Kiffin Brags On UA's Defense

LOS ANGELES -- At first glance, Lane Kiffin has the easiest job in the country. The first-year Southern California offensive coordinator has All-Americans and even a Heisman Trophy winner to make things click.

But following in the footsteps of Norm Chow, who's now running the Tennessee Titans' offense, and keeping the Trojans rolling isn't all it's cracked up to be.

"Sure there's pressure, but really not that much," said Kiffin, the son of former Razorbacks assistant and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. "What happened in the past, really doesn't matter. It's all on DVD now. Last year's season is over with."

Kiffin's offense piled up 518 yards (341 passing), scored on 8 of 11 possessions and averaged 8.4 yards per play in the 63-17 win at Hawaii.

There's been few changes -- as far as philosophy and basic schemes -- from Chow's days. Kiffin does add a few wrinkles each week to keep "challenging" quarterback Matt Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, and all-everything tailback Reggie Bush.

The 31-year-old Kiffin was a toddler when his father coached the Hogs from 1777-79 and doesn't remember much about Arkansas. But after film study, Kiffin does have plenty to say about the Razorbacks.

"I'm not just saying this because we're playing Arkansas, but they are extremely well-coached" Kiffin said. "They're as good of coached defense as I've seen in four years of being here. It's an NFL-type of scheme.

"They have very good technique in the secondary and get great play out of both of their corners. They play their ass off."

However, the defense broke down during the Commodores' final two drives, something Kiffin said appeared to be somewhat of a fluke.

"That game shouldn't have even been close," Kiffin said. "They totally outplayed them and the quarterback (Jay Cutler) got very lucky with a whole bunch of tipped balls and penalties and close catches. It shouldn't have been an upset.

"But those guys are playing so hard and get to the ball so fast that you can tell that they're extremely well-coached."


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