Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor
Rivalry week is upon us which means the Trojans' sights are set on just one thing...beating the Bruins.
- For the first time in a long time, the injury list included just one name with Silas Redd currently listed as questionable for Saturday's matchup. Orgeron, with a smile, commented on the health of his team, "You can feel the difference out here. Our guys are rested and eager to get in. It's a good thing for our team."
- It seems that the time has flown by in the second half of the season as the team finds itself already in week eight of the Coach O era. Orgeron pointed out that time flies when you're having fun. "This game is about everybody in our organization," he said. "We are a family, we are one. It's not about the seniors only, it's about our team. That's the approach we've taken all season and that's the approach we will take this week."
- The Trojans are preparing the same way they have all season but Orgeron conceded that there's always something just a little bit different about facing UCLA. "This is a special week," said Orgeron. "We're going through the week with the same process, but there's a little different feeling there. It is our crosstown rival. This is a very important game to our football team and our family."
- Cody Kessler knows the final regular season matchup won't be easy but is looking forward to the challenge that comes in facing the team's neighboring opponent. "They're going to put up a good fight and it's going to be a great game," said the quarterback. "Hopefully it will be like the Stanford game with the atmosphere in the Coliseum, everyone going crazy and cheering. I'm excited to be at home, in front of our crowd, and to send the seniors out on a good note."
- Over the years, Trojans and Bruins alike have seen some great moments in the face-off between the two teams. Orgeron said it's a rivalry he's loved being apart of. "We've been in some great battles. It's always great to win. You never want to be on the other side, it's not a good feeling and it's something you have to live with for a year," said the interim head coach.
- This Trojans have had to live with a sour taste in their mouths since last November when UCLA defeated USC, 38-28. A major weapon in that victory remains on the Bruin roster and goes by the name Brett Hundley. The quarterback threw for a school-record 3,740 yards and 29 touchdowns in his freshman debut and is back for more his sophomore year. "He can make you miss," said Orgeron on Hundley. "We missed him too many times last year."
- One team. One heartbeat. One meal. Orgeron said the team will go to a restaurant together for a family-style dinner to celebrate turkey day tomorrow night. The players will eat Thanksgiving dinner with their families or teammates' families if they're from out of state.
- Here is Coach O at the conclusion of Tuesday's practice...