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Players Gather, Discuss Problems

USC NOTES

October 04, 2000|DAVID WHARTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The USC offense gathered for a players-only meeting Tuesday, a chance to speak their minds about Saturday's loss at Oregon State.

"The penalties and stuff," tackle Brent McCaffrey said. "We felt like we took a step back."

Said center Eric Denmon: "We can't play like we've been playing in the first half and expect to pick it up in the third and fourth quarter."

The defense held no meeting but talked on the practice field. Linebacker Zeke Moreno sensed a lack of enthusiasm last Saturday, especially after his 80-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

"Guys should have been all over me," he said. "You could tell the emotion wasn't there."

The senior said he still could not believe his team lost.

"I'll get in peoples' faces," he said. "Sometimes you have to yell to get some emotion. Even if they're angry at me, they can take that out onto the field."

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Linebacker Kori Dickerson missed most of practice because of a sprained foot suffered against Oregon State. Receiver Kareem Kelly (quadriceps and ankle) and tailbacks Sultan McCullough (bruised knee) and Petros Papadakis (concussion) also sat out.

Defensive lineman Ryan Nielsen twisted his back in practice and cornerback Kris Richard suffered a minor injury lifting weights.

All are expected back at practice this week.

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Five of USC's final seven games will be broadcast on XPRS (1090) AM) Spanish-language radio, a first for the Trojans.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for USC and our football program to reach out to a very important segment of the Southern California audience," Athletic Director Mike Garrett said.

The broadcasts will begin with Oregon on Oct. 14 and include remaining home games and the USC-UCLA game at the Rose Bowl.

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