Quick Thought

Lane Kiffin pointed out USC’s 6-2 record is the same as last season after 8 games. So what “competitve advantages” did concealing injuries and switching jersey numbers provide again?

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Morning Buzz

Wide receiver Robrt Woods said USC has too much pride and that is causing so many penalties. Woods cited an example where George Farmer was “cheapshotted” by a Colorado player and linebacker Anthony Sarao retaliated.
“It’s a brotherhood here,” Woods said. “(But) you need to play within the rules.”

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Kiffin On Key Play

Lane Kiffin elaborated today on USC’s second-to-last play. The deep pass to Marqise Lee that took way too much time off the clock.

“Unfortunately we kind of went for a knockout shot down there,” Kiffin said. “When you do that it takes a long time. We kind of went for it there. We tried to end the game there.”

Why wouldn’t you spike the ball and take the short shot and kick a field with Arizona quarterback Matt Scott out of the game for a potential overtime?

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Not-So-Great Arizona Game Stats

Arizona wide receiver Austin Hill’s 259 receiving yards is the second-most allowed in USC history. Hill was just 4 yards shy of UCLA wide receiver J.J. Stokes’ 263 yards in 1992.

Arizona also had two players rush for 100-or-more yards. And a quarterback pass for more than 350 yards.

Maybe USC should have played the Cover 2 defense that always apparently stifles the Trojans.

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Now What?

USC’s season can go two ways: The Trojans can regroup and win out and go to the Rose Bowl, something Pete Carroll teams often did. Or the Trojans can decide the season is essentially over with preseason goals unattainable and decide it’s time to focus on impressing NFL scouts and increasing their draft stock.

If the latter occurs, that is where games against Oregon, UCLA and Notre Dame become exceedingly difficult and will cause a potential November meltdown.

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No Safety Net

I mentioned in a story last week how a former USC assistant coach told me you could hear opera music on the headsets when the offense is on the field because no one is challenging Lane Kiffin.

Quarterbacks coach Clay Helton relays the down and distance and that’s about it. And that exposes a problem.

If Kiffin will not hire an offensive coordinator and insists on calling plays, there is no one to question him or anything else during the game. Or at least provide some insight from the pressbox.

As the season progresses, I suspect this offensive coordinator issue will only become a bigger talking point.

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