Originally posted on Fox Sports West
By RAHSHAUN HAYLOCK  |  Last updated 9/8/13
LOS ANGELES -- Lane Kiffin is a man who eats, thinks, sleeps, and breathes offense. He's been called a genius both in compliment and in jest. Conservative and Kiffin are never used in the same sentence unless it's a statement noting something the head coach could use more of. The 2013 version of Kiffin is still frustrating fans but unlike anything they've seen before. Kiffin can't seem to let his offense loose. "The plan was if we were able to hold up on defense to make sure we didn't screw up on offense," Kiffin said. That demeanor and his quarterbacks combining to go 11-for-21 for 54 yards and two interceptions led to what the head coach called a "very disappointing day" for USC football with the No. 25 Trojans (1-1, 0-1) losing 10-7 at the Los Angeles Coliseum to Washington State (1-1, 1-0). Saturday night could have quite possibly been the lowest point for USC fans in their love affair with the coach. The USC offense was booed off of the field multiple times, annoyed with the play calling and once it was all said and done, "Fire Kiffin" chants rang out among those of the 77,823 that were still in attendance as the coach ran up the Coliseum tunnel. "I can't do anything about that," Kiffin said of the crowd's displeasure. The play calling, however, is all Kiffin. On continuous third-and-long situations Kiffin elected to keep the ball on the ground. Bubble screens and designed passes in the flats were the flavor of the day. Vertical plays to stretch the field were almost nonexistent. Kiffin brought overly conservative play calling to the Coliseum and it wasn't received very well. Going the conservative route is a position he hasn't found himself in ever as a coach. "You dont want to be in that position," he said. "That's just where we are right now. I think we've seen that in two games now. We dont have the ability to sit back there and throw the ball 60 times. I dont think that will be in our best interest as a football team." When USC was in obvious pass situations, it just didn't work out. Near the end of the first half in the middle of a two-minute drill, it was Cody Kessler dropping back to pass and being picked off by Damante Horton, who went 70 yards for the score to tie the game, 7-7. Near the end of the game and USC trying to start a two-minute drill, it was Horton picking off a pass again, this time from Max Wittek to seal the deal. On a night in which the USC defense surrendered just 222 yards and three points, the Trojans find themselves as losers at home at the hands of Washington State for the first time since 2000.
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