- Garry Paskwietz, Publisher, WeAreSC.com
Lane Kiffin held his weekly media call on Sunday night. Here were some of the excerpts from the USC head coach:
* "We won the game because we did a lot of things right. We ran the ball, 44 rushes for 219 yards and only three negative rushing yards. I think one of those negative yards was on a kneel-down. That’s pretty good to have that few negative yards with that many rush attempts. That time of possession stat was pretty good, especially in the fourth quarter when we had the ball for 12½ minutes. To only have a couple penalties in that environment was huge. We also only gave up three points in two ND trips to the red zone."
* "Matt Barkley played a really clean game at quarterback. You don’t need gigantic stat games if we play defense like we have the past two weeks. I thought his two biggest plays were the two scrambles. We missed a guy on both plays so he had to make someone miss and ended up with two huge conversions."
* "I think the bye week sparked a turnaround for this defense. We put so much emphasis on it that week in terms of tackling and red zone defense. I think it’s paid off. I also think this is what our defense really is, in five of seven games this year we’ve allowed 17 points or less. I like to think that is who we are more than the Arizona games."
* "I thought our staff did a really good job this past week of not building the game up too much. I think when I was here before I saw what can happen when you make too much of this game. We did it our first year here and I think I did it some last year. Sometimes that can distract your team. They made such a big deal about it this year but we didn’t and our guys just went out and played a clean game with no turnovers and no dumb mistakes."
* "The plan ride home was long and calm. By the time we got to the airport, got through security and got on the plane, I think 95% of the guys were asleep by the time we were in the air."
* "I liked our confidence level and focus. As we got to the stadium, the crowd was lined up and yelling, I’m sure mass was full today with all the people from what they were saying to us. Our guys didn’t care. They blasted music at our guys on the sidelines during warmups, our guys just stayed calm. It was beautiful to see. Today I told them about Stanford coming to town. GameDay will be here, normally that’s the kind of thing which would bring cheers but not this time. They’ve bought into what we’ve been saying that it’s not about the hype, it’s about the preparation."
* "Our offense was calm against Arizona, our defense was calm against Cal. Ironically, special teams didn’t play well against Notre Dame for the first time all year and we still won by two touchdowns. Hopefully we can bring all three phases together and play well this week. This is a pretty good team with the longest winning streak in the country. It would be hard to find a more efficient quarterback than Andrew Luck in the history of college football. He can run and make plays, he can convert on third down, he plays with a linebacker mentality, he’s the whole package."
* "Andre Heidari is on crutches (ankle injury), that’s not very good, we’ll see."
* "The status with Dillon Baxter is not finalized and I want to stay away from talking about it until it is."