Kiffin's firing impacts Arizona

Lane Kiffin was fired as USC's Head Coach early on Sunday morning. Read on to find out what repercussions his firing has for Arizona, including details about the upcoming game, Trevor Wood's recruitment, and more.

Upon arriving home from the state of Arizona just about a week ago, Lane Kiffin was notified that his services as head coach of USC were no longer needed.

"I have been thinking about (firing Kiffin) since the Hawaii game," USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said. "We didn't feel consistency was there. We realize that our history has been great and we need it to be great again."

Haden began considering the termination of Kiffin after a 30-13 victory over the University of Hawaii to open the season. There was almost certainly some connection with the Trojan's disappointing 7-6 finish last season.

Kiffin's firing will have an effect on the USC players and coaching staff for the rest of the season.

With Ed Orgeron now in charge, the players could have a refreshing new feel about the season. Some players have already noticed it in just a few practices.

"(There is) more energy," USC quarterback Max Browne told Scout.com. "But that's Coach O. Going out there having more fun, having the mindset that we're playing for each other.

"Obviously it's not the start we wanted, but we still got a lot of big rivalry games. Still a lot to prove. I think that's the mindset, play for each other and have fun."

Having that mindset could make the Trojans deadly for the rest of the season. They still have eight games on the schedule, due to a rule that allows them to play thirteen games in the same season that they play a road game at Hawaii. The Trojan players will be focused on those eight games as a new beginning.

"Now, it is just time to move on," USC captain Devon Kennard said at a press conference earlier in the week. "We are excited about this new opportunity and a new season for us these next eight games."

The first game up for the Trojans during their "new season" will be a Thursday night showdown with the Arizona Wildcats. USC will have a week to prepare as both teams have a bye week before the midweek matchup.

Arizona in particular will be at a disadvantage as far as planning goes. In addition to the extra motivation that the Trojans will have to win the game, Arizona will also be planning without knowing much about USC's play calling.

Kiffin had been the Trojans' primary play caller on the offensive side of the ball. Now, new offensive coordinator Clay Helton will make all the calls. It is a problem that the Wildcats have to deal with.

"I think defensively we have an idea," Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez said. "They are going to keep the same defensive coordinator and he is hard to prepare for anyway because he does a lot of different things.

"Offensively it is a bit more of an unknown. They may not change a whole lot because it is just 10 days, but at the same time they may change everything. Defensively we have to be prepared for a little bit of everything I think."

With the changes on offense, it gets harder for Arizona due to some personnel issues for the Trojans. Star running back Silas Redd is expected to be back in action for USC and superstar receiver Marquise Lee is currently listed as day-to-day with a knee sprain.

The on-field battle on Thursday won't be the only thing affected by the change in USC coaches, as the right hire could get USC back strong on the recruiting trail.

Early this week, USC's running backs coach Tommie Robinson traveled back to the state of Arizona. His goal was simple: offer scholarships to high school players that weren't previously offered under the Kiffin administration.

One of Robinson's stops was to Scottsdale Chaparral, where he extended a scholarship offer to Arizona commit Trevor Wood. The tight end immediately reassured his commitment.

"I am 100-percent committed to Arizona," Wood told Scout.com. "Why commit when you aren't committed?"

While Wood has strong ties to the Wildcats and will not be pulled away by the Trojans, there are other recruits that could still be swayed.

Arizona commit Naijiel Hale had been very vocal about his interest in USC before committing to the Wildcats. Since that time, he has had not shown any signs of wavering. However, with the coaching change, things may be different if he is offered by the new coaching staff.

"I am in contact with (Tee Martin) weekly," Hale told Scout.com. "He tells me that they are going to contact me and that I'm still his guy.

"Coach Orgeron hits me up on Facebook. He wants me to come out to games and congratulates me on small things he sees on the web."

When asked if a USC offer would change things, Hale did not have much to say.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm still solid to Arizona."

While there is nothing that is ever certain in the world of recruiting, a solid USC hire and a scholarship offer may make things interesting in Hale's recruitment.

On the field and off the field, Lane Kiffin's firing is going to affect the Arizona Wildcats, though the extent remains to be seen.


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