Kiffin media call recap


Lane Kiffin held a media conference call Sunday night. Here are selected comments from the coach:

* “The big difference in the game was the line of scrimmage. Obviously the sacks that we got and the fact that we only gave up one sack. The rushing yards – 252 to 46. If you do those two things you’re going to win a lot of football games. They were also good on third downs coming into the game but we held them to 2-of-13.”

* “The disappointing thing from the game were the consistency in our passing game – it just wasn’t good – and 11 penalties. We thought we had figured that out but we regressed yesterday.”

* “Oregon is very difficult, it’s no secret. They are so unique and different from what anybody else does. The first thing is the tempo. The second is the style – there’s nothing pro-style about it. They’re difficult to prepare for in one week.”

* “Most people tend to get more basic against Oregon on defense. If you’re running around changing defenses, they’re going to wait and then snap it when they have you in a wrong formation. We’re pretty simple anyways this year, so it wouldn’t be much of a change for us to do that. It was one of our goals in the offseason to get simpler on defense -- to run fewer things but to know them well.”

* A reporter brought up Matt Kalil's statement about committing a personal foul in the game to “set a tone” for the team. “I hadn’t heard that quote from Matt. We don’t coach to play that way. We were not very pleased with that penalty.”

* A reporter asked whether defensive moves to get faster were based on preparing for Oregon. “It’s not really based on Oregon, there are a lot of teams in the conference that are spread out. We wanted to get faster for that in general. We saw 630 snaps last year that were against three- or four-receiver sets. Yes, Oregon is spread out, but they are up-tempo. It’s just a faster version of offenses that were being run 50 years ago.”

* “We haven’t really gotten much deeper on defense this year, we’ve just rotated more. We’re actually not real deep on the D-line or the secondary.”

* “Autzen Stadium is a difficult place to play for three reasons. The first is that the crowd has great energy, the stadium is built to keep the noise in. Second, there can be weather factors late in the season. Third is that they are really good. Those first two things don’t really matter if your team isn’t good. Right now, it’s hard to argue that they aren’t the hottest team in the country.”

* “The Oregon defense is really good, probably the best one they’ve had since I started coaching against them when we were first here. Their stats are a little skewed because they play a lot of plays. Their overall yardage may look big but their average per play is pretty good. They line up all over the place – a lot of multiple looks. This team has really taken on Chip’s personality on both sides of the ball. They’re a really unique team.”

* “It’s no secret that Robert Woods is playing hurt right now. He’s probably at about 70 percent and it does impact our passing game with him being at full speed. His timing with Barkley is just not the same. We’ve talked about taking him off special teams to give him some plays off, he just plays so hard when he’s out there. He plays every play so hard and it’s tough because he’s not the biggest receiver. All those catches and those returns – they add up. Those are a lot of hits on that shoulder and ankle.”

* “T.J. McDonald spent the night in the hospital with severe migraine headaches and blurred vision. He was released this morning and all the tests came back good. He should be able to play.”

* “It’s not so much anything different that Oregon does with conditioning. They just practice so fast that their guys get in great shape. They’re not big on defense so they already have a lot of fast guys there. They also have a deep roster, so they can rotate a lot.”

* “This is a different team from the one that lost against LSU. They had turnovers in that game – it was the first game for DeAnthony and he had some fumbles. These guys and Oklahoma State are the hottest teams around.”

* “The emergence of Curtis McNeal has changed our offense. Once he started making plays, it changes the game so much. We’ve seen it in recent weeks with some of his big runs – it just changes the momentum of the game.”

* “LaMichael James is as good as they come. I don’t know how you get much better – I hope people don’t downgrade him and think he is just a system runner. He’s so explosive – a great, great player.”