Clay Helton once seemed a sitting duck as head coach of USC football.  That narrative was prevalent for the majority of the season.  But with the hiring of new athletic director Mike Bohn from Cincinnati, and the Trojans stabilizing their season after being blown out at home by Oregon, Helton’s future has suddenly become favorable.

The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported via twitter on Tuesday night that USC is “optimistic” to retain Helton as head coach.

Writes Feldman:

“… USC president Carol Folt, nearly as new on the job as Bohn, also is a believer in Helton, is very comfortable with him and likes the tone of his leadership, people with knowledge of the situation tell The Athletic.”

The Trojans were crushed at home on Nov. 2nd by the then-No.7 Oregon Ducks 56-24, a game that USC led 10-0 in the first quarter.  Since then they won three straight games to finish the regular season 8-4, and will do no worse with their bowl game draw than the Holiday Bowl.

Helton is 40-21 overall in his USC tenure.

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