Kiffin media call quotes

LOS ANGELES -- USC head coach Lane Kiffin held a conference call Sunday night following the Trojans’ 49-10 victory over Hawaii on Saturday. Here are some selected comments from the coach:


“After going back over the film, it was kind of a strange game offensively, with so many broken plays in the passing game. Almost 400-yards passing, plus you’ve got I think four pass interferences that would go in there -- so whatever that is, 450 yards out of the passing game. And then three-and-a-half yards a carry in the rushing game – that’s not the balance we’re looking for.”

“Defensively, I thought the guys who had not played very much, or at all in college football, played well, which is good to see because obviously you know your veterans more than you do those guys.”

“Special Teams, we basically got two returns that we could really return. One for a hundred-yard touchdown, the other, I think thirty-something yards with Nickell’s [Robey] punt return, so that was good.”

“But I think there was the normal first game sloppiness, with substitutions or a delay of game, so we have a lot of things to work on. Hopefully we improve a lot from week-one to week-two.

As you know, we don’t get into details on injuries, but hopefully we get healthier.”

On facing Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib:

“You know we didn’t get tested a lot with a quarterback who was very different. We’re going to face a quarterback that’s throwing a lot, from a guy who had never played in a college game. We’re going to need to play better and make more plays on the ball in the secondary – the other corners that played outside of Nickell.”

On the Joe McKnight allegations that came out Saturday:

“I have no comment on it. We were completely focused on the game, and we’ll be the same this week. Pat Haden made a lengthy comment on it that I think covered everything on it. It’s not even registering with us as far as this football team and what we’re doing.”

On Curtis McNeal being limited to five carries:

“That wasn’t on purpose. As we’ve said before, you can’t predict touches, rushing yards, passing yards and how things are going to happen. It has to do with schemes and rhythms, and what they’re doing too. Those guys were very aggressive – a lot of people in the box and a lot of pressures, and they left those guys outside a lot in man-to-man coverage, especially in the first half. So that really dictated that we threw more than we rushed.”

On the offensive line play against Hawaii:

“Inconsistent. Matt [Barkley] saved us from a couple sacks. I know after meeting with them today, I know that they’re ready to play better. They had a great camp and unfortunately it didn’t carry over into the game. Hawaii did a lot of different stuff, a lot of fronts and a lot of unusual things in their front-seven that gave us some issues.”

On Matt Barkley and Marqise Lee, and a couple of tense moments between the two during the game:

“You’re dealing with two top-five picks in the draft. They’re phenomenal players that are very competitive and they want to complete every ball, so I think that’s a good thing. You know, your quarterback is throwing for almost 400-yards, the receiver has 200-yards, and they’re not satisfied. There was nothing negative about that. Marqise ran the wrong route one time, and the other one, the ball was a little low. Their standards for themselves, they don’t think we should ever punt.”

On the performance by freshman defensive tackle Leonard Williams:

“I saw some great things out of Leonard, some things where you really say, ‘Wow. That’s what they’re supposed to look like.’ That’s what you deal with in the SEC, those types of guys – big, strong and fast. He made a bunch of mistakes like any freshman would, but he’s going to be really special.”

On the performance by Hayes Pullard at middle linebacker:

“He did really well, just like he did in the scrimmages. It’s not easy switching spots, and actually Dion [Bailey] last night switched spots. He was playing nickel WILL which he’s never played before. He’s a base SAM, and he comes out in nickel normally – Hayes [Pullard] and Lamar [Dawson] would normally stay in there. So both of those guys are doing something that they’ve never done in a game before, and they’re doing a good job.”

On facing Syracuse’s fast-tempo, zone-read offense:

“I think it will be a big challenge. Dealing with the zone-read is a whole other thing – we actually saw a couple of them last night surprisingly. We didn’t expect that. And the no-huddle stuff obviously makes you have to be ready to play a lot of snaps and play fast, so we’re going to have to have a great week of practice. These guys are really good at doing it, even though they just started doing it.”

On playing so many newcomers against Hawaii:

“I think there were 27 new guys, so I think you saw our dedication to playing more guys. We’ve talked about that for a while here, and we haven’t done as well we’d like to. The game helped us yesterday by getting out of hand. I pulled people faster than we normally would have. We don’t worry about stats or any of that stuff. As I’ve told you, that’s going to be a philosophy this year.”