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Practice Report: USC Football Eager to Grow From First Loss of the Season

Oct 18, 2022

Lincoln Riley's focus was clear Saturday night following USC's first loss of the season.

"I'm ready to go practice right now," the head coach said in a motivated tone.

The sentiment was shared with his players, who immediately were ready to go back to work.

"After the game, I felt like we could have gone another four quarters," said offensive lineman Justin Dedich following Tuesday's practice. "We were talking on Saturday night, we're excited to go back to practice…Like, 'Let's just get there already. We're ready to go.' I've never had that in my experience here."

So how did USC's first practice of the week in full pads go?

"[It] was brutal," Dedich shared. "Guys getting chirpy out here. It was an electric practice, for sure. There was no half-speed, half-ass. There was none of that. Guys were flying around and it was a solid day."

It's a good start for the Trojans, who say that their loss to Utah added "fuel to the fire" for this season. Riley stressed Tuesday however, that hard work, not just emotion, is necessary in order for USC to improve in the second half of its schedule. 

"Feeling and thinking that you're capable is one thing, going and doing it is another," Riley said. "Even if you go rally and have great practices, and morale is great and all that, it's still going to be hard as hell on Saturdays."

Notes from USC's Tuesday practice of its Bye Week:

  • Riley shared the latest on wide receiver Jordan Addison and inside linebacker Eric Gentry, who both exited Saturday's game due to injury:

    • "They'll be day-to-day," Riley said. "We've got a little bit of time with them, which is fortunate on our part. We'll be smart with them this week. I don't think it's anything long term with either one of them. We'll just grind them back to recovery and probably fortunate for us that we're not playing this week"

  • Riley also shared that USC has specific goals for each player on the roster:

    • "One thing we're big on are goals for every player on the team, individually, not just a generic 'improve.' It's specific details for every player, things that we want them to get accomplished," Riley explained. "We meet with every player, we go through it, we set the goal, we set the plan for the week, and then we expect it to get done. We need to be a much better football team and a lot better individual players when we get back on Monday."

  • Wide receiver Tahj Washington received praise from Riley for his versatility on the field:

    • "He's been awesome," Riley said. "He's one of the most valuable players on the team. What he does on special teams, all the different roles he assumes offensively, we can do anything with him."

  • Inside linebacker Shane Lee shared his reaction to Gentry's perseverance through injury:

    • "Doesn't surprise me at all. He's passionate. He loves us, we love him," Lee said. "We got a really good group of guys here and so it doesn't surprise me at all. We really love each other. We work for each other and care about each other. To see that didn't surprise me. Obviously, it fueled us and it gave us a lot of good energy."

Tuesday's media availability:

Best in the Game Interview: