The Trojans talked to the media following a 24-14 win over the Washington Huskies, and the theme of the name was that it takes a team to win a football game on the road. Here’s what the Trojans had to say:Lane Kiffin to the media: “The story of the day would be the defense No. 1, then special teams and then the run game. Those are the three things that if you’re going to win on the road, you need to pack. It was a phenomenal job by our defense, especially in the fourth quarter. For those of you who have been covering us for three years, you know that’s been our issue, the fourth quarter with the defense. I thought our guys really played well to close the game out, flew to the ball, ran the ball well at times and scored on special teams. We’re glad to get out of here. It’s been a long first half of the season, four road games out of six. We’re back in LA for five of the next six, and we’ll load up and go back.”
Lane Kiffin on whether or not the Trojans dialed it down on the road: “I continue to remind myself of the one goal, and that’s to win the game. Are the numbers what we’re used to? No, but we won. Remember two times ago we went on the road and we weren’t sitting here with a win. Yeah, we got conservative once we got a lead like that, but we said it all along, this wasn’t about anybody’s numbers or Heisman or any of that. This is about winning games and we did the best thing to win the game today.”
Lane Kiffin on whether or not Matt Barkley’s health following a sack affected play calling: He’s fine. That had nothing to do with him. That was simply playing to win. I wanted to sit here in this press conference at 5-1 and not 4-2, and so we did that. And in those situations, why go back and get him hit again? We wanted to play to our defense and get on the plane and go home.
Lane Kiffin on USC’s struggles in the third quarter: “I don’t know. That’s a good question. We have not come out come out and played very well in third quarter and that falls on our coaching. We need to do a better job on our adjusting.”
Lane Kiffin on Silas Redd: “I thought he had a really good day. He’s just a really cool kid.”
Lane Kiffin on the emphasis on running the ball: “That was really the plan coming in. Take care of the football, run the ball. We thought we matched up really well on defense with these guys. We wanted to make sure we got out of here with a win.”
Lane Kiffin on running on third down: “There were a few really long situations on third down and the last thing I wanted to do in this environment was to sit there drop back and let these guys rush us so the quarterback could get hit. Once again, going with our gameplan and feeling our defense was going to play well, going back to that Stanford road game, there’s some times that I was getting Matt hit those situations and I made sure that I didn’t do that today.”
Matt Barkley on the little things: “I think it’s just the little things that you saw last week, with the penalties and undisciplined. If we play undisciplined like that, we’re not going to have a blowout game, it’s going to be close. Those are things that we need to fix in terms of stalling drives.”
Matt Barkley on the lack of a passing game: “I wouldn’t say ‘frustrating’. Obviously I want to pass the ball, but I’m happy with the win. It wasn’t a glamorous win, but if we’re scoring and we’re winning, then I’m happy with that. Our ground came today and our defense was on fire as usual with turnovers, so it was a team win.”
Matt Barkley on how the team is at the halfway point of the season: “I don’t know, we definitely can improve on a lot of areas. So we’re not ‘there’ yet.
Xavier Grimble on his touchdown catch: “I just saw the coverage when I walked out and I just pretty much knew I was going to have a chance just by the way they were playing it. I just ran my route, kept my tips and reminders in my head, and then I broke and I just knew it was coming to me. Matt saw me and I thought I was going to get hit because I couldn’t see the safety on the right side, but I kind of knew he was somewhere around there so I was thinking I was going to get hit pretty hard, but I was just trying to focus on the ball and catch it with a body catch and fall down and hold it tight.”