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Clay Helton, USC laud ability to finish strong after sluggish early quarters

Clay Helton, USC laud ability to finish strong after sluggish early quarters

During his time as USC’s coach, Clay Helton has preferred to use his public comments to spread a message of optimism. He does not use media reports as an opportunity to prod a player or his team.

So a day after USC’s 30-20 win over California, Helton chose to paint a bright picture.

“You’re very, very happy, again, when you see a team finishing in the fourth quarter,” Helton said on Sunday evening. “And that’s kind of been our hallmark right now.”

That is one way to look at USC’s first four games. The Trojans have outscored opponents 62-31 in the fourth quarter this season.

The problem is that USC has needed dominant closeouts in three of its four games to avoid...

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