USC assistant head coach Monte Kiffin will resign from his son's coaching staff after a miserable season for the Trojans defense. Monte Kiffin announced in...

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LOS ANGELES — USC assistant head coach Monte Kiffin will resign from his son’s coaching staff after a miserable season for the Trojans defense.

Monte Kiffin announced in a news release Thursday night that he will leave USC after the Trojans’ bowl game next month to pursue a return to the NFL.

Monte Kiffin, 72, is considered one of the most influential defensive coaches in recent football history, most notably constructing the famed Tampa 2 defense during his tenure as the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator.

After 13 years at Tampa Bay, Monte Kiffin teamed up with his son at the University of Tennessee during the 2009 season, and then went along when Lane Kiffin abruptly left the Volunteers to return to USC three years ago.

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But Monte Kiffin received withering criticism for USC’s defensive performance this season. USC yielded 178 points while losing four of its final five games, plummeting out of the Top 25 after beginning the year at No. 1.

Monte Kiffin’s cautious defensive principles sometimes didn’t appear to work well against the spread formations and high-volume offensive schemes so common in modern college football. Monte Kiffin favors a bend-but-don’t-break philosophy that includes minimal blitzing and extensive protection against deep passes and big plays.

In a loss to Oregon on Nov. 3, USC had the worst defensive game in the history of a school that began playing football in the 19th century, giving up a school-record 62 points, 730 yards and nine touchdowns. A week earlier, USC yielded 613 yards in a 39-36 loss to Arizona.

UCLA then embarrassed its crosstown rivals with 513 yards of offense during a 38-28 victory on Nov. 17 — including Johnathan Franklin’s 171 yards rushing, the Bruins’ most in the rivalry game in a quarter-century.

Louisville bound

for BCS

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Banged-up Teddy Bridgewater came off the bench to throw two-second half touchdown passes, and John Wallace kicked a 29-yard field goal with 1:41 left to send Louisville to the BCS with a 20-17 victory against Rutgers.

In a game between one team headed to the Big Ten and another bound for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East handed out its second-to-last bid to a school that entered the league during its last massive rebuild in 2005 and watched its athletic program blossom.

The Cardinals will be going to the BCS for the second time, the first since 2006.

Louisville (10-2, 5-2) will share this Big East title with Rutgers (9-3, 5-2), Syracuse and possibly even Cincinnati, but the BCS bid will be all theirs. The BCS standings will be used to break the tie and there is no doubt Louisville, with the best overall record in the conference, will be on top.


• Idaho officials will interview Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino and Central Washington coach Blaine Bennett for their vacant head-coaching job. The Spokesman-Review reported the other finalists are San Jose State offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren, Wyoming defensive coordinator Chris Tormey and Idaho interim coach Jason Gesser. Each finalist either played or has coached in Moscow.

• Nebraska and Oklahoma will renew one of college football’s greatest rivalries for two seasons. The schools announced they have signed a contract that will have the Cornhuskers and Sooners play in 2021 in Norman, Okla., and in 2022 in Lincoln, Neb. Both games will be in September.

• Southern Mississippi has agreed to be the visiting team for its game against Nebraska next fall in exchange for a $2.1 million paycheck. The Golden Eagles had been scheduled to host the Cornhuskers in Hattiesburg on Sept. 7, 2013.

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