College Football’s back with USC and UCLA to kickoff their seasons on Saturday

With baseball in it’s dog days of summer, college pigskin finally returns tomorrow night with 14 games on the slate. And our locals hit the gridiron on Saturday to begin their brand new Pac 12 eras and both with 12:30 starts. USC is now over a 3 touchdown home favorite over Minnesota while UCLA is a 3 point underdog at Houston.

I just returned from Trojans practice where I got to speak with 2nd year head coach Lane Kiffin, his father and assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Monte, and quarterback Matt Barkley who will all be facing a Gopher team that should have a new killer mentality under new head coach Jerry Kill. SC won at Minny last year 32-21 and expect the Trojans to have the real killer instinct in this one…like some scene from the original Coliseum!

71 year old Monte Kiffin told me that he feels like a little kid at the start of a new season but his usually stoic 36 year old son Lane sounded like in mid-season ‘whatever’ form when I brought it up to him. Here’s your feel for the USC psyche going into their season opener…

Lane Kiffin with Ted Sobel:

Monte Kiffin with Ted Sobel:

Matt Barkley with Ted Sobel:

As for the Bruins, Coach Rick Neuheisel has finally made up his mind and has given the starting quarterback job to Kevin Prince with Richard Brehaut as the backup. Although he’s also supposed to see some action on Saturday against the Cougars and their star senior QB Case Keenum who tore an ACL in last year’s loss to UCLA. Keenum is approaching some all-time NCAA passing records and we’ll see how he does in his 6th of who knows how many seasons against a supposedly deeper Bruin’s Dee this week?

I recently spent some time with Coach Neuheisel and his key running back Johnathan Franklin to get their thoughts on this crucial season for the program…

Rick Neuheisel with Ted Sobel:

Johnathan Franklin with Ted Sobel:

About Ted Sobel

Award winning sportscaster/journalist covering major events around the world since 1973. Please check out my new book 'Touching Greatness' and deep audio vault---and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@tedsobelsports).
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