Trojans fall to No. 2 in new Associated Press rankings
The Associated Press top-25 poll showed a change atop the rankings on Tuesday, as Alabama seized the No. 1 spot from USC after throttling then-No. 8 Michigan, 41-14.
The Wolverines dropped 11 spots to No. 19, and Oregon moved up from No. 5 to No. 4.
Though USC, which fell to No. 2, handled its business with a 39-point win against Hawaiâi, the adjusted rankings did not come as a surprise to players or coaches.
âI would agree with [the updated rankings],â USC coach Lane Kiffin said. â[Alabama] played a really good Michigan team in a big matchup, and they played really well.â
Senior quarterback Matt Barkley also spoke about USC dropping to No. 2 in the poll.
âI donât care about it,â Barkley said. âIt really doesnât motivate me. I know Alabama is a great team.â
Kiffin diverted attention back to Saturdayâs matchup against Syracuse, stressing that the Trojans cannot take this game lightly.
âThis is our second game together,â Kiffin said. âWe got to make sure that our guys donât think that theyâre better than they are just because they were ahead 35-0 at halftime. Weâre going on the road to a place weâve never been before against a very good team.â
Kiffin proceeded to praise a Syracuse offense â led by veteran quarterback Ryan Nassib â that posted 41 points against Northwestern.
â[Syracuse] is a lot better on defense than a year ago and extremely explosive on offense, and they lead the country in passing yards,â Kiffin said. âWe gave up more yards than we should have to Hawaiâi to a quarterback we hadnât played. [Syracuse] has a quarterback setting school records, so itâs a huge challenge this week.â
USC needs to improve a run offense that amassed just 81 yards against Hawaiâi. Syracuse gave up 124 yards rushing against Northwestern last weekend, but only allowed 3.1 yards per carry in the process.
âWe need to play better up front, and we had a couple holes that we were a little late on, so we need to coach better, too,â Kiffin said.
Sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee addressed his Heisman Trophy buzz after a dazzling performance against Hawaiâi. He had 297 all-purpose yards in the contest to go with two touchdowns.
â[Iâm] not really worried about the hype and all of the accolades that come with it,â Lee said when asked about the prestigous award. âBut I do appreciate what people say, and Iâm going to continue to work hard.â