beat a team that lost three of its last four games last season and had a quarterback making his first start. Sure he didn’t.

Are you kidding me? This is your argument? That if Nick Saban doesn’t hire Sark, USC wins that game? That might be the most Trojan thing ever. Did you see your game plan? Did you see how vanilla it was? Did you see how passive your guys were? Hell, Sark could have doubled back and handed Kif’s call sheet to the USC staff the night before the game, and they’re still not within four T.D.’s of Alabama.

If that’s what you’re rolling with, stand down, Trojan fan. You’re embarrassing yourself even more than your team did Saturday night.

Helton didn’t make it out of the first weekend in September before things got ugly. Now he’s got to find a way to get this team back on track before going to face Christian McCaffrey on The Farm. He’s got a schedule that looks insane — road games at Utah, Arizona, Washington and UCLA, Pac-12 games against Colorado and Oregon and Cal before hosting Notre Dame to finish the regular season.

Welcome to Troy, Clay. Might not want to unpack those bags.


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