As recently as a few months ago, USC head coach Lane Kiffin has been criticized for what many have called a lack of maturity. The criticizm came to a head following his now-infamous 29 second press briefing in September.
However, none of that person was present during Kiffin’s press conference Saturday night following the Trojans’ 62-51 loss to Oregon.
When asked how much blame the coaching staff deserves for USC’s fall from preseason No. 1 to a three-loss team, Kiffin had this to say.
“All of it,” Kiffin said. “That’s what you do as coaches. For us to have the penalties that we’ve had, the turnovers, (it’s a big part of) the three losses. The first two, we were ahead in those games. We should have closed those games out.”
Kiffin continued, offering an assessment of his performance against the Ducks.
“There’s things I could have done better,” Kiffin said. “There were situations where I could have called better plays. You’ve always got to look at yourself. I could have put us in a better situation at the end of the half.”
Obviously, offense wasn’t the reason USC lost to Arizona and it wasn’t why Oregon beat the Trojans. USC allowed a school-record 730 yards to Oregon, one week after allowing Arizona to compile 588 yards.
“If you have back-to-back games where you’re giving up 600 yards, we’ve got to look at what we’re doing,” explained Kiffin. “That’s not real sound and that’s not where we want to be. I don’t have an answer right now or else I would have tried to fix it during the game.”
The Trojans defense dropped 32 spots in the NCAA rush defense statistic after Oregon posted 426 yards on Saturday night.
With dates against No. 17 UCLA and No. 2 Oregon still ahead, here’s hoping for Kiffin’s sake he doesn’t have to show off his mature side any more this season.