Sunday, September 9, 2012
Kiffin: Revisiting Syracuse
By Pedro Moura
LOS ANGELES -- USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin reviewed his team's 42-29 win over Syracuse and looked ahead to a Saturday matchup with Stanford in a Sunday evening conference call with reporters:
Holmes and Hobbi
Kiffin knew he was going to be asked about the status of senior center Khaled Holmes, who appeared to seriously injure his right ankle against the Orange in New Jersey.
But he didn't have any answers. He revealed nothing about Holmes' situation, but he did praise potential replacement Cyrus Hobbi.
"Cyrus had a good camp for us," Kiffin said. "We have a lot of confidence in Cyrus as a center or guard."
Hobbi replaced Holmes when he went down in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game.
Breslin, the star
Defensive end Morgan Breslin has been the biggest surprise of the Trojans' season so far, Kiffin said.
The junior-college transfer has recorded sacks in each of USC's games, and he also batted away a pass that led to a Dion Bailey interception on Saturday.
"It's been an unbelievable two-game run for Morgan, really," Kiffin said. "And we've needed him, obviously."
USC definitely needed him against Syracuse, when ends Wes Horton and J.R. Tavai missed the second half following the weather delay at MetLife Stadium.
Pleased with the run game
Silas Redd had a particularly good game Saturday, according to Kiffin, getting better as he got more carries.
But he'll still be sharing the starting running back spot with Curtis McNeal for the foreseeable future.
"I'll anticipate what we're doing now, which is trying to split carries for the most part," Kiffin said.
Redd does have more carries than McNeal so far this season, but Kiffin said that was unimportant.
"I wouldn't read anything into that," he said.
No plans to change the No. 2 corner
There's been some clamoring from the USC fan base to remove Torin Harris from consideration for the second starting corner spot.
But Kiffin hasn't heard any of it, apparently. Or he doesn't agree with it, at least. Harris was twice beaten for touchdowns by the Orange, but the Trojans' coach attributed that primarily to rust and expressed confidence in his ability to improve.
"I'd look for Torin to probably play some more," he said.
Final notes: Kiffin said Josh Shaw will continue practicing at safety and will not move to cornerback. ... Tight ends Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble have been playing well despite their lack of statistics, Kiffin said. ... UCLA and other Pac-12 teams' wins mean very little at this point in the season, Kiffin said. ... He said he didn't care "at all" that USC was dropped to No. 3 in this week's coaches' poll.