Originally posted on Fox Sports West
By RAHSHAUN HAYLOCK  |  Last updated 10/8/13
LOS ANGELES 62 points. 7.5 yards per rush. 261 rushing yards. 5-of-11 third downs converted. Snap back to reality. The aforementioned numbers are real and didn't disappear after Lane Kiffin got fired. Those are Arizona State's totals from their 62-41 defeat of the Trojans in their last game. More energy and enthusiasm at practice can't make it go away. Nor can dinner from Roscoe's, dessert in the facility, or the Trojan Bowl. Those numbers, for the moment, are the lasting impression of USC's defense. Save for the seven points that were scored as a result of an Alden Darby interception return for a touchdown, all of those points were scored against the USC defense. The Sun Devils scored at will with very little resistance from a USC defense that did a complete 180-degree turn from the unit that took the field in the first four games of the season. So what happened on that September night in Tempe? "That was a fluke," safety Dion Bailey said of the defense's performance at Arizona State. Or at least that's what he and his teammates would like to believe. Thursday will be a history making night. It's the first Thursday night game at the Coliseum in school history. Ed Orgeron will be stepping on the field in his debut as USC's head coach, marking just the first time the school has had two head coaches in one season since 1888 the first year of the program. The opposition is an Arizona team that in their last game was within five points of Washington late in the third quarter before the Huskies scored 13 straight to end the game in Seattle. B.J. Denker is a local product who arrived in Tucson out of North Torrance High School by way of Cerritos College. The Wildcats quarterback beat out other, more touted Southern California products former USC quarterback Jesse Scroggins, and former Westlake signal caller Nick Isham who's a transfer from Louisiana Tech to be entrusted to run Rich Rodriguez's spread offense in the head coach's second year on the job. USC has handled the spread well this season, but, of course, in Tempe took a major step in the wrong direction. "(We were) stunned that we performed like that," Bailey said. "They didn't do anything special. They didn't outscheme us or anything. Guys, literally, weren't doing their assignments for the first time." Missing assignments and self-inflicted wounds would have to be corrected if the Trojans hope to not ruin Orgeron's USC head coaching debut and lose two in a row. Much like they felt at the beginning of the season, the USC defense feels like it has something to prove. For starters, it's showing that what happened in Tempe was, indeed, "a fluke." On Thursday they'll have a national platform to perform on with the game being shown on FOX Sports 1 at 7:30 p.m. "We got a lot to prove and we got a lot of opportunities to do it so we're going to take full advantage of it," Bailey said.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Police recommend charges against LeSean McCoy

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charge

Report: Danny Ainge 'excited' at chance to add Al Horford

Pat Haden collapsed on USC campus

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

QUIZ: Name every WWE Heavyweight Champion

Three NHL players who can cement their legacies like Peyton Manning

Top 11 story lines for the 2016 NFL offseason

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker