Found August 26, 2013 on Fox Sports West:
Monte Kiffin is a great defensive coordinator -- that was never a question. Supporters of his questioned if the former Trojans DC had enough time with players throughout the week for them to really grasp concepts of his system. Per NCAA rules, student athletes are only allowed to spend 20 hours per week on football-related activities. There was a sophistication about Kiffin's defensive concepts that made it tough to translate to the collegiate level. Clancy Pendergast's 5-2 scheme is a 180 of that. Safety Dion Bailey, who missed all of spring practice, said he had the defense down before he even took his first reps in fall camp. Countless defensive players have talked about being able to play faster defensively because they're not thinking as much. So far, so good. Going back to the spring, USC's defense has been fast, tough, physical, and very aggressive. Hayes Pullard and Devon Kennard have led the charge as emotional leaders. In a new role, Kennard seems primed to have his best season ever as a Trojan at a more natural position for him as a standup endlinebacker. USC coach Lane Kiffin has raved about defensive lineman George Uko, as well. "This whole group's been very diligent about what we've asked them to do and they've all gotten better with the techniques," Pendergast said. Simplicity has made the transition smooth. Importance of Pendergast The game of college football has changed with the advancement of spread offenses. Not only did USC have issues trying to slow down such offenses but most times didn't stand a fighting chance with the scheme played under Monte Kiffin. In Pendergast, they have at least that much. His defense gives plenty of flexibility with multiple interchangeable parts. At Cal, he led the conference's No. 1 defense in two of the last three seasons. Pendergast also doubles as the secondary coach and cornerback is the biggest question mark in this unit. Number of note: 730 The Trojans scored 51 points last season at home against Oregon and lost -- the Ducks netted 62 points and racked up 730 yards. That seemed to be the end for the elder Kiffin as defensive coordinator. It was the most points, yards, touchdowns (9), and PATs (8) USC had ever given up, ever. The elder Kiffin famously said at the time he "never heard of that many yards" and it was "mindboggling." 2012 recap USC ranked 60th in the country defensively last season. The Trojans have yet to finish higher than 54th nationally in the Kiffin era -- they were 69th in the country last season against the run and 52nd against the pass, allowing opposing teams to complete 60.4 percent of their passes. Quoteables "We're actually pretty fortunate that we changed to a scheme that actually fits our personnel," Kiffin said. "We're not going to play slow," Pendergast said. "We're going to let those guys loose a little bit." 2013 outlook The pieces seem to be in place for the USC defense to have quite a turnaround from a season ago when they finished seventh in the conference in total defense and gave up over 5,000 yards. If what Kennard has shown in fall camp is any indication of the type of year he could have, it wouldn't be a surprise if he's in conversations for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year by season's end. Pendergast may not be able to turn this group into the No. 1 defense in the conference like he did at Cal but they should make a considerable jump finishing the season as a top-five defense in the conference and a top-45 defense nationally.

No quarterback among USC captains

LOS ANGELES -- He was known as Matty Trojan. Face of the program, four-year starter, and three-year captain. By doing that, Matt Barkley, his real name, became the first USC player in school history to be named a captain for three years. When Lane Kiffin announced the team captains for 2013, as voted on by members of the team, not one was a quarterback. Wide receiver Marqise...

USC Head Coach Lane Kiffin Going With Two QB’s Versus Hawaii

Lane Kiffin and his USC Trojans are going to go with a two QB system to start the year verse Hawaii. Max Wittek and Cody Kessler have battled it out all spring, all to have the competition continue into the season. Kiffin was quoted saying ”That really is how well both guys did; For us, we look at it as a great thing. We’ve got two guys that we feel great about.” (Read More...

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VIDEO: Lane Kiffin, 8-25-13

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After months of drills and scrimmages, Trojans fans were hoping head coach Lane Kiffin would have selected a new quarterback to replace Matt Barkley in time for the season opener against Hawaii. Nope. LA Times’ Gary Klein tweets:  Kiffin: “We’ve made a decision that we anticipate playing both guys in the opening game.” Will decide starter in Hawaii. #USC — Gary Klein...

Kiffin, a wordsmith on quarterback plan

USC head coach Lane Kiffin announced Saturday that he anticipates playing both quarterbacks Max Wittek and Cody Kessler in the Trojans season opener in Hawaii. Which means, he might not play both quarterbacks in Hawaii.

USC RB Redd to miss opener with undisclosed injury

Silas Redd has been a spectator for most of fall camp dealing with an undisclosed injury. While he was out, hes seen some of USC's younger tailbacks hit the ground running. When those teammates take the field at Hawaii for Thursday's season opener, Redd will once again be a spectator from Los Angeles. The Trojans leading returning rusher, who ran for team highs of 905...

Kiffin: USC to play 2 QBs in opener

Quarterbacks Max Wittek and Cody Kessler both will play for No. 24 Southern California in its season opener next week. Coach Lane Kiffin said Saturday that he couldn't pick a starting quarterback after a full offseason of evaluation. So both sophomores will get snaps Thursday at Hawaii. Kiffin says the coaches will decide on a starter after they arrive in Honolulu. Kiffin...

Kiffin announces both Wittek, Kessler will play in opener

LOS ANGELES -- The silence has broken. And there shall be two. USC head coach Lane Kiffin announced Saturday that Max Wittek and Cody Kessler will play at quarterback in the team's season opener at Hawaii on Thursday. Who gets the start is still in the air. That decision won't be made until after the team arrives in Hawaii. There is also no guarantee the quarterbacks will...

No starting quarterback at USC

USC head coach Lane Kiffin announced Saturday that he will play both Cody Kessler and Max Wittek in the Trojans' season opener at Hawaii on Thursday.

VIDEO: Lane Kiffin, 8-24-13

USC head coach Lane Kiffin discusses his decision to go with co-starters at quarterback -- and eight other positions -- for the season opener at Hawaii.

USC RB Silas Redd Won't Play Against Hawaii

USC opens its 2013 season with a road trip to Hawaii on Thursday night. But it appears the Trojans won’t have one of their key offensive...
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