USC football confirmed the hiring of new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury on Wednesday, also announcing his role as quarterbacks coach.
Kliff Kingsbury is officially official as USC football’s new offensive coordinator, as the Trojans announced their new hire on Wednesday morning.
Not that it is much of a surprise, but Kingsbury was also confirmed as the Trojan quarterbacks coach going forward.
“We are very excited to welcome Kliff to the Trojan Family,” head coach Clay Helton said in a press release. “He is a brilliant offensive mind and is on the cutting edge of the game today. His offenses have consistently been at the top of the college football statistical rankings. With the talent on our team, along with his leadership and coaching, I truly believe that we can take our offense to new heights.”
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The implications for USC’s offense are clear. The Trojans hope to tap into the high-flying, uptempo concepts of the Air Raid to pull the offense out of the slump that was the 2018 season.
But what does Kingsbury mean specifically for USC’s quarterback room?
JT Daniels, Matt Fink or Jack Sears, whoever emerges from the offseason as the Trojans’ starting quarterback under a new offensive regime, can look forward to putting up some pretty big numbers. Because that’s what quarterbacks have always done under Kingsbury.
The list of QBs fostered by Kingsbury is long and prolific. It starts with Case Keenum at Houston, who posted more than 5,000 passing yards and 40 touchdowns in three seasons playing for Kingsbury.
Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy in Kingsbury’s offense at Texas A&M while Davis Webb, Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes were quarterbacks for the new Trojan OC at Texas Tech. All three are quarterbacks in the NFL currently, the latter two starting.
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Since Mayfield, who was a walk-on, transferred to Oklahoma and Webb left the Red Raiders for Cal after being supplanted as a starter, the passer to focus on is Mahomes.
After a promising first season of action taking over for Webb, Mahomes threw for 4,283 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2015 in his first full season as a starter. In 2016, he led the nation in passing with 5,052 yards, finding the endzone 41 times with only 10 interceptions on 591 passing attempts.
Eight times since 2008, Kingsbury-coached quarterbacks have boasted a passer rating above 150.
It stands to reason, Daniels’ freshman numbers of 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with a passer rating of 128.55 will be improved upon greatly in 2019.
Moreover, though former quarterbacks coach and new Western Kentucky offensive coordinator Bryan Ellis was considered an up-and-coming coach, 2018 was his first time holding a quarterbacks coach role. Kingsbury has a wealth of experience working with passers of different styles and abilities. That experience should benefit USC’s young quarterbacks in 2019 and beyond.