First came the return of desserts, along with practices open to the media, and now the culture change at USC under interim head coach Ed Orgeron has continued, as the program held the first annual "Trojan Bowl" during its bye week.
Starting linebacker Devon Kennard and quarterback Cody Kessler were interviewed at the beginning of the video and said the word "fun" five times in about 30 seconds, making clear the intention of the scrimmage.
The Trojan Bowl was coached by starters and pitted reserves, redshirts and walk-ons against one another in an intense, but amusing, game.
In an offense-defense bout, similar to that of a typical spring game, the USC defense was declared the winner. Orgeron set the offense up in a 3rd-and-goal situation from the 3-yard line with a chance to tie at the end of the scrimmage.
The Trojan offense ran right both times, but was stopped just feet short of the goal line. With every play, chaos ensued, as the staters in street clothes were fired up in support of their teammates.
After the end of the strict, businesslike Lane Kiffin regime, injecting fun back into the game of football seems to be doing the Trojans well.
Football, after all, is just a game.
The video featured a few trick plays and reverses, and after the defense's victory, Kessler, who was coaching the offense, lightheartedly said that his team was cheated out of the victory:
We got cheated. We came out and we prepared. The last play was a touchdown, but they called it a fumble. I think he was in the end zone, but we didn't have any coaches' reviews. It was a hard battle by the offense. Even though the score doesn't show it, I feel like we still won the game. We live to fight another day.
The smiles from Kessler, Kennard, Orgeron and others showed the exercise was all about letting loose. Kennard added:
Have fun and bring energy: that's something Coach O has been emphasizing. Let (the reserves) have fun. Usually they don't get as many snaps because (the starters) are all out there playing and getting ready for the games, but it was all about them today. It was a lot of fun seeing those guys make plays.
The starters will be back in action next week when they host Arizona.
When that time comes, Orgeron and company will aim to keep the good times rolling in Los Angeles.