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Coach John Kentera’s Weekly Quick Hits

College Football

Mornings with John Kentera
November 28, 2018 - 9:28 am

I think USC athletic director Lynn Swann did the right thing in retaining Clay Helton as the Trojans' head coach, even after a dismal 5-7 season and not going to a bowl game. The easy way out was to fire Helton and go a different direction. I agree with Swann that the Trojans need continuity. It's been a real disaster since the Pete Carroll Era, including the short tenure of Lane Kiffin from 2010-2013 where he went 28-15 and 17-12 in PAC-12 play. In 2013, Ed Orgeron was the interim coach and went 6-2 and 6-1 in conference play. Orgeron resigned before the Las Vegas bowl when Steve Sarkisian was hired as head coach. Clay Helton was the interim coach for the bowl game and pulled out a win (45-20) over Fresno State. Steve Sarkisian's tenure was short and a complete flop in 2014 and five games in 2015. He was put on a leave of absence and eventually terminated for a drinking problem and he was also going through a divorce. Helton again was named interim head coach and led the Trojans to a 5-4 record the rest of the way and compiled a 5-2 conference mark and a share of the Pac 12 south title and appearance in the Holiday Bowl, which they lost to Wisconsin 23-21. Helton then was promoted to head coach for the 2016 season. Helton has compiled a 32-17 record in his tenure and he must get this program back on track very quickly or there will be a change early next season. Staff changes needed to be made. The lack of discipline is unacceptable with penalties and foolishness. Swann is sticking his neck on the line and it may eventually cost him his job if Helton does not have a big 2019 season.

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San Diego State finished up the season with a 31-30 overtime loss at home to Hawaii. The Aztecs missed a game winning field goal attempt in regulation and then chose to go for a two point conversion in overtime that failed. The Aztecs, even though they are bowl eligible, may be left out of the postseason. They finished 7-5 and 4-4 in the Mountain West Conference. Listening to Coach Long the other night after the loss to Hawaii, he is not happy with the lack of improvement of his team and definitely not happy with his coaching staff. I would imagine there are some major changes coming in that area.

Hope everyone has a great week. Coach Kentera Twitter @coachkentera44