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Arizona vs. USC: Score, Analysis for Trojans' Win in Ed Orgeron's Debut

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Arizona vs. USC: Score, Analysis for Trojans' Win in Ed Orgeron's Debut
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If the 62-41 loss to Arizona State was a sign of USC quitting on Lane Kiffin, Thursday's 38-31 victory over Arizona was a sign of the Trojans accepting Ed Orgeron as interim coach. 

After USC surrendered 612 total yards to the Sun Devils on Sept. 28, Kiffin was promptly fired.

Then, USC got back on track against the Wildcats, exploding to a 28-3 lead in the second quarter and never looking back.

Quarterback Cody Kessler started things off with a 62-yard touchdown to Nelson Agholor on USC's second drive of the game to make it 7-0. 

On the Trojans' next drive, Kessler connected with Tre Madden on a 63-yard touchdown. 

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After Arizona's Jake Smith booted home a 27-yard field goal with 12:42 remaining in the first half, USC struck again, as freshman Justin Davis scored on an 11-yard touchdown run. 

On the Trojans' next drive, running back Javorius Allen got into the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run, marking his first career touchdown at USC.

After Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker connected with Nate Phillips for a 57-yard touchdown, the Trojans headed into halftime with a 28-10 lead.

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A field goal by Andre Heidari gave USC a 31-10 lead four minutes into the third quarter. Arizona tallied another score on Denker's 45-yard touchdown pass to Garic Wharton in the third quarter, but a second TD from Allen put the game out of reach.

Senior running back Silas Redd—who saw his first action since tearing his meniscus in his left knee in the spring—talked about how Orgeron had a different style of coaching than Kiffin before the game.

Redd said during the week, according to the Associated Press, via ESPN: "They're just two different types of people. Coach Kiffin is more strict. Coach O. is more loose." 

The offense certainly looked like it was loose out there on Thursday. Not only did Kessler pass for 297 yards and two touchdowns, but the Trojans rushed for 249 yards and three touchdowns on 45 carries. Allen posted the first two touchdowns of his USC career in the emphatic win, while Redd rushed for 80 yards.

The Trojans looked like they were having fun out there too, per CJ Fogler:

Thursday's performance by USC wasn't spectacular, but it was worlds better than what the Trojans had shown the previous game against Arizona State.

It was a breath of fresh air, and there was a flow to the offense that hadn't been seen the entire season under Kiffin. That's a plus, considering Orgeron's specialty is on the defensive side of the ball.

On top of that, the Trojans showed plenty of hustle, as Dan Wolken of USA Today noted:

USC's defense gave up two late touchdowns, but the Trojans played with the kind of energy that they were expected to at the beginning of the season.

Lane Kiffin is gone, and USC fans should be thankful.

 

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