- NCAA Tournament 2014: San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher eyeing top-4 seed
- Matt Kemp injury: Dodgers OF feeling strong after minor league game
- Phil Jackson rumors: Ex-Lakers coach gets offers from Knicks
- Portland Trail Blazers’ GM eyes ‘elite’ status as goal
- Watch out for the Houston Rockets
- Brandon Browner reinstated by the NFL
- Corey Brewer reflects on his annihilation of Derek Fisher
- 2014 NFL Draft: 5 Pac-12 standouts who could make an immediate impact
- NFL Draft 2014: Jadeveon Clowney should be No. 1 pick, says Marcus Lattimore
- Seahawks choose not to use franchise tag on Steven Hauschka
USC eyes improbable bowl bid despite sanctions, injuries
- Updated: November 3, 2013
The USC Trojans went into Oregon State’s Reser Stadium and did something they hadn’t done in in nearly 10 years on Friday night.
Not only did the Trojans come away with a convincing 31-14 win, but in doing so they became bowl eligible after it looked early on as though they’d struggle to stay competitive amid NCAA sanctions, numerous injuries and a mid-season coaching change.
USC lost a substantial number of scholarships as a result of the scandals involving Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo, greatly hindering their ability to contend with their counterparts in the always strong Pac-12 Conference. If that weren’t enough, they suffered numerous injuries to key players such as Marqise Lee, Kevin Graf, Morgan Breslin and Anthony Brown, among others.
Adding further insult to injury were the circumstances surrounding Lane Kiffin’s ouster. The former head coach became a pariah around Los Angeles after a shaky start that saw them lose their season opener to Washington State at home before they took an embarrassing 62-41 loss at Arizona State on Sept. 28.
Since then, USC has played freely under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, even going as far as lifting him above their shoulders on Friday after the victory. It’s clear the players are having fun and playing with greater purpose.
”That’s the way the game should be played,” USC linebacker Hayes Pullard said, ”just being able to go out there, execute the plays and just have fun.”
The Trojans won’t have much time to rest on their laurels, however, as they’ll face Stanford in two weeks on Nov. 16 after facing Cal on the road Nov. 9.
Photo Credit: Don Ryan / AP
Latest posts by Michael C. Jones (see all)
- NCAA Tournament 2014: San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher eyeing top-4 seed - March 11, 2014
- Matt Kemp injury: Dodgers OF feeling strong after minor league game - March 9, 2014
- VIDEO: Blake Griffin feeds DeAndre Jordan vs. Hawks - March 8, 2014