Monday Mailbag: USC Football Looks to 2013

We’ve been fielding your questions on Twitter for our Mailbag Monday feature, so let’s celebrate the start of the work week by getting right into your questions on the USC Trojans.

Answer: Lane Kiffin has shown himself to be a coach that prides himself on playing favorites, as opposed to maintaining a steady rotation and even distribution of wealth. Need proof? Look at USC’s top-heavy receiving leaders in 2012. When it comes to running backs in 2013, expect Kiffin to play who he considers to be the hot hand and not necessarily mix things up. Silas Redd is going to be the starter going into camp and D.J. Morgan will be right behind him, if not even with him. Also, don’t forget Tre Madden, who will be the dark horse for the third option if he can get healthy. As for the freshmen, look for them to play since Kiffin has passed on redshirting players like Dillon Baxter, George Farmer and Amir Carlisle in the past, just don’t expect them to start right away unless Justin Davis blows coaches away in spring camp. Best case scenario however, without Kiffin’s history in mind, is that Redd and Morgan stay healthy and become the one-two punch that Redd and McNeal were supposed to be, with Madden and Buck Allen contributing for depth. That would allow Davis and/or Isaac to be redshirted and help USC weather depth issues in the heart of sanctions. Just don’t hold your breath on that happening.

Answer: On the surface, no. And that’s because of the administration’s support of Kiffin. What’s going to lead to his demise is not being bowl eligible or another 7-6 season, regardless of how those losses happen. While the ability to bring in an offensive coordinator would strongly improve the Trojans’ chances to compete in 2013, the top priority for Kiffin is to find a defensive coordinator that restores the stout defense that USC is known for, which in turn would take considerable pressure off of his play calling and the offensive performance in general.

Answer: The only one known to interview, and that has been reported directly by a credentialed media member, is Clancy Pendergast. Rumors have swirled about Pat Narduzzi, and 247Sports’ Scott Schrader tweeted that he was going to be interviewed on Saturday. But, his tweeted link led to a post on the 247 message board, so take that for what it’s worth. As for the time table, there isn’t one as of now, but if Kiffin’s interviewed Pendergast, it can’t be too long before the spot is filled, especially with Signing Day looming.

Answer: If we’re betting on it, how about $2 on Mark Banker to win. The interest between Banker and USC is confirmed to be mutual and he runs a 4-3 defense. With as little as we know about the search, that’s grounds to be the favorite and our best guess.

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