Spring 15: The running game

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by ErikMcKinney, Mar 9, 2020.

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  2. BigRex

    BigRex Points Member


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    Mar 9, 2020
    #2
    "And after finishing No. 20 in total offense last season, it’s tough to find too much to complain about in terms of Graham Harrell’s side of the ball."

    Oh yes there is. Overpassing, even if running a successful passing attack, causes profound damage to the rest of the team. Here's how:

    1. It puts the qb at risk, as USC found out last year. You simply cannot pass 40-50 times a game and expect your qb's to survive. It would be similar to running an RB 40 times a game.

    2. It puts the defense at risk because it doesn't keep the other offense off the field. If the team is up by 4 points with five minutes to go, it needs a running attack to move the ball and keep the clock running. If the defense is winded, a nice 7 minute drive might be just what they need to recover. An air raid is not going to do that. If things go really badly, the offense will do a three and out and take 28 seconds off the clock. If things go really well, the air raid will put seven points on the board but stay on the field for only three minutes. Neither situation is best for a spent defense you are trying to protect.

    3. It causes the running game to wither on the vine. A four star starting RB is going to want more than 5 carries a game. The less you work on something and the less dependent you are on it, the less good you will get at doing it.

    "But truthfully, the running game was not what it needs to be in order to truly field a championship-level team."

    that's absolutely true. There is no redeeming value in becoming Washington State.

    US
     
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  3. ErikMcKinney

    ErikMcKinney Administrator

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    #3
    The idea that there isn't "too much to complain about" in regard to the offense last year is in comparing it to whatever that was in 2018. There is a clear goal with this offense and it worked a lot of the time last year. Whether people agree with it being what they want the USC offense to look like or if it's sustainable moving forward is a different discussion, and there are absolutely things in there that warrant a deep discussion. But ultimately, when you look at how things went last season, it's tough to complain about the offense compared to the defense, and it's tough to complain about the offense given the injury issues (and I already know, the offense caused the quarterback injuries).
     
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  4. ErikMcKinney

    ErikMcKinney Administrator

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    #4
    An update to this. Clay Helton said tonight that Kenan Christon will concentrate on track this spring. Brings up even more questions as SC works on the run game over the next 15 practices.
     
  5. AlbertoC

    AlbertoC Junior Member


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    Generally a very solid post. The caveat I will throw in is that the injuries to Vavae, Carr, and Stepp threw a real monkey wrench into any plans Harrell might have had to field a reasonably balanced offense. When those guys went down, he went with the scheme which he thought would be most successful. I don't think he had any other viable options late in the year.

    My major concern is one you listed..and that is Slovis surviving the entire year, or even for the entire first game against Bama. Over all other considerations, the biggest thing that Harrell needs to ensure is Kedon's health. Having a balanced offense that keeps opposing defenses guessing as to what USC will run next is the best way to do this.
     
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  6. Rodgarnay51

    Rodgarnay51 Junior Member


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    Agree. His passing ability is off the charts. It's an absolute must that Harrell keeps him from getting injured. Slovis's talent is such that he thinks there isn't a throw he can't make, so he puts himself in harm's way a lot. His mentor was the same way. Harrell needs to always keep this in mind.
     
  7. Ridge Rider

    Ridge Rider Points Member


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    #7
    Regarding a RB pecking order, Harrell astounded pretty much everyone when he had to reveal his QB pecking order last season. That one worked out pretty well.
     
  8. zitorocks

    zitorocks Junior Member


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    Let's remember that the running game averaged around 1 full yard more per carry prior to Vavae, Carr, and Stepp going down. Teams thought they could force the QB into making more mistakes (and did sometimes) by shutting down the run and forcing USC to pass the ball 40-50 times. There was an exact correlation to number of rushes per game when those three were healthy versus when they were out. If our stable of RBs are healthy during the season, I imagine we will see between 25-30 rushes per game and 30-35 passes per game. Much more balanced.
     

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