Without Lane Kiffin, everything looks brighter for USC, getting their first Pac-12 win of the season. It’s only Arizona, and there are still plenty of problems for the Trojans on their way out from the professional dark well they’ve fallen into, but it seems like this might be the start of the road back to the top of the conference and college football.
The 38-31 win doesn’t make USC contenders in the South division or anywhere near good enough to be considered a top 25 team (they’re 4-2 with wins over Hawai’i, Utah State, Boston College and now Arizona), but it simply means that a new fresh breath of air has been inserted into the program, that has been on a downward spiral since the moment Lane Kiffin took over, along with the scholarship limitations hurting the team.
There’s still a big problem when it comes to depth for USC, who looked great in the first half, fresh off the bye week, but terrible and exhausted in the second half and especially the ending, with Arizona scoring three of the final four touchdowns in the game, coming back from 21 points down.
I think Coach O really brought something special to us. Coach O really brought Coach Carroll back. That meant a lot to me.
There has been some talk of sabotage by the USC players during Kiffin’s final days on the job, but that would be just letting rumors hide all the actual problems this program has had for the last couple of years, beginning with being a preseason number 1 before the 2012 season, but not being able to beat a ranked team for the last couple of seasons.
Cody Kessler completed only 50% of his passes, but didn’t throw any interceptions, completing two touchdown passes. Marqise Lee is still injured, but USC do have offensive talent when we’re not talking about their quarterback situation, getting a coming out sort of game from Nelson Agholor. The Sophomore caught 7 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown, already surpassing his totals from last season.
The running game worked really well also, maybe due to the motivation facing Ka’Deem Carey (138 yards) presents. USC ran for 249 yards on 45 carries, with Silas Redd playing for the first time this season, gaining 80 yards on 19 carries. His absence has also been an issue, but he wasn’t the only standout in the running game, as Javorius Allen rushed for 37 yards on only six carries, scoring the first two touchdowns of his college career.
No disrespect to the coach who was here before and I’m not getting into that, but you want a coach that you will freaking just go to war for every time like this man here on my right. I don’t only speak for myself. I speak for the whole team. We would go to war for this guy any day of the week. Any time he needed us we have his back 100 percent. When you have a coach that you can see and feel that he cares about you so much and wants you to be the best that you can be and succeed, that’s love right there. I couldn’t ask for a better head coach. All of us would go to war and put our lives on the line for this man any day of the week.
USC are going to need time before they’re back to their Pete Carroll like days in terms of quality across the board and national significance, but it seems that simply by getting rid of Lane Kiffin, partially with the players helping they’ve taken the most important step towards achieving that goal.