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Lane Kiffin: This is the real me

Lane Kiffin coaches his first game as the USC head coach tonight at Hawaii. 

In an interview with ESPN’s Arash Markazi, Kiffin explained, “This is the real me. If you study me overtime, outside of my one year at Tennessee, this is how I’ve been. At Oakland you didn’t hear me say the things I did at Tennessee. When I was an assistant here [at USC] you didn’t hear me say the things I did at Tennessee. This is me. Do I tell people what they want to hear? No. But am I attacking other people to enhance our program and get our name out there? No because you don’t need to do that here. This is the best way to describe myself. I don’t change what I do. I’ve always prided ourselves on working extremely hard and putting in long hours in recruiting and football. So I don’t need motivation. I don’t need to say, ‘Well, this guy wrote this about me’ or ‘This person said this about me,’ to motivate me to all of a sudden work.”

(on if winning big will change his perception) “I don’t know. I can’t change it. Whatever I do there’s going to be people that are going to try and twist it and find a way to make it negative no matter what it is. I wore sunglasses on an 85-degree day in Southern California at Pac-10 Media Day and that meant that I was arrogant and hiding things. If anyone else wears them are they getting that? That’s the daily stuff I get.”

Kick-off tonight is set for 11 pm EST on ESPN.