A really, really tough loss for USC at the hands of Stanford in a triple overtime thriller isn’t going to be something the Trojans are going to be able to forget right away — at least for two members of the program.
Following the game, USC coach Lane Kiffin expressed his disappointment in the Pac-12 officiating crew for not granting his team a timeout with one second remaining on the clock. The infamous play involved a screen pass to receiver Robert Woods, who opted to run the length of the field east to west instead of getting down so the Trojans could call a timeout and attempt a field goal. Woods’ knee hit the ground with one second left and the game ended.
“I’m really disappointed in the officials,” Kiffin said. “Extremely disappointed. They said [Woods] was out of bounds which he wasn’t. I had asked for a timeout with one second left before the play. We could have kicked a 50-yard field goal to win the game. I’m not complaining. I’m just giving you the exact facts.”
Well, exact facts or not, the Pac-12 didn’t appreciate Kiffin’s comments too much. The Pac-12 has fined Kiffin a cool $10,000 for his comments. Kiffin was also reprimanded.
“The Pac-12 has specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating’,” said commissioner Larry Scott.
Kiffin, understandably, was less affable.
“After numerous conversations with the conference office, we have agreed to disagree.”
Additionally, Trojans safety T.J. McDonald has been suspended for the first half of USC’s next game against Colorado for a personal foul hit on Cardinal receiver Chris Owusu. McDonald hit Owusu high as he was attempting to catch a ball over the middle of the field. Officials have been trying to crack down on hits to the helmet, or to what they feel are defenseless players.
“I accept my penalty and I apologize to my teammates, to our Trojan fans and to the Stanford team,” McDonald said in a statement.