Carroll, 'It's a really rough time'

Former USC head coach Pete Carroll says "It's been a hard time for the Trojan Family"...

To say former USC head coach Pete Carroll set the bar high during his tenure as Trojans head coach may be an understatement.

Before the NCAA vacated wins and a championship due to sanctions stemming from the Reggie Bush scandal, Carroll's overall record at USC read 97-19, including two national titles.

Four years removed from USC, Carroll is now the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks and has led his team to a 4-0 start this season.

During his Monday press conference in Seattle, Carroll was asked about the firing of Trojan head coach Lane Kiffin.

"It's been a really tough time," Carroll said. "It's been a hard time for the Trojan Family. It's been a hard couple years and this is difficult too. "

Kiffin leaves USC with a 28-15 record, losing seven of the Trojans last 11 games.

He was a member of Carroll's staff at USC from 2001-06 before he left the Trojans to take the head coaching position with the Oakland Raiders.

"I've known Lane since he was a little kid," Carroll explained. "I feel for him in this situation. But they've made a decisive move and they're going to move forward and make a good choice and get the thing going the way they want it going but it's very difficult."

Most likely, USC wants it going in the direction Carroll had it pointed -- and steaming full throttle -- in during his time at Troy.

"Transitions like this are huge," Carroll said. "It's getting a lot of interest for obvious reasons and all."

USC athletic director Pat Haden has named recruiting coordinator / defensive line coach Ed Orgeron the interim head coach. Orgeron, too, was a part of Carroll's staff at USC before becoming head coach at Mississippi. Orgeron was fired after three seasons and a 10-25 record at Ole Miss.

"I think Ed will do great," Carroll said. "Ed has been through enough as a head coach and he knows this program as well as anybody and he's got a real way about him. He's got a way about him that resonates and he can take control of a very difficult situation and make something happen positively."

The Trojans have eight games remaining on their schedule, including games in the Coliseum hosting No. 5 Stanford and No. 12 UCLA as well as a trip to South Bend to play Notre Dame.

Carroll says it's not an easy position to be in, taking charge of a team nearly midway through the season.

"It's very, very difficult," Carroll said. "What are your expectations when a guy takes over? It's hard to say turn it around and all that kind of thing but Ed is a tough guy. He is a good guy and knows football and really loves and knows that program as well as anybody.

"I think he'll do the best that anybody could do at this time."

USC has a bye this weekend. They'll host Arizona for a Thursday night primetime game on Oct. 10.

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