USC Morning Buzz: Commitment To Run Remains Shaky

USC obviously likes a tailback-by-committee approach, which is pretty fitting give Graham Harrell’s approach to the running game.

If he won’t even snap under center on fourth-and-1, and says it takes too much practice to try snapping under center, what does he care about a successful running game?

I wrote about this nearly two years ago how at North Texas, some offensive coaches objected to Harrell’s lack of running game.

“A running back is like a necessary evil in his offense,” said a Big 12 assistant coach who has seen Harrell’s offense at North Texas and USC. “He calls the run to satisfy the public.”

I told the Big 12 assistant that USC rushed for 173 yards against Arizona and Clay Helton said the Trojans’ goal is 175 per game.

“That’s it?” the assistant coach said.

Even Joel Klatt complained about USC’s penchant for passing on every first down during the Arizona game. Just as bad, USC can’t run on third-or-fourth down when they need to, probably because it isn’t really a priority for Harrell.

55 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Commitment To Run Remains Shaky

      1. 67, that would tire him out and make him more susceptible to injury not to mention that allowing him to carry the ball 20 times a game would take passes away from Opie’s offensive offense

        Liked by 3 people

      2. 67 and I would appreciate the clever sarcasm, karma… if not for the fact….
        #…HeltonActuallySaid”IDon’tWantToTireMarkeseOut”
        #[OrWereYouActuallyReferencingThatDumbQuote]?

        Liked by 2 people

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  1. Let’s face it our offensive coordinator thinks a bidet is a foot controlled drinking fountain. He was a better quarterback than his boss and thinks that makes him a prime candidate for the boss’s position in year or less.
    Under any other coaches, USC would take an offensive system, refine it, perfect it and beat teams over the head with it.
    With unqualified (UnQue) the team takes a system, breaks it, fails it and then lets teams explain it to them.
    UnQue doesn’t know football and his boss doesn’t know USC

    Liked by 5 people

      1. That was the funniest line, 67 [and we now know that Rialto always sets out to be funny] but the truest line is “Helton breaks things and lets the team explain to him why they’re broken.”

        Liked by 3 people

  2. This is good and relevant criticism, instead of doubling down on the Todd Orlando non-controversy.

    The Air-Raid, as run by Harrell (and Leach) is not the offense of a football program with a pedigree. If you are smart, you adjust, like Lincoln Riley, and you add a power running game and a mobile QB. Instead, Harrell is coaching like he is at Permian gearing up for the Odessa game. “Stick to the system, boys.”

    Harrell, if he’s smart, should leave after this year. Gomer is a goner after 2021, and Harrell as “Wonder Boy” is going to get old, fast.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Two games into it,
    We ran–somewhat successfully–40 attempts vs a gamer ASU team.
    I think we had 30+ att vs a “gamer” UA team.
    All three feature backs are running well in 2020.

    I’m just hoping Christon is “being saved” for 2021 as part of the thunder and lightning package.

    I think it was Billy Clint who glibly blurted out, “It’s aaahl about thuh eekaahnumee!” (It’s all about the economy).

    It’s all about the O-line.
    Keep reciting this.
    Harrell’s a good coach with good results.
    Our RB coach is a good coach with good results.

    It’s all about the O-line.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are absolutely correct Bourbon4me, The Trojan line is a few steps removed from the line in New York called the Rockettes. (They play for the Jets) In the past we had linemen so dominant they named a park after them. Now we have linemen so sensitive they name a toilet tissue after them. Come to think of it whatever happened to old Charmin the right tackle from last year’s bowl game?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. The guy squeezing the Charmin was caught groping a young lady sometime in the 80’s/90’s, I think. Kinda’ put an end to THAT ad campaign.
        Irrespective, I get yer point, RT.

        Anthony Munoz was an incredible presence on campus when I wuz there.
        What a gentle, noble giant. After snapping his chinstrap, he was demonic against his opponent. As a freshman (1979) in the student section (with better eyesight than today), I would focus on him. “Wholly” shit! I don’t think he was ever neutralized in my only year of observation.

        In 1982, Coach Hudson Houck and the film guys would tabulate Bruce Mathews’ and Donnie Mosebar’s “pancake” blocks–where they would humiliate and drop their opponent onto the turf like I would drop a pancake onto the griddle. There was a running account of the number of pancake blocks each scored.. These guys (along with Kenny Ruettgers, Tony Slaton, et al) set the bar for what it meant to be a USC OL.

        It’s all about the OL.
        Need to bring back the pancake block metric.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. So Whittingham, who scottie who’re ships on vended knee, will run an offense featuring “running back by committee too.
      So what day you now…and all those who think Stepp should be carrying the ball 40 times a game, perchance one of y’all can remind me of the last time Markese finished a season healthy? Was it his sophomore year in high school?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Other than Wilmore USC should be able to stuff Utah’s run game…. and even Wilmore isn’t lights out….
        #OurProblemIsGoingToBeUtah’sD-Line….
        #[PleaseBeSmartW/TheBall,Kedon]

        Liked by 3 people

      2. So last year in the bowl game, Naivar schemed the defense vs the utes and did a great job holding down the running backs. We’ll see if he still has it figured out. Whittingham wasn’t great at making offensive adjustments in either the game at the Coli or in the bowl game.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Perchance I say, Mister Pudly, truer words ne’er spoken.

        I like splitting up 40 carriers to Vavae, Stepps, and Car–with 40+
        att’s in the passing game. If one must check down to Vavae or Carr in the flats, it’s 28 pitch/29 toss without the student body.

        Next year, it’s thunder and lightening for 30-40 carries.

        Ya can’t just run the ball down the opponents throat any longer. With big fast LB and 330 lb immoveable NT, it just doesn’t work any more.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. It is all about the lines [both sides]….. and Utah has—by far— the best o-line and d-line we’ll face all year…..
      #IHaveReservationsAboutThisGame….
      #IfWeWin,Though,It’llBeEasyPickingsTillPac12Championship

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I saw on Mad Money tonight (with smarter-guy Jim Cramer) as I was burning a mega-calorie at 15 percent grade and 3 MPH that Universities are so “majorly” FUCK’d economically right now.

      Endowments are being raided–
      maybe to pay for the homes of University Presidents?), enrollment is flagging. Budgets are in free-fall. Student housing is in shambles. Employees are grabbing their salary while not really serving students.

      Hate to finesse the situation, but the present staff “is whut it is.”
      Buying out Horseshoes is not smart policy. Creating WINS despite a coach who is out of his depth is the only solution to a budgetary crisis.
      THERE IS no reason not to sell out the Coliseum (with serious tailgating) in 2021. “Finessing” the situation with a good recruit class and a better OL for 2021 is a baby step to getting somewhere close to relevance.

      Just my humble opinion.

      When I look at HC CH on TV during games, I think of that emotionally charged, 1995 academy-nominated movie with Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon (as SisterPrejean).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. When I see Helton I always think of that fat guy in Jurassic Park who gets lost in his jeep in the rain and winds up getting eating by a 3 foot dinosaur…..

        Liked by 1 person

  4. If you want to see an example of poor technique-take a look at that rt tackle in the JT/Georgia thread. He is straight up with no leverage and bending over at the waist. If he continues to block like this_then you have an example of poor coaching.

    #LooksLikeHe’sWorkingOverAHotStove
    #JustZipItP7x

    Liked by 4 people

      1. MG
        “Don’t stop guys’

        Why do you insist on bringing P7xxx’s Playmate Mistress into this heretofore civil discussion?
        #Back2TheRunningGame
        #AuRevoir,OnMyWayToSedona,7HoursToGo

        Liked by 3 people

    1. As long as we stay relatively healthy, this situation should be a big plus for us, no?
      #Carroll:”MostGrowthOccursBetweenFirstAndSecondGame”
      #[USC…AllGrownUp]

      Liked by 2 people

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