Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
1. There has been a lot of chatter this season about Lane Kiffin's actions in interviews. How does this behavior come off to fans of USC?If you're pointing to that one particular practice video, I'm sure Kiffin could have handled that question a lot better. I understand his concern for not wanting to disclose certain information to other teams that might put USC at a disadvantage, but at the same time, you can't just shrug it off and blow off everybody. To me, his behavior this year can be characterized as uptight. To the fans, I'm sure they don't appreciate it. I believe he had actually gained a lot of respect and fans from a lot of people because of last year's performance. But now assessing his behavior this year? I'd have to say he's on edge because of all the preseason hype, lofty expectations and extra attention.
2. The controversy surrounding last weeks USC/Utah matchup was Robert Woods returning to play after being unable to run off the field without falling down twice. Do you think it was the correct call to have him return, or would you have handled it differently?I've watched that replay numerous times and based on Woods' reaction after the hit, there's no way you can't be concerned about putting him back out there on the field. First, he lay on the ground for a bit, then he tried getting up, stumbled and fell to the ground. And somehow, you're telling me nothing is wrong? If I'm USC, I err on the side of extra caution. Why risk one game, no matter how important, for a kid's safety and health?
3. What areas do you feel the Trojans match up well with the Huskies, and where do you feel the Huskies may have an edge?The Trojans' defensive front has been an underrated strength for the team all season long and should have their way with the Huskies' decimated offensive line. But they're playing on the road in a hostile enviroment. It'll be interesting to see if Bishop Sankey will be able to find seams throughout the game. He's built very much like Stanford's Stepfan Taylor and we all know what happened in Palo Alto.Whoever the Huskies put opposite Kasen Williams, they will have the edge. USC's other cornerback spot opposite Nickell Robey has been talked about frequently this year. Opponents have found relative success not throwing the ball to the side of the field occupied by Robey. Kiffin decided to move transfer Josh Shaw from safety to cornerback this week in practice and Marqise Lee even volunteered to play corner. You know there's a problem when your best receiver is offering to play both sides of the ball.
4. The Washington secondary will be the best that Woods and Marquise Lee will have seen yet this season, and they may not see a better corner that Desmond Trufant. What are the keys for this UW secondary to slow down this duo?I don't think you can slow down both Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. Kiffin can use either of them as decoys should the defense try to key in on one of them. The best bet is dialing up enough pressure and getting to Matt Barkley before he has time to get the ball out of his hands and into the hands of his playmakers.
5. How much of a concern is the offensive line heading into Saturday?To me, it's still a concern. It's another road game in another hostile environment and the weather could be a factor, too. But as long as Khaled Holmes is playing, that line should be fine. If not, then this young and thin, inexperienced unit could struggle as we saw against Stanford.
6. Where do you see USC at the end of the season?
The Trojans will play their way back into the national championship discussion with strong performances the rest of the way. The rest of their schedule certainly isn't easy, but it does help having Oregon and Notre Dame at home. I still think it's early enough in the season for this team to figure it out. There's just too much talent on this team for them to keep playing the way they've been playing.