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Senior College Football Columnist

Summers is new USC O-line coach

USC has hired Mike Summers as its new offensive line coach, a source confirmed to CBS Tuesday night. The Kentucky native had been the offensive line coach and running game coordinator at Kentucky since 2010. Before that he coached at Arkansas and also has been on the staffs of the Atlanta Falcons and the University of Louisville.

Summers has an outstanding reputation as a offensive line teacher by many who have worked with him at the college level.

The 56-year-old Summers did make an immediate impact when he arrived at UK. Despite having only one returning starter in the O-line, the Wildcat front still managed to lead the way for an offense that averaged 6.1 yards per play, the second-best mark in school history.

Their 406 total points ranked third all-time in UK history. In 2012, Summers' running game averaged nearly 140 yards per game during an injury-plagued season. After UK head coach Joker Phillips was fired and a new staff came in at Kentucky, Summers was hired this winter at Western Kentucky by Bobby Petrino, who he had worked under at several previous coaching stops.

In his days at Louisville, Summers' 2004 O-line helped the Cards set a school record with 3,005 rushing yards and 47 touchdowns while allowing only 20 sacks and leading the nation in total offense and scoring offense.

The Summers hire is just the latest of a series of coaching moves at USC this winter after the Trojans, preseason No. 1 last year, went 7-6. Even though USC had two backs who had rushed for 1000-yard seasons previously in their college careers, the Trojans still only ranked No. 7 in the Pac-12 in rushing in 2012. USC did lead the conference in fewest sacks allowed though.

James Cregg, who had been the Trojans offensive line coach and had come with Lane Kiffin from the University of Tennessee, is expected to remain on staff, the source told CBS.


Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for CBSSports.com and college football commentator for CBS Sports Network. He is a New York Times Bestselling author, who has written books including Swing Your Sword, Meat Market and Cane Mutiny. Prior to joining CBS, Feldman spent 17 years at ESPN.
 
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