Sports

USC is looking up under Orgeron's leadership, but No. 5 Stanford has sights on greater heights

  • FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2013, file photo, Southern California interim football coach Ed Orgeron, right, celebrates with running back Javorius Allen after their 31-14 win over Oregon State in an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore. Orgeron has injected fun back into USC, and victories have followed. The Trojans' 4-1 resurgence under their interim coach leads them into a Coliseum visit from No. 5 Stanford, which is two wins away from the chance to host the Pac-12 title game. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2013, file photo, Southern California interim football coach Ed Orgeron, right, celebrates with running back Javorius Allen after their 31-14 win over Oregon State in an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore. Orgeron has injected fun back into USC, and victories have followed. The Trojans' 4-1 resurgence under their interim coach leads them into a Coliseum visit from No. 5 Stanford, which is two wins away from the chance to host the Pac-12 title game. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2013, file photo, Southern California head coach Ed Orgeron watches his players warm up before the start of an NCAA college football game against Utah in Los Angeles. Orgeron has injected fun back into USC, and victories have followed. The Trojans' 4-1 resurgence under their interim coach leads them into a Coliseum visit from No. 5 Stanford, which is two wins away from the chance to host the Pac-12 title game.(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2013, file photo, Southern California head coach Ed Orgeron watches his players warm up before the start of an NCAA college football game against Utah in Los Angeles. Orgeron has injected fun back into USC, and victories have followed. The Trojans' 4-1 resurgence under their interim coach leads them into a Coliseum visit from No. 5 Stanford, which is two wins away from the chance to host the Pac-12 title game.(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas, File)  (The Associated Press)

Ed Orgeron restored fun to Southern California football over the last six weeks, and his Trojans are revitalized.

With four wins in five games under the interim coach, USC (7-3, 4-2 Pac-12) has managed to stay in the Pac-12 South race.

Marqise Lee says the talented Trojans are playing loose and enjoying themselves — but their next opponent isn't much fun for anyone.

No. 5 Stanford (8-1, 6-1) is just two wins away from hosting the Pac-12 title game for the second straight season. The Cardinal cemented their spot atop the league by beating Oregon last week, and they've had extra days of preparation for their visit to the Coliseum.

Orgeron and the Trojans are well aware of the challenge presented by the powerful Rose Bowl champions.