USC co-defensive coordinator Shaun Nua had plenty of praise for how USC head coach Lincoln Riley is handling the Trojans season.

The Trojans are closing out a disappointing season at home this weekend. When he met with reporters earlier this week, Nua was asked about Riley’s leadership throughout.

“Coach Riley’s been an elite leader. We come in, and he’s still the same,” said Nua. “His chest is high, his chin is up. He’s leading us with enthusiasm and optimism to keep taking this program to the right place. You can’t ask for a better leader. He’s leading the coaches, the staff, the players.”

Nua is heading into his second week as an interim coordinator at the helm of the USC defense. He and Brian Odom had a tall task last week having to lead the Trojans against Oregon and potential Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Bo Nix. USC lost that game to Oregon, 36-27.

USC sits at 7-4 on the season and 5-3 in Pac-12 play. The Trojans have lost 4 out of their 5 last games, with their only win over that stretch coming in a 50-49 victory over Cal. The USC defense is giving up 43.8 points per game over their last 5 games, and 34.6 points per game over the course of the season.

USC hosts rival UCLA this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. PT on ABC.