Recapping Southern Cal's 2012 season would go something like this: "Southern Cal is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." All credits to the Bard.
The Trojans never lived up to the early season hype. They pounded a bad Hawaii team to start the season, but then narrowly beat Syracuse before losing to Stanford. They rolled off four in a row, and right when people started talking about them as a BCS bowl contender again, they lost to Arizona and Oregon in consecutive weeks. They did beat Arizona St. last week, although the final score is a little more lopsided than the game was, and enter the Rose Bowl with the same goal as UCLA; beat their rival and earn a shot to play Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
According to the USC website, Lane Kiffin is "known for his high football IQ". According to Pat Forde, Kiffin has "a penchant for finding every low-class maneuver in the book to get an advantage." Tomatoes, tomatoes. If you google "Lane Kiffin", his football IQ isn't what comes up. There is much more about deflating balls, switching jerseys, lying about votes, not allowing walkthroughs, and banning reporters. Those are on page one. Page two has stories about the Al Davis' projector presser, backstabbing Knoxville, and general douchebaggery. If you don't want to search google, try searching Bruins Nation. There are plenty of informative articles about Kiffin.
Kennedy Pola coordinates the 27th ranked Trojan offense, but Kiffin calls the plays. Some of you might remember that Pola is the coach that Kiffin poached from SC alum Jeff Fisher's staff in Tennessee, leading to a lawsuit between the Tennessee Titans and Southern Cal. The Trojans are 17th in passing offense, averaging just over 303 ypg, and 65th in rushing offense, with nearly 160 ypg.
Ed Orgeron technically coordinates the defense, although everybody knows that Kiffin's daddy is the architect of the defense. The defense is ranked 59th nationally in total yardage and 40th in scoring defense. They give up about 148 ypg on the ground and 242 ypg through the air, which is good for 48th and 73rd nationally. They do have 37 sacks and 79 tackles for loss on the season, which is tied for 4th in the country in both categories, and have forced 28 turnovers, which is good for 6th in the country.
That concludes Part 1 of the Southern Cal preview. Feel free to fire away with any additional thoughts and comments, and be sure to check back in tomorrow for Part 2 of the preview.