True story. Kiffin was on the flight to NYC and he sends backup QB Max Wittek to find 2012 Heisman Winner Matt Barkley, who was in the private quarters of the private plane our team uses to traverse the country (and Kiffin uses for weekend binges in Macau). Kiffin informs Matt that he has a gentleman’s wager with him. He says “you are only allowed to throw 200 yards this Saturday, but you have to throw six touchdowns.” Matt was initially perplexed.
The reason for the yard limit, besides the fact that friends describe Kiffin as a “rogue” and a “gambler” and somewhat of an “adventurer”, was that after the entire sporting press beefed at USC for not getting the running game going, Kiffin was hell bent on bucking that trend at MetLife field, which he did with Silas Redd netting over 100 yards in front of 200 of his closest friends and family. He needed to free up some yards.
But Kiffin wasn’t done.
He told Barkley, “You’re going to do all of that, but you can’t score in the first quarter”. Even a man made out of bear skin and titanium like Matt is questioned that request. Skipping a quarter? Six touchdowns and under 200 yards? Was it mathematically possible? How would he do this while deciding what steak house in NYC to celebrate his 22nd birthday at (may I recommend Quality Meats, the steaks don’t disappoint, there are mounted heads of animals, the spoon bread is a revelation and their scotch menu was created by someone I think I’d enjoy being friends with).
Kiffin also cautioned, “There’s also going to be a 70 minute delay due to thunderstorms. I got a friend on the inside.”
At this point, Robert Woods came up and came to Matt’s defense. He told Kiffin it was ridiculous. The games had gone too far. But then Kiffin played his most sadistic hand. He told Woods that he had to rush for over 70 yards while leading the team in receiving.
All of this naturally took whatever mind games Otto the Orange was trying to play from the sidelines and put them in perspective. Kiffin was the trickster on this occasion. It was even said that in the tunnel on the way out to the field, Kyle Negrete told Kiffin “good luck” to which Kiffin told him that if he didn’t have a punt of over 75 yards in inclement weather, he was removing the cyborg leg and putting it on his wall above his junior high visor-wearing competition trophies.
The game started and as hard as it was to believe, all of this shit actually happened. Every last bet.
Brett Hundley had 200 dollars on each of Kiffin’s bets with the team so even during their big win over Nebraska, he took time to throw up the “victory V” in tribute to USC making him some money:
Overall, it was a killer day for the Pac 12, big wins all around. I am the first to admit, I was excited to see UCLA play with some gusto, to grab a win from Nebraska. They look much less like total pansies when compared to Rick’s roster last year. With Cal looking like a shit sandwich, let’s keep it real. These guys are our best bet for an old fashioned bear hunt and I am stoked.
The hack’s coaches poll may have dropped USC behind LSU (because we’re all super excited about seeing Alabama play LSU as much as possible [fart noise]), but they clearly didn’t understand the why behind USC’s style of play. They don’t need to. USC just needs to win each ball game. Nothing will ever be handed to them, except the best recruiting class in the nation. Well, frankly, awesome jobs and hot spouses are routinely handed out to graduates of USC, but I was just trying to make a point that I am now bored of. Yes, waiter, I’m finished with the crabcakes. Thanks.
It’s easy for detractors to worry about USC’s slow start or being out gained in total yards or giving up a decent amount of points. It’s also easy to see we gained over 400 yards and had two receivers that did anything they wanted any time they wanted to. Matt threw for SIX touchdowns. Chill out, America. Our freaking fans traveled better than Syracuse did and there were tornados.
Best we just focus our sights on cutting down some trees next week in Palo Alto, which is Spanish for “Luck Left”. We’re finally in the part of the season where my mouth starts to water. It’s Pac-12 time and I can’t wait to really bring the pain. There’s only so much I can say about Rainbows and Oranges. It sounds like being in Wailea.
I will leave you with one final impression of Syracuse now that our home and away-from-their-home is over. I think this sums it up.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER BECAUSE I TWEET PROFESSIONALLY
I’M ON INSTAGRAM @LOSTANGELESBLOG – FIND ME ON GAMEDAY FOR BOURBON