USC Morning Buzz

Lane Kiffin repeated a comment to ESPN on Wednesday that he made right before the Sun Bowl: “I’ve said this before: If Matt Barkley had the defense that Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer had, Matt Barkley would have won the Heisman Trophy just like they did. He would have had the winning records they had.”

This begs the question: If the defense was such a problem, why does USC have seven offensive coaches (including Kiffin) for next season and only three defensive assistants?

New defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast must be that good. Some might argue that Leinart did not have a great defense either in 2005.

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  • Did Leinart win the Heisman in 2005? Didn’t think so.

  • steveg

    Didn’t we discuss this yesterday? Didn’t we discuss this the day before yesterday? Wolf, “what is your deal”? Of course it gives the trolls the opp to restate the same thing over and over. Makes me wonder about you Wolf.

    • Ben Factor

      Steve, I agree. How about calling Pendergast and asking whether he thinks the defense will suffer from his assuming dual roles, and then if he plans to hire or wants a graduate assistant on defense?

  • ThaiMex

    Nubsie, The Insider….tells me, the reason it took so long to get a staff together is because Goat Boy was looking for assistants on the “Matchmaker” site…and the response rate was poor.
    I think we should start a POOL to see who can correctly guess which WEEK Goat Boy puts the Manhattan beach house on the market.
    fit on torgans

    • Haden won’t fire him during the season, he doesn’t have the guts

      • dtksr1

        Didn’t Haden fire the head-basketball coach during the start of this season? I could easily see Haden going to Helton or Orgeron to finish off the remainder giving notice to all likely candidates there is definitely a top position to be filled.

        • You are going to compare football and baketball at USC ? They are not even on the same planet

  • gillyking

    Kiffin is just so full of it! If he was unsatisfied with his defense then he should have replaced Monte and done something to fix it. He had the talent, but the coaching schemes and especially the back 7 were awful. A top head coach does not just sit and accept the mediocrity if he feels as Kiffin stated about his defense., so there’s another in the mounting pile of reasons why CLK should be shown the exit door!

    • dtksr1

      Now think for a second…. you are beginning the seaspn ranked #1 & your father is the DC and he has had 2/3 previous years to figure out the spread. You figure you can outscore just about anyone in college football and the experts agree. You are not going to fire your DC right in the middle of the season….

      • gillyking

        Now think for a second, your business has a high level executive who’s 2/3yrs of production has been mediocre at best and has proven that he’s not able to adjust to establish any improvement in keeping up with current business trends. Your competitors are taking him to embarrassing task on a weekly basis and into the new business season, and it’s taking your business down the ladder of success while he’s continuing to flounder! … so according to you, it’s aok to not replace the weaklink? Maybe your board should vote you out too!

        • gillyking

          Now think for a minute cont… As it is also showing, that your decisions with respect to calling the offense, and establishing the O line, and strength and conditioning and your failures to curtail all the off the field distractions..Maybe you should have just tendered your resignation, as your DC did!

          • dtksr1

            Fair enough… but I was only talking about why Kiffin stayed with his father after last season started. Today, I don’t know if he is now using his father’s results as an excuse, or he realized after last season started, it wasn’t going to get better, but worse. What do you do in the middle of the season?

          • gillyking

            Bottom line.. the ouster of CLK would solve a massive amount of problems… regardless of when it would happen! lol

    • How do you fire the guy who got you all of these jobs that you were totally unqualified for ?

  • dtksr1

    Barkley didn’t have a headcoach who could manage the game like PC could!
    Don’t put it all on the defense!

    • PC didn’t manage squat it was Chow. And , if Matt didn’t have Reggie, well…………

  • dtksr1

    I just don’t see the logic of Kiffin having 3-coaches for the O-line (Cregg, Summers & Baxter) which matches the entire defensive coaching side of the ball. Is Kiffin again going to try outscoring the other team versus trying to stop it? With a new QB?

    • Kiffin and logic do not belong in the same sentence

  • MichiganTrojan

    The defense was only glaringly bad in the Oregon and Arizona games (yes, spreads, I know). But other than that, it’s pretty well-known that SC ranked last in the Pac12 in avg plays per game. Don’t know if they led in 3-and-outs, but they had to be near the top. In some ways, the defense was the strength last year – they were just on the field way longer than most.

    At this point, as an SC fan, I don’t even know why Lane even opens his mouth one way or the other. Everything he says is front page ESPN news, whatever the content. Brady Hoke commenting on Denard Robinson makes the school newspaper, nothing more.

    • TrojanFan

      Not sure what team you were watching, but that defense was pathetic,they gave up way too many big plays on third down, tackling was poor at the point of attack, plus the countless undisciplined penalties. I could go on and on about how bad this defense played down the stretch

      • MichiganTrojan

        I agree that they weren’t great – certainly not of the caliber that they’re capable of given the talent – but my point was that offense relatively speaking was worse, and that that parlayed into poor defensive play, which generally got worse in the 2nd half of most games. But still, outside of the the 2 games I mentioned, and maybe the UCLA game, what were the other terrible defensive efforts? For the most part they played good enough against Stanford, Notre Dame, and even Ga Tech.

        Against spread offenses they played terrible – standing straight up, waiting for the play to come to them instead of attacking, leaving the belly of the field under the safeties wide open, not protecting the edges, not being physical enough with a mobile QB. But that was basically 3 games. They ranked in the top 5 in sacks and top 10 in INTS. Do they need a change of philosophy to try and counter the growing popularity of spread/read-option? Yes. If we had had that in place last year would that have been the difference? Absolutely not.

        The more glaring problems – for Barkley and for our Trojans – were on offense. They finished in the bottom five in the entire nation of third conversions completed on offense. They were 2nd in the nation in total offensive penalties. They were the 2nd most predictable offense in the Pac 12 outside of Stanford, with the latter being extremely confident in what they were going to do (run, run, run, and then think about the TEs).

        • MichiganTrojan

          And much agreed with the lack of aggressiveness. Glad to hear they’re going back to live tackling in practices this year. The one unit where their fairly deep on defense is LB (Pullard, Dawson, Starr, Hurchings, Powell, Ruffin, Sarao, and maybe Bailey). I think a more aggressive scheme will favor their skills sets tremendously, and allow the new safeties to be better ball hawks.

          I think the same thing could be said on offense too though. In the Stanford and UCLA games, where they were send 8 guys over the top repeatedly, SC never – not once – tried to switch to a no huddle, or fast snap count. Instead, every time, they use the 20-25 second formation shifts (which fooled nobody), and let the defense account for everybody on field, show their fake blitz, etc. Team needs to get mean in a hurry.

          • gillyking

            Michigan Trojan.. sure do appreciate a couple of very nice posts here! Rarely happens in this sewer.. Thanks for the effort! Fight On!

        • Cheap seats

          Good post. The poor line play on BOTH sides of the ball were very un-SC. In regards to lack of 3rd down coveresions, The oline inconsistency and lack of play calls that had offensive linemen attacking had lots to do with it.

          With poor oline play, even 3rd and 2 weren’t gimmies. Throwing the ball to Vainuku was a guaranteed incompletion and they insisted on throwing to him.

          I’d like to see the ball spread around more this year. This way, you won’t be relying on your FB and TE to make a clutch catch when they haven’t seen the ball in weeks come their way.

  • ThaiMex–ncaaf.html
    Yahoo sports take on this same topic…..Bad news RAH RAH’S….THE ENTIRE world is against you!
    fit on though!


    Wolf…I’m not sure who the bigger idiot is….you for for the crap you write…or me for continuing to waste my team reading your crap. It’s time you take some journalism courses. Do us all a favor and apply to UCLA.

    • It’s you

      • steveg

        You can’t be serious, I hope.

  • ThaiMex

    Lane Kiffin managed to make defending his former quarterback right before the NFL draft into a “Did he say that?” moment.

    In an interview with ESPN, the USC coach said Matt Barkley was under-appreciated by Trojans fans. No real problem with that. And then he went on.

    “I think he’s going to be a great starting quarterback in
    the NFL, and the film shows it,” Kiffin said, according to ESPN.
    “The plays he makes, all the throws he’s made here, the leadership
    qualities … I’ve said this before: If Matt Barkley had the defense that Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer had, Matt Barkley would have won the Heisman Trophy just like they did. He would have had the winning records they had.”

    Three issues with that quote:

    1. It’s not true in the slightest.

    2. Many of those same defensive players Kiffin just threw under the bus will be back to play for him next year.

    3. One person who bears the major blame for the defensive problems is
    the coordinator. That coordinator was Monte Kiffin, who happens to be
    Lane’s father.

    Other than that, though, no big deal.

    Barkley threw for 3,273 yards, more than 400 fewer than Heisman winner Johnny Manziel
    (who ran for a few yards too, you may recall), and he threw for 15
    interceptions. The defense wasn’t responsible for that. A better record
    for USC wasn’t going to vault him past Manziel’s transcendent season.

    Most sane people understand that. So what might stick is the decision
    to include the failures of his defense, led by his old man, in pumping
    up Barkley. USC’s defense wasn’t good, and Monte Kiffin resigned at the
    end of the season, likely to avoid an awkward situation for his son.
    Even though the Trojans defense struggled, there just doesn’t seem to be
    a ton of upside in Lane Kiffin kicking it two months after the season.
    His father in particular probably didn’t need the reminder that he
    performed so poorly last season.

    At least Lane Kiffin seems to be interested in keeping this offseason lively.

    • Jethro G Sabbath


      Excellent breakdown but WHY the absence of RANDOM capitalization?

      We’ve come to expect more from you!!!!

    • Booring

  • Los

    The defense threw the worse possible pass right to Aaron Hester. Way to take a 1st round draft pick and possible a top 10 pick last year (even though those that watch know Barkley is overrated) to a 2nd round pick at best (should be a late 3rd round pick) and to tell the world that your dad is garbage. Pat Haden please keep kiffin.

  • Thai, you are DEAN ON!!! te levanto, hombre!!

    the wolfman has Kiff is so discombobulated, he can’t stop sticking his foot in his mouth!!!

    i liked how he specifically threw TJ McD under the buts for losing the Stanford game, and somehow extending that logic to claim he also cost Pious Passer the Heisman trophy, i rarely use cuss words stronger than Darn, but Kiff is a complete doo-doo head!!!

    it’s been ALL DOWNHILL since right before the Stanford game when Kiff tried to mess with the wolfman and got his clocked cleaned!!!


    • Jethro G Sabbath

      That’s more like it!

    • steveg

      And this is the best you got? I guess so, you keep on repeating it.

    • rusoviet

      Tapette you need to put on that skirt and sahay chante you dig fruitopia? Yeah grind it sistah…hmmm….yeah slow now don’t want to explode too soon….hmmm yah dat’ be right…..charlene pail….hmmm a sweet sistah dat once was a male but look at her now… it tapette

  • FreeShabazz

    Wolf, will you please post the following photos side by side?: 1. Lane showing up at the Sun Bowl with the sombrero on; and 2. Haden wearing the football helmet dancing like a clown at last weeks game.

  • Spedjones

    I remember that pic Barfly through at the very start of the UCLA game. Totally the D’s fault! LOL.