About 11 months ago Lane Kiffin hired Clancy Pendergast to fix the defense against spread offenses. The defense received plenty of plaudits this season but the results were mixed in big games and against spread offenses.
Arizona State was a debacle. Arizona scored 31 points, which is probably not unreasonable for a typical Pac-12 game. The defense held Stanford to 17 points but last year Cardinal scored 21, so that’s a wash.
More troubling were the rivalry games: USC could not stop Notre Dame’s running game when it had Tommy Rees and 6-7 tight end Troy Niklas was defended by 5-8 cornerback Anthony Brown.
UCLA supposedly had an inexperienced offensive line and things got worse when a starter was ejected at the start. But the Bruins scored 35 points and it wasn’t just Brett Hundley doing damage. How many times did Hundley find a tailback uncovered in the flat for good gains?
I think everyone can assume USC was fortunate not play Oregon even with the Ducks struggling in November. So overall, I’d say Pendergast did an average job and needed to have a secondary coach instead of doing two jobs by himself.