When Oregon pulls its foot off of the gas, it’s because they’re up several scores in the first half of games. When Lane Kiffin decides to lay off the jugular, it’s because the Trojans are up just ahead of the spread and Kiffin wants to kill off the game.
It’s the mentality that nearly cost USC the game against Washington two weeks ago, and against Arizona today in Tucson, it allowed the Wildcats to go on a 26-0 run and give them a double-digit fourth quarter lead on the No. 9 ranked Trojans.
When Marqise Lee had 299 yards receiving in the third quarter, Kiffin opted to run the ball extensively with D.J. Morgan and Silas Redd, becoming one dimensional, not to mention multiple passes to fullback Soma Vainuku.
That allowed the Arizona defense to gain confidence in stopping the Trojans and put the USC defense on the field for big chunks of the second half, enabling them to get eaten alive by Matt Scott.
Proof? A third and 22 play that gained 60 yards on a pass from Scott to Austin Hill in the fourth quarter, setting up the go-ahead touchdown.
At this point in Lane Kiffin’s stint at USC, he’s had blame given to him about a lot of things from switching numbers, refusing to talk to media and most importantly, his play calling, which had led him to get out-coached in at least three games this season, losing two.
What should the Trojans do? Kiffin’s done a remarkable job getting USC through the sanctions and he’s recruited masterfully. But his in-game decisions are a weak point for the Trojans and have cost USC on multiple occassions.
Is Pat Haden in a tough spot? Are fans and the media alike over-reacting to Kiffin’s antics? You decide. Vote in our poll and leave your comments below telling us why.