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    USC hiring Kliff Kingsbury as senior offensive analyst, per source: What it means for the Trojans

    USC is expected to hire former Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury as a senior offensive analyst, a program source told The Athletic on Monday. NFL Network was first to report the Trojans were hiring Kingsbury. Here’s what you need to know:

    • A big part of Kingsbury’s role will include game-planning, watching film with coach Lincoln Riley and being part of quarterback meetings, according to the source.
    • Kingsbury was fired by the Cardinals in January after Arizona posted a 4-13 record in 2022.
    • Prior to his four-year stint in the NFL, Kingsbury spent six seasons (2013-2018) as Texas Tech’s head coach, going 35-40 with the Red Raiders.

    The Athletic’s instant analysis:

    What this means for USC

    This is technically Kingsbury’s second stint at USC. His first came after he got fired by Texas Tech in late 2018 but only lasted a month before he took the Cardinals job. That was viewed as a make-or-break hire for then-coach Clay Helton so there was a real sting when Kingsbury left. This time is much lower stakes since Riley calls plays, but Kingsbury is a good resource to have in the quarterback room and on the staff. — Morales

    What’s the state of USC’s quarterback group?

    The Trojans obviously return the Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams but have Miller Moss, a four-star prospect in the 2022 recruiting cycle, and Malachi Nelson, a five-star signee in this most recent cycle, behind Williams. Having Kingsbury in the QB room in addition to Riley should really help their development. It also gives Williams a former NFL coach to work with. — Morales

    Backstory

    Kingsbury, 43, finished his tenure in Arizona with a 28-37-1 regular season record and an 0-1 postseason mark.

    In the Cardinals’ only winning season under Kingsbury in 2021, they ranked top-10 in the NFL in both scoring and total offense. Arizona finished near the bottom of the league in points scored and points allowed in 2022, but played without starting quarterback Kyler Murray for six games during that season.

    According to multiple reports in February, Kingsbury met with the Texans regarding the team’s offensive coordinator position before Houston ultimately hired Bobby Slowik to the role.

    Riley led USC to an 11-3 finish last season, his first helming the program. The Trojans had their College Football Playoff hopes dashed in a Pac-12 championship game loss to Utah and suffered a late-game collapse against Tulane in the Cotton Bowl.

    Required reading

    (Photo: Joe Rondone / USA Today)

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