Lane Kiffin conference call highlights

Here are some selected quotes from USC head coach Lane Kiffin’s Sunday night conference call after the Trojans’ 30-13 victory over Hawaii.

On the USC offense against Hawaii:

“I didn’t feel very good about our passing game, and there were really a couple of plays there that significantly changed the feeling about it. There were three significant drops … the fourth-down drop early by Marqise [Lee], and then the two go routes, one by Nelson [Agholor], and one by Marqise … 101 yards receiving there that I think completely changes the way that our feelings would be. …I thought that the run game was very efficient, especially for two running backs that had never played running back in a college game ever before. … Tre [Madden] took care of the ball extremely well [and] ran for over 100 yards. Justin [Davis], if he doesn’t fumble the ball and lose 15 yards because the ball goes back, is over a hundred yards too. … I thought the offensive line, pass protection was poor, but the run game was very good.”

On the USC defense:

“On defense it was a really great day for the most part. I thought our guys played with great energy … five sacks by halftime. They were really relentless up front in the front seven. The three safety guys made significant plays … Su’a [Cravens], Josh [Shaw] and Dion [Bailey] all making interceptions. I think it speaks about who Su’a is as a player that in his fourth collegiate play of his career he gets an interceptions … a lot of good stuff over there on defense.”

On whether Kiffin has picked a starter between quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek for the upcoming game against Washington State:

“I do know who our starting quarterback is … and you guys will see Saturday who he is.”

On whether Kiffin is going into the game with the anticipation that he will play both quarterbacks again:

“I don’t know that. We’re going to watch the game just like we would any game.”

Kiffin’s answer to, “So, you’re not going in with the anticipation that you’re going to play both as you did in the first game?”

“Not the exact same, no.”

Kiffin’s thoughts on Kessler’s performance against Hawaii:

“I thought that Cody started well in the opening drive there … you know, he picks up the big third down, and then makes a great throw on fourth down to Marqise that he drops … and then he kind of stalls out there and doesn’t have a really good rest of the first half until towards the end. And obviously he makes a poor decision on a screen pass … but then he ends the first half well. He has a touchdown drive earlier, and then gets the three points there at the end, so some good things for him to build on.

Kiffin’s thoughts on Wittek’s outing:

“Max, I thought had some good throws there. He really suffered from two long-ball drops. If you give those two completions to him for another 80 yards there, those are going to be very different numbers. So, Max did well.”

On Silas Redd’s visit to Florida this past weekend to see orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews:

“We sent Silas there right before we left for Hawaii, and he had a procedure done down there with Dr. Andrews. He felt positive about it coming back today, and that’s really all that we have on it.”

Whether he has any idea when Redd might be on the field again for the Trojans:

“I don’t. I hope this week.”

Kiffin’s feelings about the situation at cornerback, where the Trojans lost both starters -- Anthony Brown and Kevon Seymour -- with undisclosed injuries during the game:

“We hope that both of those guys that got nicked up in the game will play this week for us, and if they don’t then other guys need to play well and step up. … We’re going to have injuries and guys have to be ready to play. We saw what happened with Devian [Shelton] in that game … coming in there and not holding to the standard of play that we had for those first 74 plays. So, everybody needs to be ready on our entire team, because there are going to be some guys that started way down on the depth chart that are going to end up playing for us.”

On how Dion Bailey performed at safety after lining up at linebacker in 2011 and 2012:

“We stayed in Nickel for a majority of the game because of the tempo, so Josh, and Su’a and Dion were in the whole time. Dion missed a ton of time, and to come back with seven tackles, a sack, an interception -- and he almost had a second interception -- was a great start for him in our new system.”

Kiffin’s thoughts on Lee, who had two notable dropped balls against Hawaii:

“It’s going to happen to everybody … that’s [part of] sports. Nobody is perfect. Michael Jordan missed shots … the good thing that I look at is we know obviously that Marqise makes those, and he’s made them a bunch before … more than anybody in the history of the conference last year, so that’s the good thing, because you know that’s not going to keep happening.”

USC will next face a Washington State team that passed the ball 65 times this past weekend in a close 31-24 loss to Auburn. Does Kiffin have any concerns in going up against the Cougars’ offense, particularly with the Trojans lacking depth at cornerback?

“I’d have a concern about that even if we had great depth. I thought that they threw the ball awesome yesterday. I thought the quarterback was really in rhythm … the passing game was better than it was a year ago. Their protection, they only gave up two sacks … so I’ve got a lot of concerns with how well their offense did.”