Kiffin media call recap

November, 20, 2011
11/20/11
8:26
PM PT
Lane Kiffin held a media conference call on Sunday night, here are some of the comments from the coach:

"I’m really proud of these guys. I hope the fans are proud of them too and come out to support them for their final game in the Coliseum. This is it for this team. They’ve had two games taken away from them this year, the conference title game and a bowl game."

"It was a great finish but we allowed that to happen by not playing well in the fourth quarter. The things we did wrong in the fourth quarter are things that usually happen in that stadium but we didn’t make those mistakes early in the game. It was disappointing to see that happen but anytime you go and break the longest home winning streak in the nation it’s hard to complain."

"I wasn’t surprised with that game. We told the players we were going to shock the world but we weren’t going to shock anyone in that locker room. You probably heard the kids talk about that afterwards. I’m probably a little surprised that this turnaround happened so fast. If you would’ve told me two years ago what would take place -- the sanctions, the transfers -- I would have been pretty surprised to see this happen so fast."

"I just think they are a bunch of special kids. They really are team players. With our limited numbers, we need team players. Guys like T.J. McDonald who is on kickoff coverage and then is blocking punts. Guys like Marqise Lee who gains over 300 yards and is back there on kickoffs and then blocking gunners on punts."

"That last drive was shades of last year. We had a chance on offense to put the game away and we didn’t. When they were driving down I was busy trying to figure out what I was going to do if we got the ball back so I really didn’t have time to think about them."

"On the plane ride back it was the same as always. These are kids, they don’t even know what they did. I walked by Marcus Martin and he was in his seat sleeping. I watched film of the game in the back with Matt, Khaled and Woody."

"I thought it was great for us to see those celebs on the Oregon sideline. It helped us keep our focus. I threw a couple words about it in the pre-game speech. We talk about it all the time, it’s not about the hype. We saw it at Notre Dame and our kids stayed focus then and they stayed focused now. It says something about both of those wins that we started off so fast despite all those distractions."

"We came out of there with a lot of injuries. Nothing that should prevent anyone from playing next week though. At the end both Ross Cumming and Rhett Ellison were out. Drew McAllister was out. Dion Bailey had a bad ankle, so did Lamar Dawson. It meant a lot to see veterans like Chris Galippo and Shane Horton step in and play like they did."

"No need to remind the players about the focus needed for UCLA. This is the biggest rivalry for the kids. It may not be that for the fans but these kids grow up with these guys. We have the 24 hour rule so they can celebrate the Oregon win -- we want them to celebrate the wins -- but in a couple hours we will move on and focus on UCLA."

"I don’t know how Matt Kalil got over to hug me so fast after the game when he was just trying to block the kick. It shows what a good athlete he is."

"I’ve never seen that intentional grounding call in any level of football. A three step drop where the receiver runs a slant and the quarterback throws a hitch. I’m not being negative, I’ve just never seen it.”

"Barkley did some real good things. I was a little disappointed in third-down management, some mistakes that were made, but he made a lot of big plays. If you look at his stats – judge the facts and not the sanctions or any of that – I don’t see how he isn‘t invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony. If anything, it should help him with the numbers he’s put up under the circumstances."

"Chip Kelly came into our locker room after the game. He and met on the field when the game was over but my dad was in the press box so Chip came in to congratulate him in the locker room. I thought that was very classy of him. I’ve got great respect for Chip and what he’s going there. I think he’s a really good guy too."

"The O-line is playing a lot better as a unit. Kalil has to be the front runner for the Outland Award. They were leading the conference in sacks but they didn’t get to Barkley, they were credited for the one sack on the intentional grounding."

"We will wear our traditional jerseys on Saturday, I don’t really care what colors they (UCLA) wear."

Garry Paskwietz | email

Publisher, WeAreSC.com

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