Lane Kiffin disappointed in officials

Updated: October 30, 2011, 2:50 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- USC coach Lane Kiffin said he was "extremely disappointed" in the Pac-12 officials following his team's 56-48 triple-overtime loss to Stanford on Saturday for the way the fourth quarter ended.

USC began the final play of the quarter with nine seconds left. Quarterback Matt Barkley completed a screen pass to receiver Robert Woods near the USC sideline, but Woods ran all the way across the field and was tackled just short of going out of bounds. Officials initially ruled that Woods went out of bounds. After reviewing the play, they ruled that his knee was down, but that regulation time had ended before USC could call a timeout on Stanford's 33.

USC kicker Andre Heidari had kicked a 50-yard field goal earlier in the game.

"I told them, 'When the replay comes back, you're going to say, 'His knee's down.' The side judge right there says you called timeout and you get to kick a 50-yard field goal and win the game," Kiffin said. "He goes over and tells them. He comes back over and it goes against us. I'm extremely disappointed in that."

Head referee Michael Batlan denied that he had worked it out with Kiffin to grant a timeout before the play began.

"Any coach can ask for a timeout, but he doesn't get one until an official grants or signifies it," Batlan said. "I was not a part of any conversation or meeting with regards to a requested timeout."

Kiffin said he had told one of the officials he wanted a chance to call timeout as soon as Woods was whistled down.

"That's not an opinion. I'm not complaining about it. I'm just giving you the exact facts of the situation," Kiffin said.

Kiffin wasn't the only one disappointed in the officials. When asked about Kiffin's complaints about the officiating on the final play of regulation, Stanford coach David Shaw shrugged, then said, "I got a lot of questions for the officials also. Look at the penalty total."

Stanford was penalized 11 times for 91 yards on Saturday. USC was penalized just three times for 35 yards.

The Trojans' hopes of upsetting Stanford (No. 6 BCS, No. 4 AP) ended when tailback Curtis McNeal fumbled into the Stanford end zone ending the third overtime.

Mark Saxon covers USC for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne was used in this report.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.