Arizona's challenge against USC

Arizona (3-1) head coach Rich Rodriguez acknowledges the challenge he faces on Thursday against a re-energized USC (3-2) team...

USC (3-2) has never played a Thursday night game in the Coliseum.*

They've never played a game under the direction of interim head coach Ed Orgeron.

The Trojans have plenty of reasons to be pumped up for the weeknight showdown hosting Arizona (3-1) and Wildcat head coach Rich Rodriguez is fully aware.

"They have a lot of talented players and I'm sure we're going to get their best shot next Thursday night," Rodriguez said during a Pac-12 coaches conference call.

This will be USC's first game since the firing of former head coach Lane Kiffin following the Trojans 62-41 loss at Arizona State.

Though a coaching change midseason means adjustments within the program, Rodriguez is emphatic those changes make his job as the opponent more difficult.

"It seems like a lot of times when something like this happens the team kind of gets reenergized, a chip on their shoulder and plays with a great passion in a new direction," Rodriguez explained.

Kiffin called plays for USC, a job now passed on to quarterbacks coach Clay Helton, who is taking over as offensive coordinator and play caller. Helton will be on the sideline while receivers coach Tee Martin moves up to the press box.

"It's going to be harder for our defensive staff with what they are going to do," Rodriguez said. "We've got to be prepared for everything."

Kickoff Thursday night is 7:30 PM in the Coliseum.

*First ever non-Thanksgiving/non-bowl game on Thursday night in the Coliseum.

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