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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Kiffin on Sark: “He’s trying to show how busy he is”

One of the obvious story lines of this week is the relationship between UW coach Steve Sarkisian and USC coach Lane Kiffin.
Kiffin was asked about it just moments ago during his turn on the weekly Pac-10 coaches conference call and said that he’s sent Sarkisian a couple of texts in the last 24 hours “but he’s not responding. I’m not sure what trick he is up to.” Then Kiffin said that maybe Sarkisian is “trying to show how busy he is.”
He again, though, downplayed that angle, saying that while he and Sarkisian have a “very, very close friendship between us” that all he really cares about is that “it’s our home opener in the conference” and a chance to get to 2-0 in Pac-10 play.
Later, Kiffin took a playful shot at Sarkisian’s comments on Monday that the Trojans are the most talented team in the Pac-10 top to bottom, and specifically because of their depth.
“That’s a trick he learned from Lou Holtz or something,” Kiffin said, a reference to Holtz’s reputation for inflating the strength of his opponent each week. “They are really, really good and people who follow us know we are not very deep.”
More seriously, Kiffin elaborated on how much USC players have been pointing to the UW game to avenge the 16-13 loss in Seattle last season.
“It just had the feel that that game kind of changed things a little bit,” Kiffin said. “It was kind of that maybe that was the start of the, quote, dominance of SC not being what we are used to seeing. Ended up 5-4 in the conference, that being the first conference loss. So I do sense there was a lot of conversation about that game throughout the off-season here with the players. So the game is finally here. But the teams are very different. We have a lot of new players, lost a lot of players from that game. Matt (Barkley) didn’t play in that game, our freshmen didn’t play in that game, Ronald Johnson didn’t play in that game, and they are better two in the second year of their staff.
“So I don’t think that motivation will be a factor or trying to motivate. They are coming home, not very happy with the way we played in our home opener, and they are very motivated to play a team that beat them last year.”
Kiffin also said that he thinks USC’s defense is getting better each week and that “hopefully we will get ourselves fully healthy for the first time this year.”

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