So we all know about the quote above, which came from Nick Holt after the 34-17 loss to Oregon. Of course, it was going to reach USC. In today’s world of immediacy, USC people probably knew about the quote minutes after it was tweeted.
“I don’t make much of it,” Kiffin said. “They can say whatever they want. They beat us (last year).
“This is not about Sarkisian vs. Kiffin. It’s a game we could have won last year.”
And yet, the sign above was posted all around Heritage Hall on the USC campus. Of course the sign fails to mention that USC lost that game last year, and they lost the game the year before.
Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian was asked about it in his Monday press conference, naturally he downplayed it.
“I think you could ask every defensive coordinator in our conference the same question and they’d tell you the same thing – Oregon is hard to prepare for because of how unique they are. That doesn’t mean that SC is not really good – I think they are a tremendous football team, and I think Nick would agree with that. The comment was about the preparation of an offensive style, and as we’ve all seen it now for years since Chip has been at Oregon, they are hard to prepare for. The speed and the tempo in which they play at – it’s difficult. If that quote makes SC play better, than it makes them play better. I don’t know. We don’t motivate that way here.”
In many ways, Sarkisian is right. First of all, using quotes and such to motivate you is just high school stuff. The preparation is different. There is no way to simulate the speed, tempo and precision with which Oregon runs Chip Kelly’s offense. USC’s plays a more traditional offense. It’s very similar to the offense that Washington runs, very multiple and out of pro sets, so in that regard what Holt said has some legitimacy. But I’m guessing, he probably wishes he hadn’t said it.