Here are some selected quotes from USC head coach Ed Orgeron’s Sunday night conference call following the Trojans’ 14-10 loss to Notre Dame.
“After reviewing the film, there were some outstanding efforts by our guys. ... We felt that the penalties hurt us at the end, and put us in a bad position on third down ... too many penalties and too many mistakes put us in crucial situations.
“We felt that our defense played well in the second half. It helped that Tommy Rees wasn’t in the game. Obviously, we knew that [No.] 12 [Andrew Hendrix] would just run the football. The play where Leonard Williams made the ball pop out with Su'a Cravens [making the recovery] gave us a chance to win the football game. We’re disappointed that we didn’t make the field goals.
“I thought that the run by Cody [Kessler] to the 3- or 4-yard line was excellent. It was unfortunate that it got called back for a holding call. That would have put us in position to win the game. I thought that our guys were fighting until the very end, and put us in a position to win the game.”
Orgeron about some USC players who said that they didn’t necessarily believe that all of the penalties called on them were legitimate infractions:
“We watched it closely, and those are judgment calls that they’re going to make, and obviously they made them at crucial times. Some of them were obvious [penalties] that we have to fix. Some of them were questionable, but we can’t control that. There are some technique assignments that we went over as a staff that we’re going to work on in order for that not to happen in the future.”
“Xavier Grimble will be out for the game. Marqise Lee will be questionable. Randall Telfer will be out for the game, and also Justin Davis.”
On where that leaves the team at tight end, with Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick as the only healthy scholarship player:
“We’re going to meet as a staff tonight, and I’m sure that we’ll come up with a plan before we meet with our guys tomorrow. Right now it’s in the preliminary stage, but there is a problem there.”
On the status of tailback Tre Madden, who missed the game against Notre Dame with a hamstring injury:
“I feel that Tre is not ready to practice right now with the hamstring. He’s still hurting, but towards the end of the week he should be getting better. I would count on him playing, but we don’t know that for sure now. Hopefully he can play on Saturday.”
On the performance by the offense on third down against Notre Dame. The Trojans converted their first two third-down attempts, but then were 0-for-11:
“You know, we ended up with third-and-20, and third-and-15 ... the penalties negated a lot of positive plays. We really felt like the holding penalties and the false starts really created a lot of that.”
On the play of the USC defensive line versus Notre Dame’s highly touted offensive line, and whether the Trojans rotated more players in as Orgeron alluded to leading up to the game:
“We got the chance to play J.R. Tavai, and Antwaun Woods played a lot more. And obviously, this is the best line we’ve seen. Going back and watching the film today, we won some battles, and they won some battles. It was a tough match. I thought we played the run pretty good. We didn’t put the pressure on the quarterback like we wanted to. ... I thought overall it was a pretty good battle, a physical Notre Dame game, but we did rotate Antwaun and J.R. in more, and Morgan [Breslin] got a lot of snaps, so I don’t think our guys got tired at all during the game.”
On the performance of the secondary, a unit that was picked apart for the third consecutive week, and whether Orgeron plans to make any changes there:
“Obviously there have been some areas there where we’ve been struggling. In defense of Anthony [Brown], he hadn’t practiced in I don’t know how long, so it’s kind of hard to go out there and play against a very good football team -- some big receivers -- and perform well. And obviously he did some things well ... obviously we wish we had somebody else that we could put in there, but we’re not ready. Josh Shaw is always going to be talked about. ... maybe moving him back to corner. When he was there we didn’t have those problems. And Clancy [Pendergast] and I were planning on talking about that tonight.”
On the play of wide receiver Darreus Rogers, who made six receptions for 60 yards on Saturday:
“I just met with Tee Martin, [Rogers] played really, really well. We’re so proud of that young man. He fought through it and made a clutch catch at the end. Tee was really impressed with his performance. He’s an excellent young man.”
Orgeron on the performance of kicker Andre Heidari, who hit 1 of 3 field goal attempts:
“I just went over every field goal miss with Coach [John] Baxter. We had an extensive meeting, and it’s a technical problem. What he’s doing, he’s hurrying on the kick and not following through. And he’s been a really good kicker for us in the past, and he’s struggling. So, we have not gone past that to see what we’re going to do. We just looked at the kicks that he missed, talked about the technical problems and we’ll see if we can fix it.”