Home » Blog » USC Beats Arizona in Interim Coach Orgeron’s Debut

USC Beats Arizona in Interim Coach Orgeron’s Debut


After a disappointing 3-2 start – which led to the firing of head coach Lane Kiffin last week – things were beginning to look grim for the 2013 USC Trojans, but a 38-31 win over the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday put USC back on the right track as interim coach Ed Orgeron made a good first impression in his debut at the helm.

“I was just happy to get to represent USC,” Orgeron said, according to ESPN.com.

Orgeron hadn’t roamed the sidelines as a head coach since 2007 with Ole Miss, but looked very comfortable as his team built a 28-10 lead heading into halftime. And his quarterback, Cody Kessler, looked comfortable too, as he threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns on the night.

With the game fully in control, the Trojans did leave the door open for the Cats in the second half and had to stave off a late Arizona rally that slimmed the lead down to seven points with four minutes to play. But USC held on, as tailback Silas Redd was able to convert a critical third-and-eight with 90 seconds left to seal the win.

The players may have gotten the job done on the field, but many of them credited their coach after the game and Orgeron’s first celebratory Gatorade shower at USC.

“I think Coach O really brought something special to us,” said right tackle Kevin Graf, who was recruited by Orgeron’s former boss, Pete Carroll. “Coach O really brought Coach Carroll back. That meant a lot to me.”

Now, with a 4-2 record and the team seemingly headed in a positive direction, USC appears to be bowl bound, but can the Trojans still hold out hope for a shot at the Pac-12 title? They’ll certainly need some help – mainly a couple of UCLA losses – but Thursday’s win showed the rest of the conference that the 2013 Trojans aren’t going to lay down and give up on this season.

It’s hard to tell if the Trojans are a better team under Orgeron after just one game, but there’s no doubt they are playing hard, inspired football for him. We’ll just have to see if the honeymoon continues next week as the Trojans head to South Bend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

  • 100%