USC football: Lane Kiffin has no choice but to win

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

What lies in store for the Trojans? We chat with Evan Budrovich of Conquest Chronicles to try and get his inside perspective on USC.

1. Do you see any possible way for Lane Kiffin to recover from this game and still be the head coach next year?

In what has become the biggest soap opera in Los Angeles, the Lane Kiffin saga around the USC Football program can best be described as self-inflicted and unfortunately toxic for his future moving forward. Beginning back in 2011 with a promising 10-win campaign, Kiffin raised the bar for expectations featuring his under-manned roster which has failed to cash in over the last two years burning an unquenchable hole in the the head coaches hot seat. His antics, as anti-communicative and stubborn about play calling as ever, have left the head coach in an us-against-the world situation with no room for escape unless the team can pull off another 10-win season. Winning is obviously the best potion for this staggering program, but the odds are certainly stacked against any long term recovery.

2. How can USC's quarterbacks be this bad? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Are they being hampered by playcalling?

The USC quarterbacks are suffering from a multitude of factors stacked against them, most notably a lack of confidence that has stemmed for the quarterback competition. While both Cody Kessler and Max Wittek have shown signs of improvement in practice, the results have not translated to the game leaving fans dumbfounded by the poor decision making and conservative play calling on offense. When both are confident and playing with their best skills, Cody Kessler can dissect any defense with an accurate arm on the run, while Max Wittek can make precise back-shoulder throws sometimes even making tough reads look silly with a bullet-like arm.

3. The defense has been very good and has one win to show for it. Who are the top performers on that side of the football?

Football is sadly a tiered game that requires contribution from all three sides of the ball, but a poor offensive performance did not take away from another outstanding effort put up by the Trojans new-look "52" defensive scheme. The free-flowing defense is creating pressure from all over the field thanks to outstanding contributions from all three levels of the defense. It all begins up front with George Uko and Antwaun Woods up the middle, stuffing the run and pushing back the line of scrimmage on each and every play. While the OLB's have been fantastic off the edge, Hayes Pullard is playing like the three-year starter and MVP, making plays all over the field. In the back end of the defense, a unit-wide effort has sparked the Trojans secondary with surprise contributions from Torin Harris (vs. WSU) and Su'a Cravens (vs. Hawaii) fueling a turnover-creating factory.

4. You are Lane Kiffin. What would you do right now to turn things around?

If we could take the place of Lane Kiffin, a seat no weak-spirited moral would ever wish to inherit at this current juncture, the Trojans need to name a starting quarterback and develop an identity on offense. While sputtering the first two weeks in a rather conservative approach, USC is missing the play-action segment of their attack. Kiffin needs to get TE's Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer involved in the offense by using the middle of the field to his advantage, utilizing patented bubble screens to a lesser extent. Those changes should spark life into the Trojans offense which has become rather one-dimensional behind a strong rushing attack, limiting their explosiveness come game day.

Follow Evan on Twitter and check out his writing on Conquest Chronicles!

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