Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans have had a rough few days. On Saturday, the Trojans took a 43-22 loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils. On Monday, news came out about a recruiting violation that took place by then-Tennessee coach Willie Mack Garza during Kiffin's tenure as head coach. Kiffin addressed both of these topics on Tuesday in an interview with reporters post-practice.
About practice in general this week, Kiffin said that there was a, "good reaction to not playing well in the fourth quarter (against Arizona State)." The players are showing some fight after their first real adversity of the season, and Kiffin likes what he sees. USC still has a shot to move to 4-1 ahead of its bye week next weekend. The team only has to take care of business against an Arizona Wildcats squad that has been dominated by three Top 10 opponents over the last few weeks.
Things got a little murky in the latter part of of the interview as Kiffin addressed the Tennessee violation: "Yeah, I did read that. All I can say on that, is that the alleged incident I had no knowledge of or knowledge or relationship of at all." He continued giving some variation of that response to all questions related to the investigation, including to one about whether or not the NCAA has started investigation Kiffin for the violation.
That would be bad news for Kiffin and USC, a school that is all too familiar with football infractions over the past few years. Of course, USC would not deal with any type of violation since the infraction occurred at Tennessee, but it would reflect poorly on USC if the team's head coach is being investigated for football misdealings of any kind.
That's not on Kiffin's mind right now, though. He concluded the interview with one phrase that perfectly sums up his team's stance for Saturday's match-up against the Wildcats. "There's no excuses anymore."