Closing the book on Syracuse

After watching the game the other night I really thought Lane Kiffin called a decent game.

There were a few miscues, like the snafu on the play where it appeared that Barkley was going for the record of six TD passes in one game. Barkley getting sacked there could have been a real problem if he was injured. I don't think Barkley should have even been in the game at that point. Things were well in hand, why take the risk?

USC coach Lane Kiffin would not say why or how a pass play was called in the final two minutes of the Trojans’ game against Syracuse on Saturday, but after being coy about the situation in his postgame news conference, Kiffin took full responsibility for it Sunday.

"As the head coach, I’m accountable for everything that happens on the field," Kiffin said. "That was not what I was hoping would happen in that situation."

Hmmmm....

But Kiffin, for the most part did well.

The running game not getting going early was a concern. It really wasn't until the Syracuse defense started to tire did the running game start to gain traction.

Marc Tyler had a pretty good game once things got going.

The O-line really had issues with run blocking though. They were not able to get a lot of push, but for the most part they gave Barkley decent protection.

True freshman Marcus Martin talks about his experience...

The passing game was outstanding! Five TD's to five different receivers...enough said. Lane Kiffin calls it the "Robert Factor".

Because sophomore receiver Robert Woods is playing at such a high level, USC opponents are altering their secondary schemes to stop him. As a result, the Trojans’ other receiving options are facing one-on-one coverage — or hardly any at all.

Such was the case on tight end Randall Telfer‘s 44-yard touchdown pass from Matt Barkley in the third quarter of the Syracuse game on Saturday. Telfer ran a simple seam route along the right hash marks. But Syracuse safety Jeremi Wilkes ran up the sideline with Woods, who also had a cornerback trailing him. That left Telfer wide open for the score.

Speaking of people named Randall, Kiffin said the effect Woods is having is similar to how Randy Moss impacted NFL secondaries during his prime.

Whoa...easy there.

I understand the thought process, but isn't there a college player that he could have named?

The defensive front four did a pretty good as well. Once they adjusted, they started to get some pressure.

The LB's had a decent game but they got caught out of position a couple of times, they also had a few chances to make picks but missed.

I am still concerned with the secondary. They made some plays but got burned on the flea-flicker and Monte still has them
playing in soft coverage.

Overall, it hard to be upset with Saturday's performance. USC has its first road game this Saturday against an ASU team that is improved but who also have a lot of injuries. That is going to be a true test, playing in the comforts of home is fine, going on the road is different deal.

- - -

Hear are some links...

Kiffin Call: Syracuse
Lane Kiffin's Sunday night conference call...

Photo Galleries: USC vs. Syracuse

UNFILTERED: Syracuse

VIDEO: Breakdown of USC-Syracuse - ESPN Los Angeles
ESPNLA's Pedro Moura and WeAreSC.com's Kyle Williams break down USC's 38-17 victory over Syracuse on Saturday at the Coliseum.

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