Lane Kiffin media-call recap

Some selected quotes from USC head coach Lane Kiffin’s Sunday night media conference call following the Trojans’ 42-29 victory over Syracuse.


“I thought, after reviewing the film, that we started really well for the most part, if you put all three phases of our team together -- much like the first week. Through two games, in the first half we’ve outscored the teams 49-3, so I’m happy about our team’s preparation, even though we’re a little slow on offense, but we’re taking care of the football, playing good defense and good special teams.”

“And then in the second half the offense got going, special teams continued to play really well and unfortunately we didn’t play very well on defense. I thought that we hurt ourselves with penalties as a team for the second week in a row -- something that we haven’t improved a lot on around here.”

“The quarterback [Matt Barkley] was really good. He only threw one bad ball, really. You know, anytime you throw six touchdowns and whatever it was, 76 percent or something completion [percentage] in the game on the road, that’s a good game. Nine [Marqise Lee] and two [Robert Woods] showed up, especially in the second half. “

“So moving forward, we’ve got a big game this week versus a team that’s beat USC for a number of years in a row now, and we’ll go to work Tuesday.”

On the status of Khaled Holmes and whether there was an update available:


Thoughts on the offensive line play against Syracuse:

“I thought that there were some good things in the run game, I thought just OK in the pass game, and we’re going to have to be more consistent. But it was better than the first week, so there was improvement from week one to week two, but we need more improvement in week-three.”

On whether Cyrus Hobbi is ready to step in at center if he has to:

“Yes, sure. You know, Cyrus had a good camp for us. He’s a very smart player, and we have a lot of confidence in Cyrus as a center or a guard.”

On Dion Bailey’s performance so far:

“Dion -- this is the second year in a row that he continues to make big plays for us. He’s a playmaker. There aren’t a lot of players who can move from safety to linebacker, and he’s around the ball more often. He and Hayes [Pullard[ have played really well through two games now.”

On left tackle Aundrey Walker’s performance so far this year:

“I think the good thing is you’re not hearing his name a lot. When you’re an offensive lineman, if you hear your name a lot, especially as a tackle, it’s for a lot of false starts, or holding or missed assignments. So Aundrey is progressing – he played better in week two than week one. Obviously he’s not perfect -- he has some work to do, but we do like what we’ve seen.”

On Morgan Breslin’s surprise impact:

“It’s been an unbelievable two-game run for Morgan, really. And we’ve needed it obviously. We had issues at the position.”

On Torin Harris and the cornerback position opposite Nickell Robey:

“Well, for the first time in a very long time Torin Harris played and did some good things. I’d look for Torin to probably play some more.”

On Stanford’s rise in terms of recruiting:

“I think that obviously has a lot to do with Jim [Harbaugh], when he was there, and now David [Shaw]. They’ve done a really good job of recruiting California and nationally. The guys that we’ve lost, it’s really been more offensive linemen more than anything else off the top of my head. “

On the running game and the balance it brought to the offense against Syracuse:

“That’s what we expected -- to be able to be productive in the running game like that. I thought we were really productive in the run game with our backs if you look at their average per carry. And they took care of the football really well too…against a defense that has been pretty good against the run.”

On whether he foresees any movement in the tailback rotation:

“I would anticipate what we’re doing now which is basically splitting carries for the most part, and just feel how certain games are going.“

On Silas Redd’s performance against Syracuse:

“I think that Silas did really well once he got going. I’m sure there was some anxiety playing out there on the east coast in front of so many people that he knew, but I thought he really calmed down in the second half and ran really well.

On whether he wishes that he’d had kept his vote in the Coaches Poll:

“Not at all. I don’t even think twice about it. I don’t even know how close the votes are or anything like that. I could care less -- if we keep moving down, and every Saturday we’re winning, I’ll be very happy.”