USC AD Pat Haden: ‘We got a long way to go here’

LOS ANGELES — Lane Kiffin didn’t mince words when he took the podium following USC’s loss to Washington State on Saturday. He called it a “very disappointing day” for USC football.

If 7-6 in 2012 was bad, coming up on the losing end of 10-7 against the Cougars was worse. The head coach was showered with chants from USC fans pleading for his removal as he walked up the tunnel following the game.

Those same “Fire Kiffin” chants were apparently recycled from the pregame. Kiffin says he heard them during warmups.

USC athletic director Pat Haden, meanwhile, has been very committed to his support of Kiffin, giving numerous votes of confidence.

On Monday, Haden appeared on Yahoo Sports Radio’s “Travis Rodgers Now” and was asked if he’d consider making an in-season coaching change with the football program, similar to what he did with basketball relieving Kevin O’Neill of his duties last January.

“We’ve played two games,” Haden said on Yahoo Sports Radio. “We got a long way to go here and hopefully we’re going to play a lot better and beat Boston College this week. That’s where our focus is.”

Sounding very much like his head football coach, Haden was complimentary of USC’s defense, but said the passing game “hasn’t produced much yet.”

USC’s defense is ranked 11th in the nation in total defense and leads the country with 11 sacks though two games.

The offense, on the other hand, is ranked 112th in the country, averaging just 278.5 yards per game. The Trojans are tied for 112th in passing offense with 113 yards per game.
Kiffin mentioned during his weekly Sunday teleconference that he’d talk to Haden as he does the day after every game. When asked if Haden had any advice for him, the USC head coach said “it wasn’t that type of conversation.”

Following Saturday’s loss to Washington State, Kiffin was asked if he felt he was on the proverbial hot seat.

“I don’t know all of that stuff,” Kiffin answered. “I’m not even thinking that way. We’re 1-1 right now. We got to go back and get ready to play at home next week.”

The Trojans host Boston College at the Coliseum on Saturday at noon.