USC Trojans have momentum going into 2014


By James Williams

The Trojans of USC finish the season with 10 wins following a victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs, 45-20, in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Trojans handed the Bulldogs their second loss of the season.

The bowl victory will give momentum to the Trojans heading into the early part of the 2014 season when they host Fresno State in their home opener for a rematch.

Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee scored a pair of touchdowns in what might be his last game as a Trojan.

Trojans sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler mentioned after the game in a post game interview that he would be more than happy to play with Lee again next season for the Trojans.

Kessler had 345 yards with four touchdowns in the win. He also threw one interception.

Kessler won the quarterback battle early in the season against Max Wittek.

Kessler will have the edge going into next season with one season as the starter under his belt while Wittek is expected to transfer.

Kessler will need to continue to bring his best because redshirt freshman Max Browne can make the quarterback battle competitive again for Kessler during this upcoming offseason.

Among those in attendance to watch the Trojans was former Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Sarkisian was hired, after the Trojans’ regular season loss to UCLA, as the next head coach.

The Trojans were led by three different head coaches in 2013.

Lane Kiffin started the season as head coach but was fired following a lackluster 3-2 start to the season.

Ed Orgeron took over the duties as interim head coach after Kiffin’s firing.

Orgeron was popular with the players and the Trojan community. The team had a 6-2 record with him as head coach and was expected by many to have the interim tag removed at the end of the season.

His chance for the tag to be removed may have been prevented with Orgeron’s only two losses as interim head coach coming against rivals Notre Dame and UCLA.

Orgeron resigned following the loss to UCLA and the news about Sarkisian being hired broke.

Offensive coordinator Clay Helton took over for Orgeron and coached the Trojans in the bowl win. Helton will remain on Sarkisian’s staff as offensive coordinator.

While it may be a bittersweet feeling for the Trojans not to have Orgeron on the sidelines, many players at USC are familiar with Sarkisian because of recruiting visits and offers they may have received from Washington during their respective recruiting processes.

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