Lane Kiffin, right, talks with Matt Barkley during the fourth quarter of… (Bill Kostroun / Associated…)
Lane Kiffin is not looking back.
Nearly a month after giving up his vote in the USA Today coaches' poll, the Trojans coach said Sunday that he "doesn't think twice about it" despite USC's fall from No. 2 to No. 3 in the index after the Trojans' 42-29 victory over Syracuse.
Alabama is ranked No. 1 and Louisiana State is No. 2.
"I could care less," Kiffin said during a teleconference with reporters. "If we keep moving down and every Saturday we're winning, I'll be very happy."
It's the second week that USC has fallen in a poll after a victory.
The Trojans dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 behind Alabama in the Associated Press media poll after their 49-10 season-opening victory over Hawaii but rose from No. 3 to No. 2 in the coaches' poll. USC remains No. 2 in the AP poll.
"All we talk about is winning the game on Saturday," Kiffin said. "We're not into style points or playing guys late in games. We're into winning the game, get back on a plane and get home."
Kiffin was a first-time voter in the coaches' poll, but he relinquished his participation after USA Today revealed his confidential vote in the preseason poll because the newspaper said he volunteered false or misleading information about his vote in public.
No update on Holmes
Kiffin, who adopted a policy this season of not addressing injuries, declined to provide an update on center Khaled Holmes, who was on crutches after being carted off the field in the fourth quarter against Syracuse because of an apparent leg injury.
Redshirt freshman Cyrus Hobbi replaced Holmes, the most experienced member of the offensive line. The Trojans play their Pac-12 Conference opener at Stanford on Saturday.
"He's a very smart player and we have a lot of confidence in Cyrus as a center or guard," Kiffin said.
Back in action
Junior cornerback Torin Harris said "it felt great" to play in a game again after not doing so since suffering a shoulder injury Sept. 24, 2011, at Arizona State.
"It's not like I didn't know what to expect," said Harris, who made eight tackles against Syracuse. "I was at home out there, but I've got to work on the little things."
Kiffin said the Trojans have played well against the run, but "we've got a ways to go in pass defense, which I thought we were going to be a lot improved in — and that has not necessarily showed up."
USC has given up 359.5 yards a game and ranks 55th in total defense. The Trojans are 29th in rushing defense (94.5 yards per game) and 85th in pass defense (265).
Defensive end Morgan Breslin had five tackles, including a sack against Syracuse. The junior college transfer also played well against Hawaii. Kiffin said that Breslin has had an "unbelievable two-game run" and that Breslin was "definitely the surprise of our team."…. USC is scheduled to begin a home-and-home series with Boston College next season, so the Trojans will return to the East Coast in 2014. Steve Lopes, chief operating officer for USC's athletic department, said the Trojans would probably play seven home games in 2015 and 2016.