Morning Buzz: USC Lacks Running Game Amid Its Explosive Plays

JONES.IDAHO.2Does it matter that USC is ranked 8th in rushing offense in the Pac-12 while it averages 46.8 points per game? Here’s my story on the search for a consistent running game a quarter into the season.

Excerpt: “USC’s running game currently provides just 33 percent of the offense . . .  Can anyone imagine USC going into a game against someone like Ohio State without a proper running game? Not when USC has the worst time of possession in the Pac-12 at less than 25 minutes per game.” Full story here

And with the focus on the running game, here’s Aca’Cedric Ware on coping with a lack of playing time and waiting to make an impact.

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USC-Washington Picture Of Night

USC.WASH.1984Here’s USC tailback Fred Crutcher gaining yards as the No. 12-ranked Trojans upset No. 1-ranked Washington, 16-7, on Nov. 10, 1984, to clinch a Rose Bowl berth. Crutcher scored the game’s only touchdown while kicker Steve Jordan made field goals from 51, 46 and 47 yards.

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About Those Heisman Odds

I mentioned yesterday Cody Kessler is currently eighth in Bovada’s Heisman Trophy odds at 25/1. On the surface, it seems low when he has the No. 2 QB rating (201.2) in the nation. So here’s three reasons:  1. ) USC lost a game. 2.) Some of Kessler’s biggest pass plays were shorter passes turned into big plays by JuJu Smith-Schuster/Adoree Jackson. 3.) USC might be viewed as a system offense, much like Texas Tech, which used to plug in quarterbacks who produced gaudy numbers.

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USC Quick Thought

Does it feel like two days before the game? This is like a normal Thursday. Are you getting the same feelings you do 48 hours before a Saturday game? Are you not going to the game because it is on Thursday?

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How USC In 2015 Resembles 2003

AP C06 NEWORLEANS 29 IB01 USCCAL 29 S FBC USA CAIs USC the only team in the country where the No. 3 tailback (Ronald Jones) leads the team in rushing? The fact Ronald Jones is not higher on the depth chart reminded me of USC in 2003.

The Trojans lost their fourth game in triple-overtime to Cal, 34-31, with Herschel Dennis as the starting tailback. In that game, Dennis had 16 carries. Reggie Bush and LenDale White combined for six carries.

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Myles Jack Withdraws From School

Apparently Pat Haden’s letter got to UCLA just in time, because UCLA linebacker Myles Jack withdrew from school and will enter the NFL Draft. It’s not a bad decision. But for the traditionalists, it is probably jarring to have someone do all this the first week of October instead of December or January. Will he show up on sidelines at any more games this season?

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