Sunday, December 2, 2012
More on USC's Sun Bowl appearance
By Pedro Moura
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Barkley is expected to play, Monte Kiffin will still coach and USC will practice 13-15 times before its New Year's Eve appearance at the Hyundai Sun Bowl against ACC runner-up Georgia Tech.
That's all the Trojans know for now -- and the game's in El Paso, Texas at 11 a.m. PT. USC coach Lane Kiffin said he'll begin to review tape on the Yellow Jackets and their famed triple-option offense on Monday morning.
But, he said Sunday night, earning a bowl bid this season was "very exciting, especially after two years of sitting at home of not being able to play."
Kiffin went on to say he and the Trojans were "excited" or the bowl announcement was "exciting" at least five more times in a conference call lasting less than 10 minutes.
He also said that he anticipates Barkley will play one last collegiate game. The senior signal-caller missed last month's regular-season finale against Notre Dame because of a sprained shoulder suffered against UCLA.
Kiffin said USC's players were a "little bit sad" when they heard Thursday's news that assistant coach Monte Kiffin would resign after the bowl game.
"Some recruits came here partially because of him," Lane Kiffin said. "But I know that they respect him for his work ethic and what he's done."
Georgia Tech (6-7) is the only team with a losing record that will play in a bowl this postseason. The Yellow Jackets' offense, averaging 34.5 points, is fourth in the country in rushing yards per game, at over 300.
Quarterback Tevin Washington has 19 rushing touchdowns this season, an ACC single-season record. He's one of three Yellow Jackets to rush for at least 300 yards this season.
The Tech defense allows nearly 30 points per game but held No. 13 Florida State to just 21 points in a six-point loss in the ACC championship on Saturday.
USC will begin bowl-game practices on Wednesday and practice between 13 and 15 times before the Sun Bowl, Kiffin said.
The bowl's late date -- the other options would've been on Dec. 22 or Dec. 27 -- gives USC more practice time, and also allows Barkley more time to heal his shoulder.