Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

USC players accuse Irish of quitting

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As if their wretched performance against USC wasn't bad enough, now Notre Dame players and coaches are being accused by two Trojan players of quitting during Saturday night's loss.

First it was USC linebacker Chris Galippo who suggested the Fighting Irish gave up on the final drive of the game when coach Brian Kelly did not use timeouts to preserve the clock. Then quarterback Matt Barkley concurred during a Monday radio interview.

"I would agree with that," Barkley told ESPN 710. "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." 

Barkley later 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."

Notre Dame trailed 31-17 when USC began its last drive with 6:43 left in the fourth quarter. The Trojans ran 10 straight running plays to the 2-yard line before time expired.

USC coach Lane Kiffin, who admitted Sunday that he was "shocked" Kelly didn't use the timeouts, apologized for his players' comments Monday.

"On behalf of our football program, I apologize for Chris Galippo's statements after the game," Kiffin said in a statement. "I've addressed this with Chris and he is remorseful. I've also called coach 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 last timeout of the game was called by USC with 2:41 left.

"At the end there, when they didn't call those timeouts, they just quit," Galippo said after the game. "And that's what Notre Dame football's about. They're not anything like USC."

When asked about USC's comments on Sunday, Kelly said: "Idon't know if that's the case," Kelly said. "To the victors go the spoils. We probably would have said the same thing last year. You know, again, how we evaluate our players, we didn't play the kind of football we wanted to play." 

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on October 24, 2011 6:21 PM.

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