Skip to content

USC looks like a new team in first half of post-Kiffin era

Ed Orgeron AP

It took one quarter for USC’s offense to show some spars they had been lacking this season under former head coach Lane Kiffin. Cody Kessler completed two different touchdown passes of at least 60 yards, one to Nelson Agholor and another to Tre Madden, to get the Trojans off on a fast start against Arizona Thursday night.

With Ed Orgeron coaching his first game for the Trojans under the interim tag, filling in for the fired Kiffin, it has quickly become apparent there is still life within the USC program. Social networking conversations suggested Orgeron was giving everyone a breath of fresh air, from players to fans. So far, it may have made a difference. For one half, at least.

Kessler is already well on his way to a new career high for passing yards in a game, with 218 yards at the half to go with two touchdowns. He set a career high in USC’s loss two weeks ago to Arizona State with 295 passing yards. The USC running game may not have big numbers, but the power running game seems to have found a groove late in the half. USC has also done a very good job shutting down Arizona’s running offense, holding Ka’Deem Carey to 50 yards on 11 rushing attempts.

Arizona did manage to score one touchdown, with a 57-yard lob and run from B.J. Denker to Nate Phillips in the final minute of the half. Will that turn things around, or will USC continue to perform the way they have so far?

The Trojans even have a blocked punt to get the special teams involved.

USC is without some players, including receiver Marqise Lee, but does welcome back running back Silas Redd to the offense.

Is this what USC will look like in the second half of the season? If so, could Orgeron actually coach himself in to a position as a favorite to retain the duties of head coach beyond this season?

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Arizona Wildcats, Pac-12 Conference, Rumor Mill, Top Posts, USC Trojans
8 Responses to “USC looks like a new team in first half of post-Kiffin era”
  1. Anoesis says: Oct 11, 2013 12:59 AM

    Minus Kiffin the Trojans appear to be back, at least as far as winning games they’re supposed to win. The next game (in South Bend) will be a better test in determining what they have left for the remainder of the year.

    As far as Orgeron coaching well enough to remove the interim tag? Running the table might force a serious consideration of that possibility by Pat Haden, but a more realistic scenario would have him keeping it close against the likes of Stanford and UCLA. Time will tell, but the best place for him might still be as DC.

  2. Anoesis says: Oct 11, 2013 1:48 AM

    Ha! Too bad it only lasted a half. The Trojans looked just like a Kiffin-led clusterf*ck in the fourth quarter.

  3. classyjacklambert says: Oct 11, 2013 9:43 AM

    Seriously though has there ever been a coach that was more of a train wreck on multiple high levels as Lane Kiffin has been?

  4. irishdodger says: Oct 11, 2013 10:23 AM

    Regardless of how the season plays out, Coach O isn’t going anywhere. No, he won’t be named HC, but you know whoever accepts the gig isn’t going to hesitate to rehire Coach O. The current players & recruits will make sure of that.

  5. kinggator says: Oct 11, 2013 3:29 PM

    As long as they don’t hire Derek Dooley they’ll be fine at USC

  6. realfootballfan says: Oct 11, 2013 4:41 PM

    If USC is dumb enough to hand the job to Orgeron, they will deserve what they get. He needs to be retained by the next coach at all costs only because he is a special recruiter, but as his Ole Miss days proved with those horrible teams despite the talent that he put into the pros, he doesn’t have a clue about head coaching. I would simply chalk this up to the team responding to the biggest idiot leaving the building.

  7. scbaby2013 says: Oct 12, 2013 1:20 AM

    Love coach o. He’s an excellent recruiter. Whomever takes over would be wise to rehire him. Fight on

  8. thekatman says: Oct 14, 2013 6:56 PM

    2013 USC Football 2.1, under CEO, beat Arizona.
    2013 USC Football 2.2, under CEO, will beat Notre Dame.

    For those of you who thought CEO was a bad coach at Ole Miss, you have to know that he was handed a very poorly recruited team. He recruited well and brought in players that the next coach had at his disposal to win more games than under CEO.

    Also, at Ole Miss, CEO and the next two HC were fired by the AD who was a very difficult and unreasonable person to work with. He was confrontational on all accounts and did not provide any support of the HC.

    Quite a tough and negative environment for anyone to thrive in. Besides, where were you roughly 15+ years ago, in your life quest to meet your dreams? You guys are quick to kick a dog when he’s down, but none the less, USC is being positioned to be a top5 powerhouse and champ team for another decade long run, and it has begun with CEO. If you want to take this team for granted, that’s cool. If you think this team is not going to perform for the rest of the season, that’s cool. You will trip over your own team egos soon enough.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!