Coach Speak: Week 2
September, 4, 2011
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Notes and quotes from Lane Kiffin's Sunday evening conference call, where he also disclosed that he had met earlier with running back Dillon Baxter and his family:
- A quick review of the Minnesota game: Kiffin said that in retrospect he feels a "little better" about the way the Trojans played against the Gophers. Robert Woods played a "great game," with "great energy all over the field." The strength of the defense was the defensive line, he said, and, overall, the defense actually played "very well for the majority of the game."
- 'Defensive' would be a good word to describe the way Kiffin addressed his decision to go for two twice in the first half Saturday. "We don’t just all the sudden make a decision one second before they happen," he said. "All that stuff is thought out well before. Those aren’t just split-second decisions. "In this case, the plan going in was, if we were the first ones to score and we had an advantage in our special-teams look, we were going to go for it." It was a bit of a different approach to how he talked about the two-point attempts in his press conference after Saturday's game, when he referenced the Trojans' 2010 statistics with the two-pointers and stuck to those.
- Three freshmen were supposed to play in Saturday's game but didn't get a chance to because the game was too close late, Kiffin said: linebacker Lamar Dawson, defensive tackle Christian Heyward and defensive end J.R. Tavai. The other freshmen are then presumably on a path to redshirt, including highly-touted receiver George Farmer and running back Amir Carlisle.
- The Trojans didn't suffer a single injury during the game. "It's pretty much unheard of," Kiffin said. "That’s obviously good, because you want to be 1-0 and you want to be healthy." Left guard Abe Markowitz is on track to practice this week and potentially play against Utah in six days.
- On the topic of Utah, Kiffin didn't reveal much of his initial analysis of the Utes' opener but did say he was happy to gameplan for a more traditional team he's more familiar with. "It is good to see a normal offense," he said. Of course, after Saturday's game Kiffin said his team would not beat Utah playing like they did against Minnesota.
- Kiffin said he did not have an update on the statuses of suspended running back Marc Tyler or defensive tackle Armond Armstead, who continues to sit out with an unspecified condition that forced him to be hospitalized in March. "As of right now, nothing has changed," Kiffin said of Tyler, who was originally suspended only for Week 1 but not given a specific reinstatement date. "We'll just keep evaluating it and we may have something here shortly.”