Found July 26, 2013 on Fox Sports West:
CULVER CITY, Calif. In 2012, USC had two reigning 1,000-yard rushers in its backfield. Neither broke the 1K mark by season's end. USC's running game was far less superior than it had been in years past. Lane Kiffin was and still is searching for answers. The ground game, or lack thereof, contributed to the demise of the Trojans leading to a 7-6 2012. However, if you ask Kiffin where his team's season began to change, he points to a pass play while speaking at Pac-12 media day at Sony Studios on Thursday. It was the fourth Saturday in October. Kiffin's Trojans, 6-1 at the time, were in Tucson and in control in the second half, up by 15 points. Matt Barkley looked to Robert Woods on a double move. If Woods catches it, it's a touchdown and USC is sitting pretty with a 22-point third quarter lead. However, the timing was way off. Barkley overshot Woods and it was all downhill for the Trojans from that point. Marqise Lee's 345 yards receiving weren't enough to deliver a win that day, and the effects were felt the rest of the year. After suffering their second loss of the season, the team was in a position they were unable to recover from. "I think it kind of messed with our minds here and there knowing that you're supposed to win that game and you didn't," Lee said. "And now you go from 6-1 to 6-2 rather than 7-1. You lose two games and the national championship is out the question and I think the downfall for our team was we (were) thinking about it too much after that second loss. "After that second loss I feel as if we thought about it too much like 'Man, we're not going to make it. This is not the season we wanted,' and we let that continue to tear us down. Kiffin pointing to the Barkley-Woods incompletion is consistent with what he preached in 2012. He talked about it repeatedly at the end of the 2012 season and as the 2013 season approaches, his tune hasn't changed. "We were in command of that game, up 15 with the ball, Kiffin said. "(Arizona's) crowd was starting to go leave and we were coming back to play Oregon and we missed that play and a bunch of plays the rest of the game there." An effective run game may have changed their fortunes against the Wildcats. Had USC been able to run the ball effectively, they wouldn't have had to rely on a home run to get them out of Tucson they could have iced the game on the ground. Picking up third downs, even on the ground was problematic. The Trojans converted just 34 percent of third down opportunities in 2012 -- 102nd in the country. and hat has to change. "I hope that as we get to this season here that we are more consistent in our running game so that when we get to games like that (in Arizona), like we have over the years that we're able to finish those games out especially on the road like that by running the ball and being more physical," Kiffin said. "That's been a big emphasis this spring and obviously it will be a big emphasis as we move into next week." Helping in that regard, Kiffin believes, will be running back Tre Madden. The junior suffered what Kiffin called "an under the radar ACL injury in the spring of 2012 causing him to miss the entire season. Kiffin says Madden, who at 6-feet, 220 pounds runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, gives USC something it hasn't had in some time. "We feel like with the entire running back group and the fact that Tre is healthy we have that position back to where it was in that 2004, 2005 range, Kiffin said. Huge praise when you consider the 2004 and 2005 teams had three 1,000-yard rushers combined.

USC Football: In Kiffin we must trust

Since becoming the USC football head coach, Lane Kiffin has received a lot of flak from Trojan fans. When former athletic director Mike Garrett brought Kiffin in, he expected it to be a smooth transition because of his ties to Pete Carroll, being his previous offense coordinator. Kiffin’s first year was not easy as he USC football program was hit with tough sanctions. Also, Pat...

AD says Kiffin not on hot seat

Southern California Athletic Director Pat Haden says Lane Kiffin is not on the ''hot seat'' heading into his fourth season as the Trojans' football coach. USC released the video on Thursday night, the day before Pac-12 football media days in California. Haden says ''I anticipate the media will ask me if our football coach is on the hot seat this year...

Can Lane Kiffin Win a Championship at USC?

Can Lane Kiffin Win a Championship at USC? I love these articles with a question for a title. It allows me to be a little snappy with an answer and then dive into a reasonable explanation. So the answer to this one is…YES. …and here is why. The talent is there: Despite the restrictions imposed by the NCAA there is no talent shortage on campus at USC. If you look carefully at...

Kiffin at Pac-12 media day...

USC head coach Lane Kiffin spoke one-on-one with FOX Sports NEXT at Pac-12 Media Day on Friday. The Trojans kick off fall camp Saturday Aug. 3.

Kiffin's Pac-12 roundtable

USC head coach Lane Kiffin sat down for lunch with the media at Pac-12 Media Day... here's the rundown of the discussion.

USC AD Pat Haden says Lane Kiffin not on "Hot Seat"

Maybe Pat Haden knows something about Lane Kiffin that the rest of us don't. After an abysmally disappointing season in which USC started as the preseason No. 1 team and finished 7-6, USC head coach Lane Kiffin was believed to be under mountains of pressure to win this year. Kiffin is a great recruiter and used to be a decent play-caller, until the hype and ensuing collapse...

Bruins poised to be football kings of L.A.

CULVER CITY, Calif. While USC head coach Lane Kiffin was arguably the center of attention at Friday's Pac-12 Media Day at Sony Studios, it's clear that the favorite to win the Pac-12 South Division isn't Kiffin's Trojans. It's their rival on the west side: UCLA. The defending Pac-12 South champs were picked to repeat and even received a few votes to win the...

USC AD Pat Haden Says 100% Behind Lane Kiffin

This means if USC struggles again Kiffin will probably be fired. Never take these support comments seriously, AD’s lie all the time. “I anticipate the media will ask me if our football coach is on the hot seat this year,” Haden said. “Here is my answer and will be my answer whenever I’m asked: He is not. I’m behind Lane Kiffin 100 percent. I have great confidence in him...

Transcript from Kiffin's Pac-12 roundtable

The complete trancript of USC Head Coach Lane Kiffin as he talked with the media on Friday.

Video: USC AD Pat Haden says he is 100-percent behind Lane Kiffin

The USC Trojans limped to a disappointing six losses in 2012. Athletic director Pat Haden taped a speech stating that coach Lane Kiffin is not on the "hot seat" however.

Pat Haden: Lane Kiffin is NOT on the Hot Seat

Most of college football’s preseason hot seat coach rankings list USC coach Lane Kiffin at the top or in the top five. But if you believe...
Trojans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.