The seat is getting hotter by the minute for Lane Kiffin at USC, and this weekend could be the final nail in the coffin if the Trojans were to lose at home to Boston College. Kiffin’s squad lost 10-7 last week to a Washington State team that clearly does not have the talent level that Kiffin has in Los Angeles, and as a result, fans of the program want him gone.
It does not get any easier for USC as they host a 2-0 Boston College team this weekend that has more talent than Washington State does. The Eagles’ head coach Steve Addazio has done some good things during the first two weeks of the season, one of them being identifying playmakers on offense.
Boston College has plenty of weapons on offense and it all starts with their quarterback Chase Rettig. Through the first two games, Rettig has passed for 408 yards while completing 68 percent of his passes. The most important factor to his game is that he is protecting the football yielding a 4-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio. His favorite target is an underrated receiver in Alex Amidon.
Amidon was on the receiving end of 1,210 yards last season and he is wasting no time this year in trying to duplicate those great numbers. Through two games, Amidon has caught 18 balls for 239 yards including two touchdowns. The passing game is the strong point of this Boston College team, but perhaps their most improved player is their running back, Andre Williams. He had a huge game in the win over Wake Forest last week, which brought his total to 318 yards on the ground through two games.
Moving the ball and scoring points on the USC defense will not be an easy task as the Trojan defense has allowed 231 yards against Hawaii and 222 yards against Washington State. This is probably the best defense that USC has had since Kiffin has been there. They are athletic and can force turnovers. The problem is that the USC offense has played so poorly that people do not notice how well the defense is doing.
Kiffin named Cody Kessler the quarterback for this game and he has been less than stellar to say the least. Kessler has passed for 136 yards this season while only completing 56 percent of his passes in the process.
The Trojan running game looks strong with Tre Matthews leading the charge, but their All-American receiver Marqise Lee has been a non-factor due to the lack of production at the quarterback position. Lee will be a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft and is probably the best receiver in college football, but Kiffin has continued to simply call screen passes to Lee instead of letting him get on his horse and glide downfield. Lee’s longest catch of the season went for 19 yards. That is unacceptable if I’m a USC fan.
The key to this game will be if Boston College can score enough points on the road to pull off the upset. Rettig has improved his decision-making and has plenty of weapons around him to make things happen. The USC defense will come ready to play, but it is the Trojan offense that must produce some sort of spark. If Boston College can put up 24 points or so, then USC is in big trouble, due to the fact that their offense has shown no signs of life through the first two games. I look for Boston College to come out and be aggressive early and take momentum, therefore the Trojan offense has to play catch-up.
Travis Patterson, writer for the ACC on Rantsports.com. Follow on Twitter @tpat20.