Fresh off their emotional high after defeating Stanford, the Trojans are back on the practice field trying to settle down and continue the grind of the college football season with just two regular season games remaining.
Now in the seventh game under interim coach Ed Orgeron, the staff continues to preach the one game at a time mindset with Colorado next on the docket.
"We talk about the process, we talk about the mindset about being mentally strong and competitive," said Orgeron. "I really think our guys are gonna play well and practice well this week."
Orgeron believes his team's focus has shifted over to Colorado (4-6), which won its first conference game last week against California Berkeley.
"I think [the players] realize there's a lot at stake in that we've built something special and they want to protect it," Orgeron said.
One Colorado player that will certainly keep defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast up this week is former Gardena Serra standout receiver Paul Richardson, who has recorded 71 receptions for 1201 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
Coach Orgeron confirmed that Morgan Breslin (sports hernia) and Taylor Ross (knee) both had surgery on Tuesday. This certainly means the end to pass-rushing specialist Morgan Breslin's USC career, one of the players Orgeron called his favorite to coach.
Cody Temple (ankle) and Anthony Brown (knee) are both out for Saturday and Silas Redd (knee) is questionable. After making one of the most critical catches of the season on 4th and 2 after having to previously leave the game after being kicked in the shin, Marqise Lee (knee) is probable for Saturday while defensive line stud Leonard Williams (nagging shoulder) is also probable.
The place kicking tandem of Andre Heidari and holder Cody Kessler, who along with long snapper Zach Smith secured USC's 20-17 victory, were named Pac-12 players of the week for special teams and offense.
Kessler led the Trojans offensively, thanks to the Cardinal stout run defense, going 25-37 passing for 288 yards and believes he can repeat that success moving forward against the Buffaloes and Bruins.
"It doesn't matter who we are playing," Kessler said. "We treat it just like any other game. The way we've been looking at it is that Saturday is just another obstacle that's in the way of our dreams and the goals that we have."
Heidari continues to battle his fair share of ups and downs connecting on 13 of his 20 field goal attempts this season. But that being said, he recognizes the impact of his game-winning antics have placed on his supportive teammates. "Guys on the sidelines were crying -- definitely one of the biggest kicks of my career," Heidari said.
ORGERON WANTS THE JOB
Making his way around national radio for the past few days, Orgeron continues to put his players first but is now firmly putting out to the world that he wants to coach this team. The support has certainly come from many of his more outspoken freshmen in Su'a Cravens and Kenny Bigelow, but even members of the coaching staff feel the same way.
"Ain't no doubt in my mind Ed Orgeron should be named Southern California's head coach," Tommy Robinson told CBSsports.com Bruce Feldman. "No man on this planet can make these kids play harder."
Orgeron has completely revitalized a football team that looked left for dead following its 62-41 beat down in Tempe, turning this same group of injured players into a national contender just seven weeks later. That unheralded transformation has placed him among the 16 national finalists for the Maxwell Football Club Coach of the Year Award.
QUICK LOOK AT COLORADO
USC has won all seven of its meetings with Colorado, including going 3-0 in Boulder encounters. In the process, the Trojans have outscored the Buffaloes 230-47 in their all-time meetings.
Last year in the Coliseum, wuarterback Matt Barkley (102 career passing touchdowns) and wide receiver Robert Woods (220 career receptions) had record-setting performances as No. 11 USC manhandled Colorado 50-6 after jumping out to a 19-0 lead in the games first six minutes.