In a far from surprising development, USC senior linebacker Chris Galippo took to Twitter to apologize for his post-game comments after the game.
“If I offended anyone with my post game comments Saturday, I do apologize,” Galippo tweeted. “I have great respect for their players and their program. It was a great game on both sides. Time to focus on Stanford!!”
Galippo’s tweet wasn’t the extent of the apology, USC also announced that Lane Kiffin personally called Brian Kelly.
“On behalf of our football program, I apologize for Chris Galippo’s statements after the game. I’ve addressed this with Chris and he is remorseful,” Kiffin said.
“I also called Coach [Brian] Kelly to personally apologize. As I said to the media immediately after the game, I thought Notre Dame played extremely hard throughout the game. It was another classic rivalry game and we feel fortunate to have won.”
The gesture was a noble one by the Trojans, but quarterback Matt Barkley essentially echoed Galippo’s comments earlier this afternoon when going on the local ESPN radio affiliate to talk about the Trojans’ 31-17 victory over Notre Dame.
“I would agree with that,” Barkley said on Monday during an interview with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on 710 ESPN. “I was shocked that they didn’t use the (fourth-quarter) timeouts because we got on the field with … about seven minutes left, and I thought they were planning on stopping us and saving their timeouts for the end when they had the ball.
He added: “It seemed from our sideline and our perspective that they did give up. It seemed uncharacteristic of Notre Dame. I wouldn’t have wanted to have been on that sideline.”
At issue was the lack of timeouts taken by the Irish at the end of the fourth quarter. USC, leading 31-17, took possession with 6:43 left and Curtis McNeal ran it 10 consecutive times, getting all the way to the Notre Dame 2-yard line before time expired.
“At the end there, when they didn’t call those timeouts, they just quit,” USC linebacker Chris Galippo said Saturday. “And that’s what Notre Dame football’s about. They’re not anything like USC.”
Sitting in the press box I openly wondered why Kelly wasn’t trying to stop the clock once the Trojans got the ball. But Notre Dame just couldn’t get the Trojans’ off schedule in the game’s final drive, and the Trojans converted three first downs on the ground to ice the game.
Down 14 points, Kelly likely knew his defense would need two stops, and a quick score, so he wasn’t going to use his timeouts unless they pulled the game closer.
One final thought on the game before we switch to the upcoming match-up with Navy. Everybody talked about how well Notre Dame’s schedule set up for Saturday night’s game. But USC’s might have even been better.
The Trojans had only played once since October 1st, and the Thursday night game with Cal was essential for getting Marc Tyler and Marqise Lee back on the field. The Trojans will never be a team lacking talent, but they are a team that lacks championship depth. With only one game between the first of the month and Saturday night’s game, the schedule was perfect for the Trojans as well.
Credit goes to Kiffin and his coaching staff for putting together and executing a really good game plan.