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Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Kiffin again criticizes officiating vs. Oregon

By Pedro Moura

LOS ANGELES -- USC coach Lane Kiffin took another shot Tuesday at the officiating crew from the Trojans' Saturday loss to Oregon.

In the three days since Oregon's 62-51 win, Kiffin has repeatedly complained to reporters about the Ducks' pass-interference penalties -- or lack thereof. Oregon was whistled for four such offenses during Saturday's game, but Kiffin has indicated he felt there were more.

Kiffin's continued criticism of the officials Tuesday actually emerged while he was answering a question about something unrelated to penalties.

Asked after practice Tuesday if there was a specific reason why he went for two when the Trojans scored a touchdown with one second remaining in the game, making the score 62-51, Kiffin said no.

"There wasn't," he said. "Guys were down there and thought the game was over, and it wasn't. "It wasn't like there was some big thought process -- it was just, let's throw another pass."

Then, as a reporter began another question, Kiffin interrupted.

"We just wanted to see if they'd get another pass interference on Marqise; see if they'd break a record for a single game," Kiffin said.

Earlier Tuesday, when asked about quarterback Matt Barkley's two interceptions against Oregon, Kiffin said he didn't blame Barkley for the first pick he threw in the first quarter of Saturday's game on a pass to Marqise Lee.

Lee appeared to be held on the play by Oregon corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and was signaling for a penalty to the referees when Ekpre-Olomu intercepted the pass.

Said Kiffin: "Can you avoid an interception if there's a pass interference on him that's not called?"

During Saturday's postgame news conference, Kiffin instructed Lee to not criticize the officiating when describing the first-quarter interception.

But, in his Sunday conference call with local reporters, Kiffin said he was "sure everybody watching saw pass interference" on the play.

Pac-12 official Jay Stricherz was the head referee for Oregon's win over USC at the Coliseum.