USC players woke up to a social media storm they didn't see coming on Wednesday morning.
After Tuesday's practice, team captain Marqise Lee told the media that players had in fact held a players-only meeting on Sunday evening to discuss the loss to Washington State and how to move forward from it.
This would contradict what USC head coach Lane Kiffin said on Sunday evening during his teleconference with the media, when he said he didn't think the meeting had taken place.
Now fast forward to Wednesday morning and players waking up to headlines referencing Kiffin being out of touch with his team, players going behind his back, and Kiffin vs. the team.
Well, turns out, it's all just one big misunderstanding.
"I don't know why Marqise said [there was a players-only meeting]," Kiffin explained Wednesday after practice. "I asked him why he said that, he said he was in front of you guys and kind of got a little flustered in his mind."
Lee and a few teammates did meet Sunday evening to have dinner at training table, according to teammate and fellow captain Devon Kennard. Those players did discuss the loss and how to handle it moving forward.
So, it wasn't the auditorium-filled team meeting most likely envisioned from Lee's comments, but there was a "gathering" and the players did discuss football.
Who knew we all needed a better definition of the word "meeting"?
Two more tailbacks to the mix?
Tailback Tre Madden carried the ball 32 times for 156 yards in the Trojans 10-7 loss Saturday to Washington State. Through two games, the redshirt sophomore has 50 carries for 268 yards.
When fall camp opened, tailback was thought to be one of the deepest positions on the roster with six capable players. However Silas Redd and D.J. Morgan have yet to see significant action on the practice field as they recover from injuries suffered during spring practices. Neither player appears as though he will be ready to play against Boston College on Saturday, as both continue to leave practice with the rehabilitation group.
Freshman Justin Davis, who Kiffin said was one of the most talented early enrollees he's ever seen at USC, has carried the ball 16 times through the two games – but had just two carries against WSU.
Kiffin said Wednesday that Davis and Buck Allen "really ran well," during practice and that he would "love to get those guys some action" over the next couple of games.
Allen was the only tailback of the six who stayed healthy throughout fall camp. Much of the workload fell on his shoulders. Allen has only had two carries so far this season, both coming in the Trojans' season opening win at Hawaii.
"I hope we get them in," Kiffin said.
Reps for Kessler
This is the first week of practice that quarterback Cody Kessler is getting the majority of reps at practice and Kiffin says it's yielding results.
"The extra reps is obviously good for him," he said. "It's helping his timing with the skilled players and with the first group."
Offensive players are not available to the media on Wednesdays.
Recruits in the Coliseum
A long list of recruits were in the Coliseum for Saturday's loss to Washington State, which means those recruits heard the disenchanting boos toward the Trojans' head coach.
Asked how to handle that situation with those recruits, Kiffin's answer was simple, "Win games," he said.
"Fans boo when you lose, fans cheer when you win. We have to put a better performance and better product out there."
Kiffin often says that lone wins and losses usually do not dictate or impact whether or not the staff receives a player's commitment.
Sky is not falling
Even though the Trojans are 1-1 through two weeks of the college football season and just put forth what Kiffin calls "The worst passing performance you can ever have in the history of football" in their loss to Washington State, he remains adamant that the "sky is not falling" at Troy.
That passing performance, once again – with both quarterbacks combined – was 11-of-21 for 54 yards and two interceptions.
"We ran the ball well, played lights out defense in the run and pass," Kiffin continued. "It's just that one thing."
The defense didn't allow WSU to score a single touchdown, holding the Cougars to just a field goal.