Sunday, October 14, 2012
Kiffin: Revisiting Washington
By Pedro Moura
SEATTLE -- USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin addressed the media in his normal day-after game conference call Sunday night, discussing several topics pertaining to Saturday's 24-14 win over Washington and looking forward to the rest of the Trojans' season.
Here are notes and quotes from the call:
BCS standings of little importance
The first BCS standings of the 2012 season, released Sunday evening, feature USC as the No. 10 team, and predictably, Kiffin downplayed their importance.
"First off," Kiffin said in response to a question about them, "they do mean nothing right now, whether you want to believe that or not."
He did eventually allow for some value to be taken away from the news, saying USC obviously wants to be in the national-championship conversation "after two years of not being there" because of NCAA sanctions.
USC will face both Notre Dame and Oregon next month, and both teams are currently above the Trojans at No. 5 and No. 3, respectively.
So there will be opportunities to improve.
The three concerns
Kiffin had an interesting observation Sunday night. He said he has three primary concerns about his team with half the regular season remaining.
In order, they are: third-down efficiency on offense, penalties in all phases of the game and pass defense.
The first two are obvious. The third is less so, because the Trojans haven't had serious issues there this season.
But the competition is going to get tougher and USC's secondary will be facing significantly better passing offenses in the coming weeks.
"We know what's coming," Kiffin said.
Shaw not locked in yet
Redshirt sophomore Josh Shaw made his corner debut for the Trojans in the second quarter of Saturday's game and performed well, but Kiffin is not ready to hand the No. 2 corner job to him just yet.
Shaw was just the fourth corner on the depth chart entering the game but was pressed into duty when Torin Harris and Kevon Seymour went down with injuries. He "played about as good as you could expect," Kiffin said.
The second corner spot has been USC's most problematic position all season. Shaw spent some time at the position in fall camp but was almost exclusively a safety until the last week of practice.
He now has two interceptions on the season after recording one in the fourth quarter against Washington.
Final notes: Kiffin cited Bill Belichick's New England Patriots and their Sunday loss to the Seahawks in asserting that CenturyLink Field is a difficult place to play. ... Twenty-one of the Trojans' 22 sacks this season have been made by a defensive linemen. Backup linebacker Anthony Sarao has the other. Kiffin pointed out that stat Sunday. ... Left tackle Aundrey Walker's effort wasn't an issue against Washington, Kiffin said, but his technique needs work. Walker was whistled for a false start on multiple occasions. Freshman Max Tuerk could still challenge him despite switching to No. 84 and playing as an extra lineman/tight end on Saturday.