Back to those reader questions.
Q: IDIg Go Go Girls said:
Scott, I’ve noticed in your recent blog posts about Kiffin a little dismay, despair and maybe some anger from you, am I reading this wrong?
A: I don’t know about anger but I’ve probably felt some dismay over the poor clock management, questionable playcalling and sometimes indifferent mindset that seems to exist on the sideline during games. So you do have a point.
Q: MMoreno1015 said:
Would you agree part of a coach’s responsibility (especially a head coach) is to put your players in positions to succeed? I think Kiffin is up and down in this regard, but I am specifically going to question his use of Baxter. He (Baxter) isn’t getting much playing time as it is, and when he is in, I feel the plays called for him more times than not are questionable and almost certain to fail. I know it’s an extremely small sample size but why not put him in the wildcat? It worked last year vs Stanford and UCLA
A: It’s painfully clear Lane Kiffin does not value Dillon Baxter and Baxter would probably best be served to play somewhere else. Baxter is the best threat in the Wildcat but Kiffin doesn’t want him in the game. So USC is robbing itself of a potential offensive weapon. It makes little sense but I would imagine Kiffin wants that scholarship back too if he is not playing Baxter.
Q: NostraSamGilbertus said:
TJ McDonald seemed a little more interested in making hard hits than keeping receivers from catching the ball. If this is true, I don’t know if it would be because he’s trying to impress NFL scouts, he’s playing a Taylor Mays type soft zone (by instruction or personal choice), just has a mean streak or something else entirely.
What are your thoughts on his performance and mindset?
A: I just think he is a hard-hitting player and likes to go full speed on hits. I like his enthusiasm. At least he’s trying to make plays and not just willing to sit back and wait for receivers to catch and run.