Christopher Smith

USC Interim Coach Focused On Fun

Created on Oct. 03, 2013 4:03 PM EST

USC interim coach Ed Orgeron keeps mentioning the word "fun" after taking over the program from fired coach Lane Kiffin and leading his first practice Wednesday.

Orgeron, the defensive line coach since 2010, also coached Ole Miss (2005-07) and held several roles in a previous stint as a Trojans assistant (1998-2004), including assistant head coach.

"This is my shot," Orgeron told the Associated Press. "This is our shot, as a team. I didn't know if I'd ever become a head coach again, but I do have a shot and I'm going to give it my best. I'm excited for it. I think I'm very well prepared for it."

Orgeron has made a name for himself during a long career as a recruiter and served as point man during the recruiting process for many of USC's current players. Expect a different attitude and feel around the team as Orgeron is regarded as a more gregarious personality.

"I had no clue that (a coaching change) was coming after that game," running back Silas Redd said. "We're going to have fun, though. This is a fun team, and today was exactly that. They're just two different types of people. Coach Kiffin is more strict. Coach O is more loose."

New offensive coordinator Clay Helton, USC's quarterbacks coach, will call plays on the sideline with assistant Tee Martin in the coaches' box.

USC (3-2, 0-2) hadn't allowed more than 14 points until Saturday's debacle, a 62-41 loss at Arizona State. Most of the criticism around Kiffin involved the offense and play-calling, but quarterback Cody Kessler said he doesn't expect many big changes under Helton.

Star receiver Marqise Lee (knee) may be out as USC hosts Arizona on Oct. 10.

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