The USC Trojans defense has not bee horrible all season long under defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who is the father of head coach Lane Kiffin. They 49th in the nation in points allowed, which is certainly nothing to boast about. But it is not how the Trojans’ defense has played throughout the season that has people talking in Southern California. It is the last two games that have resulted in USC losses to the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks.
For those keeping track, the Trojans have allowed a total of 101 points in those two losses, including 62 to the Ducks last Saturday night.
That is guaranteed to get people talking.
The question is, would the head coach of the Trojans ever fire the defensive coordinator at USC, considering that that man is his father?
According to Rich Hammon of The Orange County Register, Kiffin may not be ready to go quite that far just yet. Although he is certainly not exactly defending his father and the defensive schemes at USC either.
‘I think if we were to single either one of those out, and say it was scheme or execution, I’d think we’d be wrong,” Kiffin said. ”When you give up those numbers, it has to be everything. You can’t give up that amount of points and that amount of yards without it being everything. It really was a combination of every aspect of defense you can think of.”
Those numbers, aside from the 62 points, also included a school record of 730 total yards, highlighted – or lowlighted – by Kenjon Barner rushing for 321 yards on the ground in the big Ducks’ victory. When asked about his father’s transition from running defenses in the National Football League to going to the college game during his weekly conference call with Pac 12 coaches, Kiffin said that he thinks it is a “fair observation.”
It is unlikely that Lane Kiffin would fire his father, Monte, as USC defensive coordinator. The defense has played quite badly in 2012, but it is not as if the rest of the team has been stellar.
In fact, even with a poor defensive showing in many key games in 2012, it may be the son who is in more jeopardy of losing his job than the father in this case.
If that is the case, expect USC to go Kiffin-free in the future.
With three regular season games remaining against the Arizona State Sun Devils, UCLA Bruins and Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Trojans better be able to find a way to win a couple of those games, or this topic could become much more widespread over the coming weeks and months.
After all, USC was expected to compete for a national championship. As things stand right now, they may not even play in the Pac 12 conference title game.