If you would have told me a month ago that the USC Trojans would be playing a national televised game on ABC on Saturday Night against Stanford, I would have laughed at you. Seriously. Not just laughed. I probably would have told you to “kiss my ass” and have a slap cam on you.
If you would have told me that Javorius Allen would be called by his actual first name, and not his nickname “Buck,” and would actually be playing (and playing like we need to start the #BUCKFORHEISMAN2014 campaign) instead of riding the bench because the old coach didn’t want to play him, I’d be confused on why he was even playing in the first place.
If you would have told me that Ed Orgeron would actually look like a legit head coach and have the USC Trojans playing like a top 20 team in the country with JUST 47 scholarship players, I’d give you a confused look. Seriously. Knowing Coach O’s history as a head coach, I would have been like, “What the hell are you smoking?”
But here we are. It’s about to be the 3rd weekend in the month of November and USC is heading into a showdown on Saturday Night Football against the #4th ranked Stanford “A Tree is our mascot” Cardinal. As a fan, this season has been ridiculous, and yet SC is still relevant. Once Lane Kiffin was fired for being Lane Kiffin, this team has looked like a different team. Watching SC now is actually fun. Win or lose (They’ve lost one game since Coach O has taken over, btw), this team just looks confident and loose, something that wasn’t seen when Kiff was coaching.
No, I’m not saying Lane Kiffin isn’t a bad coach, Kiffin stans (Okay, maybe I am because since the Arizona game last year in the desert, I don’t know what the hell happened to Lane Kiffin. It’s like he left his own corpse in Tuscon ), I’m simply saying that clearly, his style of coaching wasn’t working for these guys. It’s one thing to be uptight like, say Nick Saban. But in the midst of Saban’s childish temper tantrums, he’s actually a leader. It’s clearly obvious that he (Kiffin) wasn’t a leader. And while Coach O might be an interim head coach, but he’s shown leadership, which is exactly what this team has needed.
Coach O’s motto has been “One heartbeat, One team.” And that’s what it is. Let’s be honest here. 47 scholarship players. Injuries to almost everyone including all-world stud, Marqise Lee. Yet, no complaints or excuses about it from Coach O and the team about it. They just go out, and control what they can control on the field. Think about it, how bad as USC played at the beginning of the season, the horrible loss to Washington State, and the game that got Kiffin fired in Tempe, USC is actually 7-3. In fact, If Andre Heidari could get himself out of his feelings and make kicks, USC would be ranked right now (It’s probably better that they aren’t. Because we aren’t in #GodsConference).
So Saturday. Right…. Saturday. I was watching the Champions Classic two nights ago, and I came across the commercial:
But do I expect the Trojans to play well? Hell yes. Do I expect USC to win? Hell yeah, I do. One of my Twitter followers told me a month ago that even in dark times, SC will always rise up. And that’s happening. With everything that’s gone wrong, this, this season looks like maybe it’s gonna go right. Win or lose on Saturday night, I’m already proud of how these guys and how they’ve proved a lot of people wrong, and have actually fought on under Coach O.
I’m ready for Saturday. I’m ready to watch Cody ball out. I’m ready to this team grow and show the country that no matter how bad the NCAA screwed us over (Seriously though. The NCAA is full of you know what. Reggie Bush’s parents get a house, not him and USC gets the near death penalty. Miami has a dude in the program, and they only lose 9 scholarships for three years. Penn State got their scholarships BACK. But USC can’t get theirs back? Lol, I bet the NCAA is sick that USC is gonna play in another bowl this year even though we’re MAKING them money for being a somewhat decent team for being good with 45 guys. Kiss it, Mark Emmert), no matter the drama surrounding the program and AD Pat Haden looking for the next coach, and all the injuries, that USC is still here. We’re still relevant, and we’re coming for your ass, Stanford (and maybe the rest of America in due time).
It’s time to watch this team party in the endzone. No matter what happens on Saturday, I love you USC. Forever and ever. Fight On. Beat the Farm.
Being a USC fan for the majority of my life, I can say that I’ve been spoiled. Spoiled of watching great players put on the cardinal and gold, and actually having a head coach who was competent of putting together a decent gameplan, and not being afraid of just playing football and having fun.
When I watch USC now, I get none of that. The sideline isn’t animated. The coach just stands there with his playcard and reads it like it’s a restaurant menu. The games are so boring, I even find myself dozing off. I don’t get it. What the hell happened to us, USC? What happened from 2010 to now, Kiff? Was Matt Barkley THAT big of a difference for you?
Lane Kiffin was quoted as being an “offensive mastermind” that throws the ball down the field, and is aggressive. That’s not Lane Kiffin now. Lane Kiffin now is a guy who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing. Watching USC games now and watching his idea of an offense is like watching the Two Girls and One Cup video. Disgusting. Ugly. Pathetic. People act like we as USC fans should WANT to make excuses for Kiffin to get his head out of his butt. The two excuses that make me laugh are “well, we’re still down 10 scholarships, we have no depth in certain areas” and “These guys don’t have game experience, he’s just trying to ease them in.”
Do you realize that when you make an excuse for Lane Kiffin, a small child in Africa dies a slow and painful death due to starvation? Yeah, USC is still on probation and that’s up after next season. But my goodness, 7 points on one of the worst teams in college football? Then that whole, “ease in the quarterback” talk…….. Do people believe that? Do you really believe that the sanctions are preventing USC to score more than 7 points? Do you really believe the sanctions are preventing USC to actually look like a College Football team? Let’s just save ourselves here.
Lane Kiffin is one of the worst coaches in College Football. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the crowd that stayed to see USC lose in the most embarrassing way chanted “Fire Kiffin” so loud that I heard it on my grandparents TV and I started chanting it too.
Listen, I used to like Kiffin after that whole 2011 season. In fact, I defended Kiffin twice last year on this blog, but now? Nothing has changed with his playcalling, and him. It’s all drama all the time, and it’s embarrassing. Kiffin took a team with pretty good talent last year and had them lose 6 games, and had them look dead in a bowl game where he pretty much proved how much of a joke he was. Pat Haden, I’m SURE you remember that.
Kiffin told reporters that he was going to close practices because that’s what the other top programs in the country do. They close practices. Well guess what, good white brother? Fine. Close practices, but when we see the games, it makes everyone wonder, “what does this team work on? Do all they do is work on perfecting the bubble screen?” Closing practices is one thing. Closing practices to hide… what? This is USC 2013. Everyone knows how to prepare for bubble screens and running back dives.
Kiffin then said that he “didn’t” know who the starting quarterback was, and that both guys would “play” in the first two games of the season (He finally picked one in Cody Kessler an hour ago, which should have been named back in August for his morale). Then last week, he said that he “told” the team who was going to be the starting quarterback, but he wouldn’t tell the media because he didn’t want the story to be on them. Guess what, Kiffin? THEY PLAY AT USC! THE STORY WILL ALWAYS BE ON THEM, YOU IDIOT!!!!!
At the time, people thought this was a brilliant idea. Me? I sat in confusion. Lane Kiffin, this “offensive mastermind” was creating another sense of drama that wasn’t needed. If he says to the media, “this is my starting quarterback” instead of playing these stupid Jedi mind tricks on everyone, including your team.
Now here’s the aftermath of this. Kessler started the game on Saturday night against Washington State, but the “offensive mastermind” decided to play the game on the “safe” side because the defense was playing out of their minds. Fine. But guess what? Playing it safe to 7 points? 54 yards passing between 2 quarterbacks? USC has gone from an elite program to a joke in the span of two seasons. USC has Marqise Lee, arguably the best receiver in the country, and he has 7 catches for 27 yards against one of the worst secondaries in College Football. People are like, “Well Kessler threw a pick 6.” He threw a pick 6 because the WSU DB knew a slant was coming because it was so predictable.
I was going to give this guy another chance. I was. I thought things were going to change after that disastrous Sun Bowl. But sadly, once again, I was wrong. Kiffin has failed to develop both quarterbacks, and probably has ruined their confidence all in a nutshell because he lacks the confidence in both of them to call plays that allow both guys to show that they can throw the ball down the field. People say that football is a “team” game. Yeah, it is. And the team lost on Saturday night. But guess what? When a defense holds a team to just 3 points, you should expect to win every time.
It’s gotten to the point in my head that USC could win out (Not happening by the way, they’ll lose at least 5 more), and I’d still want him out. Something has to change. People say that “you don’t know football if you’re blaming Kiffin for this, he’s a scapegoat.” Well I guess I don’t know football because when I look at USC now, I see a program that’s about to suffer even more because their coach simply is clueless when it comes to football, and clueless when it comes to calling plays.
So Pat Haden, are you listening to your boosters? Did you hear the student section chant how they want him gone? Where do we go from here? Do we go from bad football to worse football? Are we gonna see more games of a quarterback throwing 20 bubble screens?
When I watch other teams on Saturdays, I see these true freshman quarterbacks throw the ball and have confidence, and it makes me wonder, “Why can’t USC do that?” Kiffin has two redshirt sophomores, who’ve sat and waited their time, but he doesn’t have any type of confidence in them. So guess what? Kiffin not only lost me as a supporter and trying to right the ship, he’s lost all hopes I’ve had of him actually getting his act together.
First and foremost, Congratulations to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for beating my USC Trojans and most likely heading to the National Title Game. Here’s the thing about Notre Dame that’s funny; Before the season, I said that Notre Dame was practically irreverent and that if they didn’t win this year, they would probably never really matter that much as a program. Well the joke is on me. Notre Dame, led by senior linebacker Manti Te’o (He almost went to USC, imagine that) will be heading to the National Title Game to probably face Alabama. A dream season for the Irish fans who frankly deserve it.
Notre Dame fans are completely classy, and I respect their program a hell of a lot more than I respect UCLOL‘s (You may have beaten us on the field, but I’ll still mock you). Te’o has had my respect as a football player since this September. He lost his grandma and his girlfriend in the same week, and then went and balled out of his mind against Michigan State. That alone gains my respect for the guy, and hopefully he can win the Heisman Trophy because good guys deserve good things.
All week, I thought Notre Dame would win this football game. Why? Because I felt like even though USC has better talent on the field, Notre Dame is much more sound and they play perfect football. USC is all about flash and substance; Notre Dame is all about grinding out victories, and toughness. In my honest opinion, I think Notre Dame can matchup with Alabama or Georgia because they want to play the same way they want to. Brian Kelly is a better coach than people think, and Notre Dame’s defense is better than people think.
USC’s season has been a comedy of errors. In fact, I found myself laughing through most of this game last night because USC’s defense doesn’t GET it. Notre Dame’s quarterback Everett Golson is good, and probably one of the best quarterbacks we’ve faced this year. But why are we going to play cover 2 against him? Why make this guy sit back and carve us up like Hundley, Mariota, Scott, and even Josh Nunes. I already told you all last week that the Tampa 2 was terrible and tonight was another example of it. The funny thing about USC is that I don’t think the defense played THAT bad tonight. I mean, they held Notre Dame to 5 field goals. Sure, USC can’t get off the field on 3rd downs. It’s been a huge problem all season long, but they did just enough to win a ballgame.
USC’s offense wasn’t that bad considering what they were going up against. Max Wittek BALLED (It’s his job to lose). Silas Redd will return, and he provided a spark. Marqise Lee is a sophomore, and he can make plays. I think Robert Woods will be gone, and if it was his last night playing in the Coliseum, he played like Robert Woods. The problem with USC’s offense isn’t the players. It’s not the talent. It’s the playcalling.
Lane Kiffin doesn’t get it. This is USC. We play for Championships. Lane, we don’t play for the Sun Bowl. We play and win Rose Bowls. The Granddaddy. We’re not one of those programs who’s excited to just make a bowl. USC ran a slogan all summer saying “We Play to Rise.” My personal favorite was “We Play for Roses.” Lane Kiffin has spun this into “We Play to go 7-5.” Nigga Kiffin really is saying “We Play For the Sun Bowl.” Where the hell is the Sun Bowl at? We aren’t the University of Washington, bro (speaking of UW, their fans can stop talking about my team and how they were ranked and we weren’t when they just lost to Washington State. Washington State. Who lost to Colorado. Don’t ever speak of USC again.). This is the University of Southern California, where you are judged off of performances in big games on National TV. (I googled where the Sun Bowl is, and it’s El Paso, Texas. Nigga, we’re going to Mexico for New Years? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!)
LANE, WE’RE GOING TO MEXICO? NIGGA WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!
Last week, I talked about how playcalling has been an issue all season long.
When it comes down to situations, Lane Kiffin has no idea what he’s doing, and this has happened plenty of times this season.
Last night, once again. Lane Kiffin struck GOLD when it came to being clueless. Sometimes, I think Lane Kiffin forgets that he has two first round picks at receiver. I think Lane tries to be too fancy at times instead of being simple. Last night was easily one of those nights where Kiffin was just… I don’t even know the right word. How about Terrible? Yeah, that’s right. USC is down 9 and it’s first and goal with about 4 minutes left. Just watch the video.
Two QB sneaks, a run, and then a rollout pass to ………. Soma Vainuku? ND’s run defensive line is dominant, and they showed their dominance in the 2nd half. USC’s offensive line is good, but not that good to counter that. At least not this year. I can understand the first QB sneak. because that’s logical. You’re at the half yard line. Call it. But why not go back to Marqise Lee vs some freshman corner? It got you to the half yard line. Try it again. Then keep trying it. He’s the best receiver, if not player in college football. The 4th down call is still unbelievably stupid. Soma Vainuku can’t catch anything. You tried this at Stanford. Dropped. Tried at Arizona. Dropped. And then tonight. Dropped.
The crazy thing is that USC still would have lost tonight regardless. Notre Dame’s offense isn’t the greatest in the world, but SC’s defense wasn’t gonna stop them. Especially with having just one timeout left. It’s frustrating as a fan to see your favorite team go through this type of struggle because of coaching. You can have all of the talent in college football (USC has top 5 talent, honestly), and yet an average coach doesn’t know how to use his players well. I told my mom today that Kiffin didn’t put Max Wittek in a position to win this ballgame, and I was correct.
Everyone looks at Matt Barkley for saying that he had “unfinished business” in college football, and how USC wanted to “take back” the conference, and the Nation. With this type of talent, you should believe that you can end up at least playing for the Rose Bowl, if not the National Title. But Kiffin’s play-calling cost Matthew a shot at something every USC QB wants to do: Win the Rose Bowl. That’s how we judge guys around here. Rose Bowls. It’s sad as hell that Matthew Barkley will not play in a BCS game. It’s sad that he has to go this season of hell because of his coach’s inability to put him in a situation to win.
For example, against Stanford, Kiffin actually said that he didn’t have the team ready to play. My opinion? Kiffin’s arrogance simply costed USC games. Sure, Kiffin isn’t turning the ball over. Kiffin isn’t have the foolish penalties. But he’s the coach. Take some accountability for your team bro. Instead of having wise cracks in the media about your quarterback, who turned down top 5 money to come back and finish some business (that business was never really finished), you should probably appreciate it.
After the game, Kiffin made this comment:
I’d be disappointed too. I hear them. I feel them. Regardless of scholarship reductions. We’ve got to do better.
Lane. The season is over, bro. In fact, as a fan……… I was lost once SC lost to Arizona because I knew that if SC couldn’t beat Arizona, they had no shot against Oregon, and some shot at UCLA & Notre Dame. Getting down double digits in games, the players not having any energy, that’s a reflection of their coach. Scholarship reductions didn’t make USC lose 5 games this year. Lack of game adjustments, suspect play-calling, and bad schemes on defense hurt the USC Trojans.
This is gonna be a long off-season, especially if USC loses in Mexico for the Sun Bowl. I don’t even know. I’ll probably never go to USC in my life, but I’m always gonna be a fan. Things have to change, though. What has to? I’m not even sure. I don’t think Lane Kiffin should be fired. But Kiffin’s honeymoon period is OVER, and as a fanbase, we can’t sit and defend his every little move. Kiffin is still young, and his X’s and O’s are flawed (He’s a worst version of John Calipari when it comes to coaching). Does he have a chance to improve himself? Of course he does. But last night showed that Lane Kiffin is incapable of being an offensive coordinator, and being a coach at the same time. Lane, it’s time to hire an offensive coordinator. Time to put someone up in the booth for them to call the plays. It’s only right.
USC right now is terrible. It’s a terrible football team, and that’s me being nice. If you would have told me in August that USC would have 5 losses by December, I would have laughed my ass off. Literally would have just laughed. It’s weird to see this team with all the talent, not win because of coaching. Not because they aren’t good, but because of coaching. It’s hilarious to me.
But hey. USC has 5 losses. No excuses. Just a lot of head-scratching, and attempting to never remember this season. Pure stressful, and hey it’s over now. USC fans, we got Kiffin’d last night. Badly. I’m a young USC fan, and I’ve been spoiled. Most USC fans have lived through Hackett/Robinson and this is nothing to them. To me, this is just the end of everything. I’ve only known one USC coach in Uncle Pete Carroll, and even his last season began this whole failure. I’m not sure where to go from here as a program because this season was a major failure. I’m always gonna “fight on” because that’s the only thing to do. But is Kiffin the answer for coaching this team? We all know he can recruit, but a lot of changes need to occur for USC to reach that level of excellence again. Sure, the sanctions are gonna be over in a few years, and USC is actually doing a good job within it, but at the same time, sanctions aren’t the excuses for this 7-5 season. Kiffin is.
Lane Kiffin, it’s time for you to hire an offensive coordinator, and just focus on being a coach from here on out. Your play-calling days are OVER, sir. If you want to save yourself in my eyes as the coach of my favorite team ever, fix yourself. Then, fix this program. We all know that this recruiting class will be a top 10 class, but you have to coach them on the field when it actually matters. Win a big game that’s on National TV. Prove me wrong, Lane. Please.
It’s been almost 7 hours since this USC/UCLA game ended, but I still have no words for how this game ended up. Losing doesn’t bother me because SC has been losing since 2009. It’s not a big deal, but the way USC lost today will sting me for a long time. It’s one thing to lose your crosstown rival, but it’s another thing to come out the way they did today. Flat, uninspired, and frankly, just bored. This team thought it was gonna be a cakewalk, didn’t regard the fact that UCLA was 8-2, and didn’t realize how UCLA would come out at least inspired after being beat 50-0 last season. To me, USC today was a team that wasn’t prepared. A team that didn’t want to compete, and a team that thought everything would be given to them. But in reality, it’s been like this all season.
In August, SC was preseason #1. Did they earn that? I’ve been on record plenty of times saying they didn’t, but embrace it because it’s there. In September, SC didn’t have Khaled Holmes in a game against Stanford, and lost to a team that they haven’t beaten in 4 years. In that game, they thought that Stanford would just lay down, and they would win by 30. I know it. I believed it. Against Arizona, maybe it was probably the same way, as they thought they could have countless amount of stupid penalties on defense, and terrible turnovers on offense. I’m not even going to talk about the Oregon game because the defense’s effort (or lack thereof). Today was just…. I don’t even know. I still don’t know what to make of today’s game.
SC was down 24-0 before they wanted to play. In fact, I think Lane Kiffin told them that the game started at 1:30 pst, not 12:05. Like, the whole “let’s get down in a big hole, then let’s play” act is hilarious to me because this team, to me really thought that this game would be easy, and that they could walk in, and UCLA would lie down. USC hasn’t scared teams like that since 2004, Kiff.
Speaking of Kiffin, how the hell do you regress as a coach? Last year, Lane fooled a lot of people (myself included) as a guy who could somewhat coach, but was a very talented recruiter. Now? I’m not sure because this USC team isn’t a 4 loss team, but yet… they are. Kiffin’s offensive play-calling has always been a topic of subject by USC fans, and I never really made a big deal out of it until this afternoon. USC was down 17-0, and driving to score. So why, on 3rd and 5, would you call a toss play? Then go for it on 4th down, and call a 1 receiver set play on 4th down? Then, USC has the ball at the 12. It’s 24-20 early in the 3rd quarter. Kiffin calls three straight pass plays, and doesn’t even look to run the ball while Curtis McNeal ran hard and well today. I don’t understand this, at all. When it comes down to situations, Lane Kiffin has no idea what he’s doing, and this has happened plenty of times this season. Now it’s not all on Kiffin. He’s not turning the ball over.
Matt Barkley has as many picks as he’s had his freshman year, and some of these picks are mind-bogging to me. First play of the game, Barkley throws a terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE pick. Then, to make things more hilarious with my dude is that he threw one when USC was driving to score in the beginning of the 4th quarter. It wasn’t like he threw one, and it happened to be a good defensive play. He threw it to the UCLA defender. Maybe it was miscommunication with Marqise Lee, but that’s inexcusable. I’m not sure if Barkley will play next week. Rumor has it, he has a separated shoulder, so he could possibly end his USC Trojan career with a loss to UCLA, a team he’s never lost to. It sucks because I know Matt had high hopes for himself this season, and I’m not trying to dog him because I know in my heart, he wanted to end his last season as a Trojan as the greatest USC QB ever. In fact, he read my blog when I wrote to him, so he’s truly one of my favorite people of all-time. But at the same time, these interceptions are just strange from a 4th year starting quarterback. It’s sad that his career will end like this.
The true question is: What will Matt Barkley’s legacy be? If he can’t play next week, this question will be very very interesting to everyone who’s a USC fan. We all know he’s the Pac-10/12 record holder in TD passes, yardage, and I believe completions. But really, this will be an interesting discussion over the next few weeks, and months.
The major problem for the USC Trojans is really due to one man: Monte Kiffin. Sure, he’s not the one playing on the field. Kiffin is in the box, and in reality, he’s not even the defensive coordinator. Ed Orgeron is. But at the same time, this “Tampa 2” defense experiment is over. Well not just over, it’s DEAD. The idea of it is dead. The yardage that USC’s defense has given up in November have been absurd. I’m amazed to see how Notre Dame and their freshman quarterback Everett Golson dominates us. It’s not even like USC has bad athletes on this defense. This defense is still partly young, fast, and talented. Morgan Breslin is gonna be an All-American I believe. But the problem with USC’s defense all season long has been 3rd down and long. I wish I counted how many times USC let UCLA convert 3rd and long into 1st downs (I think it was 3 times today). The biggest one of the game was in the 4th quarter. SC just scored a touchdown, and if they get a stop, and make UCLA kick at least a field goal, they possibly could win the game. But nope, 3rd and 13. UCLA gets it, and the game is over. That’s been the story of USC’s defense this year. Average. Sometimes good, a lot of times bad, and you can never rely on them to do anything special to win a ballgame.
USC hasn’t had a defense that has been dominant since 2008. You know, that defense with Clay Matthews, Rey Maualuga, and Brian Cushing. This team didn’t even need a defense that was dominant. Just an average defense to hopefully play well at times, and well it, as we all saw today, that wasn’t the case. To me, it’s mostly scheme, failure to make adjustments, and missed assignments. The Tampa 2 scheme doesn’t even work in the college game, and I think after 3 years , it’s time to get rid of it. Is Monte the scapegoat? Possibly, but on the field, this defense against spread offenses is terrible.
Next week’s game against Notre Dame is on national TV. Primetime audience, and before the season, it was supposed to be Matt Barkley’s last shot to win the Heisman Trophy and him getting a national audience chance to win the award. Now? Notre Dame will come in #1 (Funny right? Notre Dame is gonna be #1 in the country, who would have thought this back in August?), and USC is currently sliding in an downward spiral. If Barkley’s injury is serious, Max Wittek or Cody Kessler will get to face one of the best defenses in the country with the best defensive player in the country in Manti Teo. USC’s advantage is on the outside with Marqise Lee, and Robert Woods. Will Kiffin use Woods more? Will Lane let Curtis McNeal get more touches when he’s running well? Will the defense actually step up and make plays against another rival, or will they falter, making this season end in even more disappointment?
If USC loses next week, a lot of soul-searching will happen before the end of the season, and I expect a lot of changes to take place because today’s game might have been the final straw. Sure, USC is about to reach the deep part of the sanctions, but things need to be taken into account. Now as a fan, I’m always gonna be around because during the tough times, you still have to fight on no matter what. But still. This loss hurts because honestly, it might be the end of a lot of things in the USC program. Might be the end of the dominance in LA. The beginning of being average until 2016. Or possibly, the worst possible thing ever: losing more than 5 games in a season.
But who knows?
It’s hard to predict the future. If you would have told me in August that USC would have 4 losses heading to the Notre Dame and that Matt Barkley has thrown 15 interceptions, I would have laughed at you. But hey, it’s the beauty of college football. Losses happen. Wins happen. But no matter what, you gotta fight on.