The defense has given up only one touchdown in two games. The Trojans, who play Boston College on Saturday, rank first nationally in rushing defense, surrendering only 15 yards a game, and in sacks with 11.
The Trojans are 11th in total defense (226.5 yards a game) and 19th in scoring defense (11.9 points a game).
In January, after Kiffin’s father, Monte, resigned as the top defensive assistant, Kiffin hired defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, who installed a “52” scheme.
During the weekly Pac-12 Conference coaches teleconference, Kiffin attributed the Trojans’ early defensive success to a physical approach and the change in schemes.
“Just really excited about how multiple we are,” Kiffin said. “The decision we made in January to make a change, and to make a change and go out and find a system that we want in here, and it’s been a great two games so far.”