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Walden Says His Remark Was a Compliment to USC Defense

Washington State Coach Jim Walden said Wednesday that he was trying to compliment USC’s defense, not criticize it, when he was quoted as saying that the Trojans don’t have “the greatest technicians in the world.”

“I was taken out of context,” he said by phone from Pullman, Wash. “If I were the head coach at USC right now, I would like the defense to play exactly the way it is. When I was a defensive coordinator at the University of Miami, I tried to get my teams to play the way USC is playing now.

“But we had great athletes and didn’t have to spend begrudging hours trying to teach some kid who was not so good all the techniques of playing defense. When I say they aren’t great technicians, it’s a compliment. They don’t have to rely on them because they run like the devil to the ball.

“They’re just super athletes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know their game plan and how to run their defense. I’m just wondering whether they (USC) are straining to pick something off of me because I’m the guy who jumped on them last year.”

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Walden said last year that USC shouldn’t have tried to get out of its final year of NCAA probation prohibiting the school from appearing on television. USC was granted a moratorium on the ban in 1984, but is excluded from TV this season.

“I feel bad that they (USC) have taken it wrong,” Walden said. “I have no axes to grind with USC and I have said, over and over, even when things were not going well for him, that Ted Tollner is a very fine coach.”


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