Fresh off an excruciating 10-7 loss to Washington State on Saturday, USC is once again making headlines off the field.
According to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, star receiver Marqise Lee and linebackers Devon Kennard and Hayes Pullard spoke at a players-only meeting after the home defeat. However, head coach Lane Kiffin denied any notion of said meeting taking place:
Marqise Lee, Devon Kennard and Hayes Pullard spoke at players-only meeting that Lane Kiffin said did not take place #USC— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) September 11, 2013
Lee reportedly responded to his coach's denial, per Wolf: "Kiffin don't know. Players [only]. Players. Kiffin don't know nothing about it. No coaches [were allowed]. We did have that meeting. … Now [Kiffin] knows."
Marqise Lee said Lane Kiffin incorrect about players only meeting not happening. "Kiffin don't know," Lee said #USC— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) September 11, 2013
After a tweet from Kennard contradicting a players-only meeting, Lee also took to Twitter to dispute what he was quoted as saying:
If there was a "players only" meeting I wasn't there... Every coach and player we have is focused on one goal and that's winning this week!— Devon Kennard (@DevonKennard42) September 11, 2013
There was not a "players only meeting". Just regular get together with a few players about staying positive and moving forward #FightOn!— Marqise Lee (@TeamLee1) September 11, 2013
On Monday, Kiffin named redshirt sophomore Cody Kessler USC's starter for Saturday's game against Boston College, per Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register.
USC has named Cody Kessler as its starting quarterback.— Rich Hammond (@RegisterUSC) September 9, 2013
This was after Kiffin told the media he had an extensive meeting with sophomore Max Wittek about the quarterback situation on Sunday. According to Wolf, however, Wittek said the meeting was brief:
Max Wittek also contradicted Lane Kiffin. Said Kiffen very brief Sunday in meeting on QB decision. Kiffin said meeting extensive #USC— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) September 11, 2013
What a mess.
Kiffin's job security was already shaky headed into the season. USC was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the AP preseason poll in 2012, but finished 7-6 with a loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. After a loss to Washington State this year, Kiffin is definitely on the hot seat in Los Angeles.
Should Lane Kiffin be fired?
The Trojans rank 18th in the country in points per game allowed this season (11.5), but also rank 98th in points per contest (18.5). Kessler is currently 18-of-32 for 136 yards with one touchdown to two interceptions on the season. He also has a rushing touchdown. Wittek is 8-of-18 for 90 yards and an interception.
After ranking 24th in the country in the AP preseason poll, USC is no longer ranked after just two games. Worse yet, the team can't seem to go even a week without drama unfolding.