Some items of note from coach Lane Kiffin's Sunday conference call, which looked back at Saturday's loss to Oregon and ahead to next week's Arizona State game:
Saturday's game was indubitably quarterback Matt Barkley's worst performance of the season. Kiffin touched on some of that in his call while also taking part of the blame for the offense's poor performance: “Matt didn’t play very well and I didn’t help him very much,” the coach said. “I didn't feel like I did a really good job of getting us in rhythm offensively.
There were no new injuries to speak of, but Kiffin did admit that his running back corps was very banged up. All five of his backs -- Marc Tyler, Stanley Havili, Allen Bradford, Dillon Baxter and C.J. Gable -- were less than 100 percent, and it showed. Malcolm Smith was the only Trojan on the bubble to play who did not get on the field; Kiffin has hopes for his participation against the Sun Devils. Smith is listed as a co-starter with Chris Galippo on this week's depth chart.
Kiffin lauded USC's announcement of plans for a new $70 million facility, calling it a "gigantic step" for USC and crediting new university president C.L. Max Nikias and athletic director Pat Haden for spearheading the movement to get the facility in the works. The project is set to start in January 2011 and finish in July 2012, at which time it will likely give the Trojans a big recruiting advantage. “The only negative we’ve ever dealt with here in recruiting has been our facilities compared to other people,” Kiffin said Sunday. “Now we won’t have that.”
A notable statistic from the game, provided by Kiffin: Oregon blitzed on over 80 percent of USC's 85 offensive snaps in the game -- a remarkable number. In retrospect, Kiffin said he should have called easier pass plays for Barkley to convert to get the offense going.