With top boosters swarming, attendance down and the team dipping below .500, it was expected that USC would announce Sunday a parting of ways with coach Clay Helton. Instead, athletic director Lynn Swann announced the Trojans' commitment to Helton moving forward in a lengthy letter.

Helton led USC to a 5-7 record in 2018, his third full season with the Trojans. The five-game drop off from last season's 10-2 regular-season mark coupled with waning interest in the team led many to believe USC would pull the plug on Helton despite there being five years and about $15 million left on his contract.