USC fired Lane Kiffin early Sunday, ending the football coach's tumultuous tenure a few hours after the Trojans lost 62-41 at Arizona State.
Athletic director Pat Haden fired Kiffin at the Trojans' private airport terminal when the team returned from Arizona, but not before a meeting in which Kiffin tried to change Haden's mind.
"He did a lot of things well under some very difficult circumstances," Haden said. "It's never the perfect time to make a change, but this was the right time."
Ed Orgeron was named interim coach. He was Kiffin's assistant head coach and the former Mississippi head coach.
The Trojans (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) have a bye this week before hosting Arizona on Oct. 10. Kiffin went 28-15 in his three-plus seasons at NCAA-strapped USC.
"We'll try to move forward, bonding as a Trojan family," offensive lineman Marcus Martin said.
Also, receiver Maqise Lee was diagnosed with a knee sprain and was on crutches. "I feel like I'm all right. It's just sore," said Lee, who was hurt in the fourth quarter.
Jimmie Johnson won for a record eighth time at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Led by Johnson's fifth win of the year, the entire top 10 was made up of Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second at the mile oval, followed by Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer. "Max points, it's an awesome day," said Johnson, who trails Kenseth, who won the first two Chase, by eight points.
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.