Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/8/12
It’s no secret that USC has been one of the most disappointing teams in college football this season, and it’s also no secret that while the offense struggled early on, it’s been the defense of late which has been the problem. As things stand the Trojans rank 66th nationally and are allowing 406 yards per game, numbers that are actually a bit deceptive when you look at the box scores of their last two losses. Do that and you’ll see that USC has given up staggering numbers against Arizona and Oregon, numbers that include 103 total points and 1,318 yards of total offense. Yikes!! Clearly something has to change at USC, and apparently it is according to one USC’s lead beat writers. That reporter is Pedro Moura, and on Thursday he tweeted some news that caught the college football world a bit by surprise: Apparently, Lane Kiffin might consider letting star wide receiver Marquise Lee get some snaps on defense. No, seriously, Lee has been practicing on that side of the ball according to Moura. Below is Moura’s tweet explaining the situation: Lane Kiffin said Marqise Lee has practiced on defense this week and could play there on Saturday — Pedro Moura (@PedroMoura) November 8, 2012 Now, in the macro this news isn’t really all that surprising, if only because there was some buzz in the preseason that Lee would get some time at cornerback. At the time USC had lost a starter-caliber corner in Isaiah Wiley and with further depletion thanks to NCAA sanctions, the secondary was most certainly spread thin. Lee petitioned for some snaps on defense, but it never ended up happening. Of course it never ended up happening for good reason: Lee has evolved into arguably the best wide receiver in college football, and undoubtedly the Trojans biggest offensive weapon. Currently Lee ranks second in the nation with 88 catches and is third overall with 13 touchdowns. Not to mention he also set a Pac-12 receiving record a few weeks ago against Arizona with 345 yards receiving. So while ‘SC’s defense needs help, it is still a bit of a surprise to the idea of Lee even practicing on that side of the ball. Taking him away from the offense (even for a few snaps) could be crippling to the Trojans ability to put up yards and points. And given the way the defense has been playing, USC needs all the points they can get. Then again, whether or not he plays there at all, could all together be another story all together. After all, it’s one thing to let Lee practice on the defensive side of the ball. It’s quite another to let him play there. Or, on a different note, could this be another one of Lane Kiffin’s deceitful ploys just to throw the other team off his scent? Or as Moura later suggested, a ploy to get Lee some Heisman buzz. It could be either. Or could it be that, well, Lane Kiffin just needs to start winning football games? For all his opinion, analysis and insight, please follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.  
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