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Orgeron: Nobody wants to beat UCLA more than he and Kiffin

9/8/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and his right-hand man, Ed Orgeron, know a thing or two about UCLA from their days on the Southern California staff.

It sounds like some rivalries never die.

Orgeron, appearing on Kiffin’s television show Sunday morning, said, “You will not find anybody else in the world that wants to beat UCLA more than Ed Orgeron and Lane Kiffin, so these boys better be ready. They’re going to find out what it is to prepare for a big game. And you know what? I think our guys are going to be ready for the outcome of last year. You can hear it in the locker room. I don’t think there needs to be any extra motivation to beat the Bruins.”

Kiffin, who’s gone out of his way lately not to stir up any controversy after his scorched earth approach soon after getting the job, was quick to point out that it was Orgeron making those comments.

“I didn’t say that. I read that. I don’t know. You’d have to ask him why he said that,” Kffin told reporters. “He’s never been very fond of their colors or their team. I remember a lot of pregame speeches from him.”

Kiffin was 5-1 against UCLA as an assistant at Southern California. The Bruins beat the Vols 27-24 in overtime last season in Los Angeles.

Speaking of a lack of fondness, Kiffin and UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow aren’t exactly what you would call old fishing buddies.

One of the main reasons Chow left Southern California following the Trojans’ blowout of Oklahoma to win the 2004 BCS national championship was because Pete Carroll wanted to give more of the play-calling responsibilities to Kiffin (and ultimately Steve Sarkisian).

Chow felt like he was being wedged out and already had a strained relationship with Kiffin, who was the young gun on the staff and the guy Carroll had pegged to take over the offense at some point.

So after making a run at the Stanford head-coaching job, Chow left USC to become the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans.

Should be interesting in Knoxville this Saturday.