O/NSO: When Tailback U. used to really be Tailback U. edition

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by Greg Katz, May 17, 2019 at 12:17 AM.

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  2. Innocent Bystander

    Innocent Bystander Points Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 12:52 AM
    #2
    Football has changed

    QB is the glamour position. Used to be you gave the TB the ball 30 times.
    NFL teams shy away from RBs with 1000 carries between high school and the NFL.
    Marcus Allen in 1981 had 400+ carries in just one year.

    QBs are the ones going to NY.
    Probably time for SC to be QBU and WRU as well.
     
  3. usc88

    usc88 Junior Member

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    May 17, 2019 at 3:45 AM
    #3
    The tailback position has changed. It was getting yards on the ground.
    Now it seems that the tailback has to do a lot of things. Run, pass catch,
    and pass block.
    The position is still important, just evolved as it seems the USC offense is finally doing
     
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  4. Rainman44

    Rainman44 Junior Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 8:05 AM
    #4
    Tremendous article Greg. I'm bias of course, having watched OJ play (I was about 9 or 10 at that time) and all of the guys that followed him. It's really hard to rank them, but I think having OJ #1 is about as solid a pick as there is. All one has to do is look at his NFL career for further evidence (if a tie breaker is needed). The same can be said for Marcus Allen at #2. For those who never experienced Charles White play, I would say that he combined speed with toughness. I don't think he was the most elusive guy, but he could hit a hole fast and he could hit a tackler too. AD was pure excitement. Probably different from all other others in his style (that didn't translate well to the NFL). Ricky Bell was sort of like Sam Bam Cunningham at halfback. What a force he was.

    Big, strong and fast running backs, running behind an imposing OL, still have a place in college football even with greater emphasis on throwing the ball. I'm hopeful this isn't a lost tradition at USC.
     
  5. SCnAZ

    SCnAZ Junior Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 9:21 AM
    #5
    Thank you so very much Greg for that walk, er, visual down memory lane. Great read also. Long live “tailback U”
     
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  6. RDTK

    RDTK Points Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 10:15 AM
    #6
    Lets just keep revisiting the glorious past since the present (and foreseeable future) are the darkest of days.
     
  7. Rigged4fun

    Rigged4fun Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 11:30 AM
    #7
    Having seen the start of Tailback U with John Arnett and the inception of the I formation I'm still enamored with what John Robinson called "power football." The difference between then and now is the dominant O-Line. Sure the RB's are bigger and faster, but when has SC produced a dominant line? Sure Alabama, Clemson, and most of the SEC teams seem to develop these dominant O-lines with their recruiting and subsequent coaching whereas SC has become more of a finesse team. We will have to wait and see what this season brings.
     
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  8. Innocent Bystander

    Innocent Bystander Points Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 11:36 AM
    #8
    Clemson does what we are trying to do.

    Spread the field with great WR. Clemson very rarely runs between the tackles.
    A lot of RB stretch. Alabama is different but Clemson beat Alabama because Alabama can't defend all those athletes in space.

    Clemson is 100% shotgun 3 and 4 WR sets.
     
  9. DaFireMedic

    DaFireMedic Junior Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 1:31 PM
    #9
    The earliest I remember of these at USC was Anthony Davis. I only remember O.J. from his time in Buffalo in the NFL. Ricky Bell was probably my favorite of the 70’s.

    I knew Marcus Allen was special when he opened the 1981 season with 210 yds in half a game after pretty much sitting out the 2nd half. He reminded me a lot of O.J. with his balance and eye for openings.
     
  10. crank31

    crank31 Junior Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 2:45 PM
    #10
    Great article Greg! Especially for us younger fans who couldn’t experience the old great tailbacks. Enjoyable read.
     
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  11. GoSC27!

    GoSC27! Points Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 5:05 PM
    #11
    Greg,
    You hit the nail on head with your article. We have somewhat lost our identity with Helton at helm. First it started with his retention of Callaway for so long, then losing top OLine recruits like Penei and Jackson. We have always had the talent in Rojo, Carr, Malepai, and Stepp, but no OLine to block for them. Now we have transitioned to the Air Raid offense, where it is 60% passing and 40% run. My concern is with the future and will we get elite RB talent when the emphasis of our offense is in the passing game. Will that talent go to the likes of Stanford where they still believe in running the ball. It seems Tailback U is now becoming a folklore or just a memory.
    One also has to wonder how Rojo, Carr, or Malepai would have done if they had Stanford’s line. I am sure at least one of them would have been in New York in December. How far have we regressed with Helton at the helm!
    Fight On!
     
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  12. Troy70

    Troy70 Junior Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 8:39 PM
    #12
    Won’t be long before we see what RBs atSC will do for real
     
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  13. Pudly76

    Pudly76 Points Member


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    May 17, 2019 at 9:13 PM
    #13
    Interesting you choose stanfurd. They have that “identity” but the truth is they aren’t as run heavy as one might suspect.
    Last season they ran 29/gm and passed 32/...
    While NoTexas ran 35/gm and passed 38/
    So the run pass ratio is very close.
    If the offense clicks under Graham, we should draw running backs no worse than furd.
     
  14. Svtofv

    Svtofv Junior Member


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    May 18, 2019 at 12:19 AM
    #14
    I’m an old timer, and watched the team dating back to 1960. If we’re talking about a great runner, there were several players who might be #1, although, as mentioned, their running style was different; like A.D. being more of a finesse runner as compared to the brutal running of Ricky Bell. But.......
    The most complete tailback, in my estimation, ever, has to be Marcus Allen. Not only could he run and catch the ball, he was a terrific blocker.
    Hmmm, I can’t say that about O.J. or Reggie! Or anyone else. Marcus was the best all around back based on his total package! The best runner? Maybe we have to consider style points!? Fun to discuss, in any event!
     
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  15. GoSC27!

    GoSC27! Points Member


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    May 18, 2019 at 12:44 AM
    #15
    I think last year was an anomaly as Love was not the same and always playing injured. I picked Stanford because I remember Mcaffrey and Love prior to his injury. Stanford was definitely committed to the run. Helton even was quoted how he would like to emulate Stanford’s offense.
    My point is that I fear that with Graham’s offense it MIGHT work against us when attracting future elite RB recruits. I do hope the run game evolves as we have the talent. Fall should answer a lot of questions!
    Fight On!
     
  16. Innocent Bystander

    Innocent Bystander Points Member


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    May 18, 2019 at 12:56 AM
    #16
    USC is trying to win football games.

    As great as Stanford has been.
    Stanford is a very easy offense to defend. Shut down their run game. Easier said than done.

    Stanford is not a team to emulate. Teams like Stanford, Iowa and Wisconsin that use 2 Tight Ends and lead blockers out of the back field lack a real explosive passing game.

    USC is trying to win National Championships.
    We need a vertical down the field passing game.
    If we have safties stay back this opens running lanes.

    Ultimately we need to be a team that can use the pass to open up the run or the run to open up the pass. We need an OL for this.

    For right now...
    Once we get teams out of position and afraid of our weapons on the outside we run the ball down their throat.

    Clemson and Oklahoma are the best examples.
    Both teams torched Alabama last year.

    Unlike Oklahoma USC has the ability to have depth on defense.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019 at 1:06 AM
  17. GoSC27!

    GoSC27! Points Member


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    May 18, 2019 at 1:13 AM
    #17
    I am glad that you are All In with the Air Raid offense. And for the record I was quoting Coach Helton as he was the one that wanted to emulate Stanford’s offense. I also believe that your offense has to play to its strengths. Because of poor player development and the inability of acquiring depth at the OLine position, hence Callaway’s tenure, we have no choice, but to migrate to the Air Raid system. I was also pointing out that it MIGHT be hard to attract future elite RB’s that want the offense to revolve around the running game. Carr, Malepai, and Stepp have the talent and Harrell has to demonstrate that his running game can be elite even though it is a Pass forward offense!
    Fight On!
     
  18. Innocent Bystander

    Innocent Bystander Points Member


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    May 18, 2019 at 1:14 AM
    #18

    Stanford plays the way they do because they lack the depth at WR.
    Finally they have started recruiting the position better.

    SC doesn't lack the quality at WR.
    We could put 5 future All Americans on the field at one time if needed.

    You play in a box when you lack talent on the outside.
    Stanford's entire game plan even I can figure out and I only have a few years of coaching experience in high school.
     
  19. Innocent Bystander

    Innocent Bystander Points Member


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    May 18, 2019 at 1:26 AM
    #19
    Good RBs become Great to Elite with the right pieces.
    Don't need a 5 star RB to have a elite running game.
    SC has the talent pool to find a future elite RB. I don't worry about that

    I do worry about finding the talent on the OL.
    Going to have to find some talent out of state.
    I really liked Tosh Baker from Tuscon. Going to be a future NFL player plus he is intelligent. Always a plus.

    Only thing I worry with ND and Stanford is OL
    Two traits I like with OL are intelligence and a background in wrestling.
    Stanford and ND compete with us for the elite OL around the country that have the smarts to learn the craft
     
  20. BlemBlam

    BlemBlam Junior Member


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    May 18, 2019 at 6:48 AM
    #20
    Wait, What? When did Oklahoma torch Alabama?
     
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