Thursday, October 18, 2012
Kiffin won't run up the score on Colorado
By Pedro Moura
LOS ANGELES -- Although the Trojans are expected to dominate Colorado (1-5) on Saturday, Lane Kiffin says he has no plans to run up the score.
Told by a reporter on Thursday that his team is a 40-point favorite for Saturday's game, Kiffin interjected with a correction -- "Forty-one" -- but said he's not paying attention to outside expectations.
The Buffaloes have perhaps only one player on their roster -- left tackle David Bakhtiari -- who would start for the Trojans, so some might expect USC to go for as big a win as possible in the hopes of gaining points in the BCS standings.
Kiffin says he isn't thinking that way.
"Our goal is to win the game and stay as healthy as possible," he said Thursday. "We're not gonna get into what you see other people do."
Roster depth is an issue. Kiffin trusts his starters and needs to keep them healthy, so he hopes to take them out when and if the game is decided early.
"We have depth issues and we know that," he said. "Our goal is to win games. We're not gonna leave our guys in late in games if games are in our favor. We have a really good 22, but we obviously have a lot of depth issues behind them, so we'd like to not expose those."
Kiffin will have his eye on some possible offensive records, however. Receiver Robert Woods is five catches away from setting the school's all-time receptions mark, and quarterback Matt Barkley is four touchdown passes away from breaking Matt Leinart's university and conference record of 99 scoring throws in a career.
"I do think it'd be neat for those guys to do it at home," Kiffin said. "Throwing touchdown passes is always a good thing, so if we're throwing touchdown passes and Robert's catching a lot of balls, that's a good thing."
Kiffin added that he'll call plays with only winning in mind. But it's clear he'd value breaking both records on Saturday as well.
"Those are some big deals," he said of Woods' and Barkley's marks. "There've been a lot of great receivers to play here, and for a guy to set the record for most catches in a career halfway through his third year is pretty amazing. Then, for Matt, with all the great players to play here, potentially doing the same with touchdown records in the entire conference halfway through his last year is pretty amazing."