Final Stanford-USC thoughts 

October, 30, 2011

In terms of the actual game, Lane Kiffin did well, but not enough. In the big picture, I'm not sure you could ask for much more. This wasn't a case of a couple of fluke plays keeping the Trojans in the game Saturday night. They went toe to toe with a top-10 team (No. 6 in the AP Top 25 pregame, and No. 4 in today's rankings) and proved that they are just as good as Stanford. For a young team in the second year of a bowl ban, that's pretty impressive.

But his clock management at the end of the game has to be called into question again. To try running a game-winning drive with 33 seconds left and to end the game without points, holding on to two timeouts, is indefensible. Robert Woods was solely responsible for the outcome of the play that ended regulation and has to know that with timeouts left, getting to the sideline is meaningless. But the play call itself is one that could be debated. With nine seconds left, the entire playbook is wide open. If you think a short crossing route over the middle is the best play you have to pick up eight or 10 yards, fine. I just don't know that I agree.