Lane Kiffin held his weekly post-game conference call yesterday.
Here are some of the highlights from the OCR...
– Kiffin said, in hindsight, he would have had Matt Barkley spike the ball before the second-to-last play of the game against Arizona, mostly to give a breather to Marqise Lee. Barkley instead ran a play, threw a deep route to Lee and took 14 seconds off the clock in the process, leaving USC with only a last-second heave to the end zone. "That’s on me," Kiffin said of the decision not to kill the clock.
– On the other hand, Kiffin said he did not regret running a reverse on 4th-and-2 from the Arizona 29 early in the fourth quarter, with USC leading 28-26. Nor did Kiffin regret going for it on 4th-and-2 from the Arizona 15 late in the first quarter, when Arizona led 7-0. Barkley overthrew Xavier Grimble in the end zone on that play.
– Before today’s team meeting, Kiffin had a video made of every "major penalty" the Trojans have committed this season, and he showed it to players, hoping to reinforce the negatives that come from penalties (even in USC victories). "We’re not protecting the team with our decision-making," Kiffin said. "There’s a lot of selfishness in there."
I will leave Barkley's not spiking the ball right there, we all know that was the wrong call.
But on the first 4th and 2, I was kind of surprised when I saw the Cowboys make the exact same mistake in their loss to the New York Giants yesterday. I have no problem "going for it" but why not get the 1st down instead of going for the TD?
Maybe that's the NFL mentality creeping in....
Extend the drive! Give the team a few more opportunities to get points.
Some will say why not take the three points? That's valid, but I will give Kiffin the benefit of the doubt to go for it with our weapons, but on 4th down your chances to score decrease...get the first, extend the drive and fight another day.
That would be the more sensible thing to do if you choose not to take the easy three points.
I still disagree with the reverse but that's just me.