The whole deflated ball thing isn’t exactly new, at least at the college level.
As the NFL sorts through allegations of deflated balls in New England’s 45-7 blowout win over Indianapolis last night, now seems like a good time to bring up Oregon’s 62-51 win over USC in 2012. After that game, Oregon alleged USC purposely deflated balls it used on offense in the first half of that game, with coach Lane Kiffin insisting he had no knowledge of a student manager illegally altering the balls.
USC was fined $25,000 for the incident and the student manager in question was fired. From our report from November 2012:
The report adds that officials found and re-inflated three footballs before the start of the game, and two more at halftime. The student manager claims he was not given instruction to deflate the game balls — under-inflated footballs are easier to hold onto, catch and throw, and offenses use their own footballs — if you believe that sort of thing.
Like the Patriots-Colts thing, the deflated balls didn’t have much of an impact on the game — Oregon still managed 34 points in the first half and USC only cut the final score to a respectable (I guess) 11 points when Marqise Lee caught a three-yard touchdown from Matt Barkley with three seconds left.
Kiffin, meanwhile, is reportedly a candidate to leave Tuscaloosa for the 49ers’ offensive coordinator position.