Ex-USC Football Head Coach, QB collapse to finish season in SEC

Jaxson Dart, USC Football, USC Trojans
Jaxson Dart, USC Football, USC Trojans / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Former USC Football Head Coach Lane Kiffin and former USC Football QB Jaxson Dart raced off to a fast start together this season for Ole Miss. They started the year 8-1, and Dart in particular was playing well. He was averaging 8.8 yards per pass attempt for 1,911 passing yards and 5.9 yards per rush attempt for 473 rushing yards. They even had a win against then-No. 7 Kentucky in there.

In their last three games, though, they went 0-3. Two of their three games were against teams not ranked at the time, and one of them was against a team still not ranked in the Arkansas Razorbacks. Two of the losses were at home, too. Dart did not look the same in this three-game finish.

Dart only put up 6.7 yards per pass attempt, and only two yards per rush attempt. He contributed just 75 rushing yards. He had just four total touchdowns (all passing) in those three games. He had 14 (all passing) in his previous nine. Ole Miss has fallen out of the CFP Top 25 rankings after this hard fall from the Rebels.

It drops Kiffin to 23-12 in his career at Ole Miss, and if being unranked continues, it will be his second year out of three where he finishes the year unranked. That 23-12 record is eerily similar to his 28-15 record he had with the Trojans (from .657 to .651). That being said, the expectations at Ole Miss are much lower than what they are at SC.

Former USC Football HC Lane Kiffin and former USC Football QB Jaxson Dart didn't have a high expectation for their win-loss record this year.

Therefore, perhaps the USC Football HC and QB combo of Lane Kiffin and Jaxson Dart are about where they themselves expected the program to be. They'll need a better year next season, however, to make up for them falling flat after starting so strong. They could potentially wipe the taste of this collapse away, however, with a bowl win during bowl season this year.

If they do that, they may move back into the Top 25. And if they do that, this season will likely be considered a success for them. It could also put Kiffin in the running for a bigger head coach job. It was just as recently as last week when Kiffin was in the running for the Auburn job.

He did get extended, though, so the chances of him leaving in the near future have at least shrunk from where they were when the Auburn job became available.

Next. Predictions for rest of USC Football season. dark

Unfortunately, however, with early signing day happening so quickly nowadays, a bowl win may not come in time for the Rebels' 2023 recruiting class to be saved. They currently have just 13 commitments in this year's cycle. That makes for just the 26th-best recruiting class in America (247Sports).