Lane Kiffin on Gameday: 'I'm to blame' for USC downfall

Stephen Dunn

The former USC coach answered questions on Gameday, then broke down some tape.

In a Saturday morning interview on ESPN College Gameday, former Southern Cal head coach Lane Kiffin told ESPN's Chris Fowler that he was to blame for the Trojans' recent struggles:

"We were able to manage through [NCAA sanctions] and have a great year at 10-2, and then it fell apart there towards the end. And, obviously, I'm to blame, being the head coach. There's a lot of things I should have done better."

Kiffin conducted his first interview since being fired by USC, answering questions about the circumstances of his termination, his feelings after watching USC beat Arizona Thursday ("It was like watching someone else raise your kids"), and comments by quarterback Cody Kessler critical of his coaching style. He praised interim coach Ed Orgeron, professed his love for the program, and even defended athletic director Pat Haden's decision to terminate him after Southern Cal's blowout loss to Arizona State two weeks ago:

"Even though he may see what's going on on the inside and how hard it was to deal with the sanctions and reduced roster, at the same time [Haden] has a lot of people to answer to.

"I appreciate Pat's support over our three and a half, four years there."

Fowler pulled no punches, going so far as to play video of Kessler praising Orgeron's emotion and love for the team, implying that Kiffin had neither. For his part, Kiffin was unusually straightforward in answering Fowler.

Later in the show, Kiffin joined Gameday analysts to break down game film on Oregon and Washington.

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