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Recap: Times reporters discuss USC deflated ball controversy

November 08, 2012|By Dan Loumena

The deflated ball controversy swirling around USC was a hot topic of conversation among Times reporters during their weekly Google+ Hangout college football chat on Thursday.

Said national columnist Chris Dufresne: "It's the little things that add up. [Lane Kiffin] has sort of created a culture here at USC where he's the guy that manipulated the uniform numbers right up to the spirit of the rule, to injury situations, his poll vote in the coaches' poll, so there's enough there, you can say, well, he's created this culture and he's responsible for everything that happens."

Reporter Gary Klein, who had just spoken to Kiffin before the chat, said the Trojans coach told him that none of the staff knew of the ball issue. Klein said Kiffin "is aware that this is not something that the program needs, especially as USC is trying to get back on track."

Over at UCLA, reporter Chris Foster pointed out that the Bruins' opponent this week, Washington State, is virtually incapable of pulling off an upset. "The only way they lose to Washington State is if they help Washington State out, if they hand the ball over, one of those games where they're not focused, but even not focused is not enough against Washington State," Foster said.

On the national front, Dufresne said Alabama Coach Nick Saban was more concerned preparing for Texas A&M this week than he was getting ready for Louisiana State last week. "He's more worried about this game. He knows how to prepare for LSU."

The chat ended with a look ahead to the USC-UCLA showdown. Regardless of what happens this week, a lot will be at stake when the Trojans and Bruins meet on Nov. 17.


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