The Kiffins take on new duties

Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron was not at practice Tuesday while tending to what was described as a "family matter" in Louisiana, and receivers coach Ted Gilmore was out recruiting.

So the Kiffins -- Lane and Monte both -- stepped up in their absences to fulfill the two coaches' duties, Lane working with the wideouts and Monte working with the defensive line.

Lane, of course, spent three seasons in his first stint at USC as the Trojans' receivers coach. It was a return of sorts for him, then, and he could also be helping out at other spots later this week when other assistants go on recruiting trips.

Orgeron is not expected back until Friday morning. The Trojans don't practice Thursday, so, if he arrives in time, Orgeron would miss only one more session, Wednesday's.

His absence was very noticeable in one specific category: noise level. Orgeron is typically the loudest man on the field at all times, so the Trojans' practice was uncharacteristically quiet without him there.

Added to the change in venues to Cromwell Field because of a re-sodding process going on at the normal Howard Jones Field, it was an unusual atmosphere at practice. A number of players commented that it was weird not hearing Orgeron's voice.