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USC Football Defensive Coordinator: Clancy Pendergast Interviewed

USC Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin interviewed former Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast in a quest to replace Monte Kiffin.

William Mancebo

With an absolute disaster of a regular season wrapped up, USC head coach Lane Kiffin is now looking for a defensive coordinator to fix things on the opposing side of the football. Monte Kiffin's defenses were shredded on multiple occasions by Oregon, Arizona and UCLA, and eventually made plenty of critical errors in El Paso to culiminate a year of lost opportunities with a loss to Georgia Tech.

The first candidate on Kiffin's list is former Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. Pendergast was sacked along with the rest of Jeff Tedford's coaching staff.

Pendergast's defenses were among the top in the Pac-12 in his first two seasons, but they were hardly consistent. Pendergast struggled to defend Chris Ault's Pistol offense in Nevada (leading to two embarrassing losses). After an excellent performance against Oregon his first season, he was boatraced in his second two sessions by Chip Kelly. However, his defenses have had their moments, particularly in holding down USC below their normal averages and managing to keep Cal's moribund offense in a host of games they could have lost by numerous margins.

Pendergast ran a base 3-4 at Cal and might install a similar system at USC, although his system tends to be dependent on the type of opponent the tam is facing. There will be a lot of tinkering from Pendergast to field the best 11 players on the field at all times.

Pendergast figures to be one of several candidates up for the job along with DeWayne Walker (New Mexico State), Joe Barry (San Diego linebackers coach who might be out of a job very soon if the Chargers overhaul their staff), Gene Chizik (recently fired by Auburn), Mark Banker (Oregon State D.C.) and others.