USC still dealing with Stanford fallout

Safety T.J. McDonald is suspended for first half at Colorado for personal foul that extended game-tying drive.

LOS ANGELES – After spending the better part of two days slamming Pac-12 officiating, USC head coach Lane Kiffin was given one more chance to tee off when asked if he had written a check for the resulting $10,000 fine yet.

"God, that's so tempting," he joked. "No I haven't."

Even as USC reconvened to practice for its game at Colorado on Friday, Kiffin and safety T.J. McDonald were still dealing from the fallout from the end of its 56-48 triple overtime loss to Stanford, as the conference handed down significant penalties to each.

Kiffin was publicly reprimanded and fined for saying he was "basically lied to" by game officials regarding the final play of regulation, when wide receiver Robert Woods was tackled in bounds as USC tried to gain enough yards to attempt a game-winning field goal but a time out was not granted.

He added to his criticism Sunday night on his weekly teleconference by saying his two-year old son Knox knew where to spot a 10-yard holding penalty against Stanford in the final overtime.

But he refused any further response, even in the face of a barrage of questions.

"We agreed to disagree," Kiffin said of his conversations with the Pac-12. "I am sorry that this whole, that all this happened, and I have learned from this. I have learned that regardless of questions I can't answer anything that has to do with a call during the game or any conversation that an official has with me so from here on out, I won't be able to respond to anything."

McDonald was suspended for the first half against Colorado for a personal foul hit on wide receiver Chris Owusu that extended Stanford's game-tying touchdown drive. The junior had been flagged earlier in the season for three unnecessary roughness penalties at Arizona State.

"I accepted the penalty and I apologize to my team, Stanford's teams and our fans. It wasn't by any means intentional, and I'm disappointed that I can't be on the field with my team," McDonald said. "But I know they'll do a good job without me, so I'm just going to try to figure out a way to make this not happen in the future.

"It's going to drive me crazy, and that's the toughest thing about it. I talked to my team already, and they'll do their job in the first half. I'll be coming back on fire in the second half."

Redshirt junior Drew McAllister will start in place of McDonald, who ranks second on the team in interceptions and fourth in tackles.

Limited Options
Running backs Marc Tyler (shoulder) and George Farmer (ankle) did not practice Tuesday, leaving USC with just three healthy scholarship players at the position.

Kiffin said it "doesn't look good" that Tyler, a redshirt senior who has rushed for 438 yards and two touchdowns this season, would be able to recover in time to play. Curtis McNeal is expected to make his first career start.

A redshirt junior, McNeal has rushed for 349 yards and three touchdowns in the last three games, and might be starting even if Tyler was not injured.

"He's had a couple great games in a row, now he needs to do it again," Kiffin said of McNeal. "Like I've said before, if you go on the road, especially in bad weather conditions, you better pack your run defense and your run game.

"Curtis is a critical part of that right now."

Behind McNeal are freshman Amir Carlisle and redshirt freshman D.J. Morgan, who have two touches for 11 yards in October.

Linebacker Dion Bailey (concussion) missed practice, as freshman Tre Madden worked with the first team.

Defensive end Wes Horton and fullback Rhett Ellison were also out, while safety Jawanza Starling was limited.

Weather Watch
While the Rockies are being buried with a second snowstorm in as many weeks, the outlook for Friday night's game in Boulder is surprisingly pleasant.

The current forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 51 degrees and low of 34.

Still, quarterback Matt Barkley doesn't expect any issues regardless of conditions at kickoff.

"I don't think it'll be a problem for us mentally," he said. "Physically it might be a slight problem with keeping warm. We'll have heat warmers, the hand pouches, the long sleeves."


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