Lane Kiffin, head coach of the USC Trojans, needs to hunker down, make up his mind and name a starting quarterback. His indecision and procrastination is only inhibiting his team and making it extremely difficult to maintain an offensive flow.
Kiffin opted to fire his offensive coordinator from 2012 during the offseason despite the fact that the offense had little problem scoring. It was fairly clear to see that USC’s defense was the weak-link in the football program last year. A year later, the 2013 Trojans appear to have flipped their strengths and weaknesses as the defense has limited its opponents while the offense has struggled.
Kiffin’s quarterback quandary is slowing down the passing game and handicapping the offense as a whole. For some reason, the Trojans’ head coach has ended up with the same offensive game plan in each of the first two games. Both games, Kiffin chose to start Cody Kessler, let him pass a lot and run the ball a little. Then, after halftime, when Kessler proved mostly ineffective, Kiffin put his other QB Max Wittek in the game but changed the offensive style to be highly run-oriented.
In Saturday night’s 10-7 loss against the Washington State Cougars, Kiffin put Wittek into the game in the second half and ran the ball on 25 plays while dropping back to pass on only nine plays – and that total would have been lower if the Trojans were not forced to throw the ball while losing late in the game. Conversely, Kessler passed the ball 12 times while Kiffin called only 17 running plays. This exact type of game plan was played out in the game the week prior against Hawaii and USC’s offense suffered because of it.
If anything is clear from USC’s first two games, it is that Kiffin needs to pick a quarterback, stick with him and let the run game do its work. The Trojan running backs managed to rack up over 200 rushing yards in the first week and 152 yards against Washington State. If the RBs can continue to pound the ground and the defense can keep up its stellar play, USC might just stand a chance to make something good of the 2013 NCAA Football season. Come on, Lane! Cut the shenanigans!
Thanks for reading! I would love to read your thoughts on USC’s quarterback situation as well as Kiffin’s coaching choices, so please leave a comment below.