Kiffin to make changes to USC program?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - 10:43pm

Georgia Tech defeated USC 21-7 in the 79th Hyundai Sun Bowl Monday, handing USC a loss to fall to 7-6 on the season.

Opening statement after the game
“Obviously very disappointing day, coming down to turning the ball over and third-down efficiency really nullifying anything on offense. I thought our defense did a good job today. I thought they played very hard, obviously wore down a bit there late, but that’s to be expected when we turn the ball over that many times. One touchdown is basically on a punt return. Both teams were in the red zone three times, they score 21 points, we score seven. Very surprising game, I thought we would play much better on offense today. I thought we did two good weeks of practice, I thought guys were really into it, I thought our defense, for a cold windy day like that, really came out and played very physical on turf and the story line really came down to our inefficiency on offense and obviously that starts with the head coach.”

(On how much responsibility for season falls on his shoulders)
“All of it, we can’t be 7-6, not at SC and that’s not our expectations and not why we came here and obviously we have some work to do to get that fixed. We are a young team, we started one senior on offense today, so we got to continue to recruit, continue to get better and obviously coach better. We just got to spend some time here and evaluate what we’re doing. Obviously we have a big high on our defense coming up here, but it’s your job as coach to look at every aspect of the program and make sure there isn’t something we could be doing better.”

(On disconnect between two good weeks of practice and poor game)
“I have no idea (about disconnect), even the walkthrough yesterday had great energy. It was windy and cold out here yesterday in the stadium. Before the game they had great energy, I was really surprised because obviously that was the big fear, after the season that we had and the way the wind was going to be today and the temperature, that we would come out flat. And I don’t think we really did we just didn’t play well on one aspect of the game, and that was on the offensive side of the ball. You turn the ball over three times and are 3-of-15 on third downs it’s going to be tough and we put Max (starting qb) in a very tough position today by not being really efficient running the ball, number one, and then putting him in a lot of third-and-longs.”

(On lack of energy late in the game)
“I thought our defense still hung in there for the most part. You start getting down when you see you have to go back out there on defense and our offense is doing nothing. Every time you fight there is a little bit of energy surge but we don’t capitalize on offense. Especially in those temperatures and conditions it’s hard to get that energy going when you keep putting the defense back out there.”

(On deciding whether to put backup QB Cody Kessler in late in the game)
“I just didn’t think that, the way the temperature was and the way the wind was going, the way we were running the ball, I don’t think that was really the right move at the time.”

(On how Georgia Tech took his big-play wide receivers out of the game)
“They played a lot of three-roll to Marqise and a lot of cover-two otherwise and they didn’t blitz a lot. At the end of the day we weren’t very efficient and didn’t cause them many issues, but at the end of day they didn’t miss many tackles, I thought they tackled really well. They played with a lot of two-high safeties and were winning the matchups up front. They usually have boxes that you can run into, but I thought their defensive lineman played well and their linebackers came off some blocks on our fullbacks really well.”

(On whether WR Marquise Lee’s leg injury have any bearing on gameplan)
“I don’t think so, I think we went about it the way as if he would be there just calling the plays and obviously we weren’t very efficient.”

(On effect of punt return in game)
“It hurt, we were going with the wind that way, and just like they did you have to drive the ball low or its going to go nowhere. That wind down there was pretty vicious and unfortunately they caught the punt on the run and hit it.”

(On possible changes during spring)
“Whether we win or lose this game we’re going to evaluate everything and even if had won this game we would still be very disappointed in our season, it’s well below our standards and we’ll evaluate everything and this game won’t mean more or less than that.”

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