Lane Kiffin laments Oregon game

LOS ANGELES -- USC coach Lane Kiffin said he probably would do things differently if given another chance at No. 1 Oregon.

In an interview with 710 ESPN Radio on Tuesday, Kiffin admitted Oregon's' quick-strike offense took the Trojans out of their element, and he, in turn, made coaching decisions he regretted.

"I was prepared for that during the week, but once you get into the game and you feel how fast they can score, it's why I was very critical of myself," Kiffin said three days after USC's 53-32 loss to the Ducks on Saturday at the Coliseum. "I don't think I managed the game with the quarterback as well as I could have. I got a little too aggressive there. We were feeling like we needed to go score because of the pressure that they had just scored as opposed to just giving [Matt Barkley] some four- and five-yard completions and just staying within rhythm."

Kiffin said during the game it was difficult to not get caught up in thinking his team had to strike back quickly once Oregon had scored.

"What I'm saying is that they score so fast and all of sudden you feel like 'Boy, if we don't answer right now, we could fall behind really quick and ... that's really not the right thing," Kiffin told Mark Willard and Mychal Thompson in the radio interview. "I had said it all week, but I didn't necessarily follow it. It's not about how fast you score, whether you take one minute or seven minutes, it's about making sure you score."

Though USC played Oregon relatively even into the third quarter -- and even held a brief lead -- Kiffin said fatigue eventually became a factor for his defense.

"Fatigue definitely set in there," he said. "You can see the difference in the burst of our guys in the first and second quarter to the late third and fourth quarter. Even though we were substituting guys, we didn't have enough guys to substitute for everybody."

Despite the disappointing defeat, Kiffin also said he was sure his team would bounce back and not let the memory of one loss linger.

"If you go back to last week, that's why I never said it was our bowl game, I never said it was our biggest game in the world because there were a lot more games to come, and regardless of whether you win or lose that game, you got to go to the next week and you can't let a game beat you twice," Kiffin said.

Still, the USC coach remained impressed with Oregon and even admitted he'd probably be rooting for the Ducks from here on as they look to reach the BCS title game.

"It's kinda hard for me to say that," Kiffin said with a laugh. "But it'd be good for the conference to continue what the commissioner [Larry Scott] has been on about more respect for the conference."

And what does he think about Oregon's national title hopes?

"If you're going to be a national champion ... you've got to be able to do that," Kiffin said of Oregon's ability to not let USC take control of the game. "You'll be tested two to three times a season, and the champs respond to that. If you look at the three weeks before that, the No. 1 teams in the country were faced with adversity and lost. These guys ... they answered the call. That was a test for them and that's probably why they'll keep on rolling and win this whole thing."