Morning Buzz


Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian might be Pete Carroll disciples but Kiffin said Sarkisian’s offense no longer resembles USC. Link here.

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  • NJ Trojan

    USC apparently only had 5 scholarship WRs available last week. Blackwell didnt play but 2 WOs did. Anybody know if Blackwells hurt? Flournoy still hasnt caught a pass. Has Barkley even looked his way this year? It looks like DiPoalo finally played in a game. USC could really use him especially next year after Galten leaves. Why has his development been so slow?

    Only 7 scholarship DLs played at UT. Theyve been very impressive but the unit is super thin right now. Breslin has finally been recognized as the starter on the depth chart. Tavai only played in 2 games this year so he could apply for a med RS since hes a true SO. Itll be interesting to see Uko & Williams start again with Woods rotating. I have a feeling that had more to do with Heyward apparently not being available than Woods performance over the 1st 4 games of the season. If they could just get that other CB spot figured out this D would be great.

    Watching the Texans last night I was reminded that when Kiffin had Havili in Year One he ran a lot of iso but not so much this year. Id really like to see Vainuku get more involved. With the OL USC started with this year, a pair of great TEs & a gifted FB some good old-fashioned I formation power running and play-action might have been more productive through the 1st of the season. The LT left a year early to be the 4th pick in the NFL draft. Of the 11 OLs that played in game 5 at UT 1 is a true FR, 1 is a former WO & 1 is a WO.

  • torpedoman

    @NJT… Although it’s been repeated multiple times on this blog, you’re participation is just incredibly noteworthy. Oft, I just look in here to read what you and Trojan Conquest have to say.

    Re: your above comments, Do you think that the fact that Vainuku seems to drop at first contact (regardless of his speed and size) is the reason for his miniscule inclusion in the offense. Noticed also that in the couple of wheel routes he’s run, that those plays have not had much if any success thus far.

    Last question, will Geo Farmer’s contribution ever bring us to our feet in celebration?

    Thank you

  • NJ Trojan

    @torpedoman: Remember how the comments under Lev’s posts were sometimes more interesting than the posts themselves (before the OC Register switched over to that Facebook format)? You used to be one of those commenters if I recall correctly. SC fan – OR player was another really good one. And Jimbo always gave a really good perspective from the UCLA camp. Lev worked hard to keep out the nasty stuff. It’s more freewheeling here, but what the heck? There’s still some good comments. (And to be honest, a few of the asinine comments are kinda funny soetimes.)

    I’m not entirely sold on Kiffin yet but I think he had a good idea in trying Farmer at TB. He’s not Lee or Woods but he was supposed to be the best of the 3 at Serra, right? So he just needs to get it together. If he does maybe he will be a great compliment to the other 2 next year or with Lee the year after.

    I wasn’t suggesting to feed Vainuku the ball. I was suggesting that he might be able to help USC with a power running game. I haven’t watched every play but it seems to me that USC is running out of single-back formations and not using their FB in the running game. Assuming that Kiffin even wanted to do this, you might be right that he shied away from using Vainuku because he isn’t the same caliber of playmaker that some others are. But at 250 he ought to be knocking some LBs off their heels.

  • Carroll Cheated, Got Caught, and Left In Shame

    Looks like the coaches are doing the “West Hollywood Handshake”. I read they are very close and spent many long nights at the office together during their internship with Norm Chow and Pete Carroll. It is evident that both Sarkisian and Kiffin have learned loads from each other and from Coaches Chow and Carroll.

  • Revenge of Charlie Bucket

    @Carroll Cheated aka Bruin Rob, Bruin Rob is my Idol thanks for continuing to support me at Hamburger Mary’s. You are a true inspiration the way you treated yourself from that Chlamydia outbreak. A true champion of the Cadre cause. Even when you found out it was Trojanfan that painted the down arrow on your ‘Champions are made here’ shirt. You showed great character.

    So what, the Bruins sleep number is CAL. We will awaken and rise again. Stronger, deeper and full of guile. So what, deAnthony Yogi continued to roll through our Defense and made a mockery of Mora Mean and Nasty crew. We have our softball team to be proud of and let’s not forget gymnastics. I LOVE my women’s gymnastics

  • Ben Factor

    Attn: NJ Trojan and torpedoman:

    I do appreciate your observations. Farmer is very injury prone, and may not have the in-the-air ball skills of a great WR, or the ability to get in and out of breaks efficiently to gain separation. Some great NFL WRs are real burners (eg., Megatron), but the fastest are not, as a rule, the best.

    Anyway, Lee and Woods don’t come out much, and Agholor seems to have passed Flournoy and Blackwell.

    I believe that the expectations for this team were always excessive, due to depth issues.

    Nonetheless, there is a coaching problem on this team. Evidence: (1) # penalties; (2) # turnovers; (3) failure to anticipate from the start obvious defensive strategies, like two-deep WR coverage or taking advantage of a 3rd-string freshman center thrust into a starting role; (4) failure to steadily dominate in the 2nd half; (5) direction of too high a % of passes to Lee and Woods; (6) direction of running plays in the red zone and on 3rd/4th down to strong points in the DL, rather than sending top NFL prospect MB to the line with the expectation of making his own selection via audible.

    Scott Wolf answered a question yesterday about LK serving as his own OC. Scott stated the the QB coach works the pressbox, AND DOES NO MORE THAN RELAY DOWN AND DISTANCE. If that is true, LK is on the wrong track, and the culprit looks to be hubris.

    I stated elsewhere that a HEAD coach has to follow Peter Drucker’s directions to any CEO: the first and most important question after surveying the competitive landscape and the company’s position therein should be: “What needs to be done?” The question is not “What am I good at?” or “What job functions do I prefer?”

    I am not categorically stating that LK has to step down as OC. I am stating that if LK wants to make a mark as a HEAD coach, he needs to readjust his focus. There is too much evidence that important things are NOT getting done. That’s on LK. He needs to solve that, whether that means he can be his own OC, or whether he needs to let that go.

  • LovetheCapper

    Picture caption:
    “meet you under the Peristyles!”
    “Sweet! is NOBS coming?”
    “Yeah, and he’s wearing ‘The Dress’ too”
    “Sweet I love doing him when he wears ‘The Dress’!”
    “I’m gonna wear out NUBS Saturday night, all right!”

  • Carroll Cheated, Got Caught, and Left In Shame

    @Ben Factor

    I agree with your last 3 paragraphs. I would like to add that that is the reason why Norm Chow or any other self-respecting OC will never come to USC to work “under” Coach Kiffin.

  • Goatboy Kiffin

    Suckisians offense still resembles that garbage he ran at USC when he was the overmatched crappy OC. How can we forget SUCK throwing Sanchez, Hazeltine, the O line with Sam Baker , under the bus during SUCKS struggles here.
    And how can you forget the ‘ Sarks $6 play book ‘ comment by Chilo Racheal … after another woeful underachieving O performance.
    Thanks Pete , thanks for creating these two hack frauds … Suckisian and Goatboy Kiffin

  • ftfo2009

    Goatboy you must really have no life if you know what Washington’s offensive system is like.

  • Trojanfan

    Goatgirl is so brilliant and seems to know it all, i bet he could out coach them all and still service the cadre

  • Sam Gilbert

    NJ Trojan and torpedoman, thanks for the insight.

  • torpedoman

    NJ and Ben,

    I’m also not sold on Lane Kiffin’s progress as HC, much beyond his recruiting skills. The inexcusable loss at Stanford this season perfectly describes especially what Ben addressed referring to the coach, specifically his failures to recognize and adjust away from Stanford’s strengths in that game. He improved somewhat vs Utah, especially countering their tremendous noseguard and taking advantage of their vastly slower secondary, but the loss to the Cardinal was totally on Lane imho.
    Farmer’s skill sets were tremendously evident at Serra. You are right that he’s struggled tremendously with injuries here at the next bigger and faster level, and that could be his waterloo, but it certainly seems disappointing that he has not been able to grow with the program as his ‘HS mates’ Woods and Lee have. I hope that there’s still time in his SC career to step it up, as he is an exciting talent in full stride. He also was a tremendous secondary player in HS, so just the simple fact that he cannot seem to see the field is very frustrating to me.
    We have been very fortunate that Michael Lev has provided us all with his truly professional and informative blog at the OCR, stemming from his USC Football beat. Unfortunately we’ll be losing him at months end, as he’s going back to his old NFL beat. His replacement at the OCR’s Trojan football beat is the hiring of popular blogger Rich Hammond. I’m certain that we’re all going to miss Lev’s great coverage but Hammond has outstanding credential. The word is that the OCR is going to put a pay wall up on that blog sooner than later also, so it will be interesting to see if and what we’ll be getting there in the near future.