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USC Football: Postgame Thoughts and Analysis After USC Loss to UCLA

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USC Football:  Postgame Thoughts and Analysis After USC Loss to UCLA
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First, let me offer congratulations to the Bruin Nation on a great win today. Bragging rights in the city of Los Angeles are yours for the next 12 months and the Victory Bell can be painted blue. Enjoy that, because you’ve earned it and it is a lot of fun.

Second, let me say that Lane Kiffin is an immature prick.

In postgame interviews, the head football coach of the University of Southern California blamed his senior QB Matt Barkley for the loss.

Excuse me?

Let’s be clear here, folks, this loss falls squarely on Lane Kiffin and his coaching staff’s shoulders. In fact, it was pretty apparent from the beginning which Los Angeles area team was going to win and it had nothing to do with the scoreboard.

It had to do with the coaching, and specifically in this case, how the coaching influenced the players.

On the UCLA sideline, Coach Jim Mora Jr. and his staff were running up and down the sidelines, waving their hands, being animated, pumping up their players and staying very involved in what was happening both on the field and on the sideline.

On the USC sideline, Coach Immaturity, oh, sorry, coach Lane Kiffin was sullenly (per usual) staring at his clipboard and not interacting with his coaching staff or players at all. This is standard behavior for Kiffin, but the difference on the sidelines between the pumped-up, solid shoulder-to-shoulder unit of UCLA players bouncing up and down and the low-energy, unfocused USC players milling about aimlessly told me all I needed to know about this game and its eventual outcome.

Momentum: UCLA

Hunger: UCLA

Drive: UCLA

Coaching: UCLA

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Then there was the on-field performance of both teams. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with the change in the Bruins in their first year under Jim Mora, Jr. This is a different team entirely.

Jonathan Franklin is amazing to watch. His form when he goes up to catch the ball—well he looked like the type of player who deserves the moniker “Johnny Football.”  Brett Hundley is remarkably mobile (in the context of a UCLA QB under a first-year coach) and accurate.

USC’s defense could not stop a ladybug’s slow journey downfield if it tried with everything it had.

Seriously.

The USC defense is an atrocity.

The USC offensive play-calling—well, not to sound like a broken record—is offensive.

Inexplicably, USC athletic director Pat Haden confirmed that Lane Kiffin is his man for 2013.

Look, this loss was all about USC’s coaching. And I love my alma mater and the Trojans and the USC SID department, but USC’s football coaching staff blows.

Coaching is CRITICAL in all sports, but is it more immediately apparent in any other sport than college football?

Look at Urban Meyer.  He’s had great success at every stop he’s made. My God, he has a postseason, sanctioned Buckeyes team 11-0. Nick Saban took LSU and Alabama to national championships. Pete Carroll brought USC’s football program back to prominence after a decade plus of mediocrity.

Coaching is critical.

And USC, for all intents and purposes, is coachless right now.

I mean, come on, Lane Kiffin’s maturity level is about age 12. Maybe 15. What head coach of a major, elite program blames a player for a loss?

Kiffy does, of course.

Y’all, the Trojan Nation is largely over it, over him. It is time for a change.

Matt Barkley went down in the fourth quarter after a particularly hard hit to his blind side. He is reportedly nursing a right arm injury, but given Kiffin’s reticence to release injury news, who knows. For the record, Barkley is a righty.

More in-depth analysis of this game tomorrow.

Congratulations UCLA, the better team won and deservedly so!

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