USC coach Lane Kiffin reported Monday that he has not decided who will start at quarterback against Hawaii Thursday. Kiffin does not have a plan on how he will play quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek in the season’s opening game against Hawaii.
Kiffin told the Los Angeles Daily News that the coaching staff will not put anything in stone before the game. “We’ll get a feel for how the game is going. We do that with all positions” Kiffin said.
Kiffin’s risky indecisiveness to pick a starting quarterback is not the only reason why the eyebrows of USC players and fans are raising.
Kiffin led the Trojans to a 7-6 season, including a 21-7 loss to unranked Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. In 2012, the Trojans fell from being ranked No. 1 preseason to unranked by the last game of their regular season.
USC players have expressed concerns in their head coach’s leadership and judgement. Last week, USC wide receiver Marqise Lee expressed his concerns to Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles. Lee said that he is waiting to know who will start at quarterback just like fans are waiting.USC player’s withering confidence in Kiffin is not a new sentiment.
In April, former USC quarterback Matt Barkley told Yahoo! Sports his thoughts on Kiffin and his coaching approach.
“You put in your faith in coaches, but when you see trends, things not happening the right way…You can’t just let these things go by and watch them disintegrate in front of you. Looking back, I wish I’d been more forceful.”
Along with losing games and the full support of key players, Kiffin lost control of the locker room following USC’s Sun Bowl loss when a violent fight broke out amongst players.
Kiffin told ESPN.com that he focused on developing plays and “hadn’t grown enough to understand the other stuff that matters.”
For the 2013 season, “the other stuff” Kiffin must focus on to be successful is securing the trust of his roster.