Thursday, September 12, 2013
Planning for success: USC Trojans
By Garry Paskwietz
After throwing for only 54 yards last week against Washington State, it's a good bet the Trojans will look to increase that total against Boston College.
In fact, don't be surprised if the Trojans get there in a hurry. There was no reasonable explanation for such a lack of passing yards from a team that has the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner, an explosive receiver across from him and a pair of future NFL tight ends. USC coach Lane Kiffin will be looking to prove those results were a fluke and that all is right in his passing world now that a full-time starting quarterback has been named in Cody Kessler.
It's not that the Trojans should look to abandon the run game this week, though. On the contrary, Tre Madden has provided a much-needed boost behind an O-line that has done an effective job on the ground, and that momentum needs to continue. It has been a long time since USC has seen a physical runner like Madden, and there should be no desire to slow his progress.
It's just that the need to find success in the passing game is so critical this week. USC fans in the Coliseum simply will not sit silent if they are forced to endure another 60 minutes of sideways passes and bubble screens. The Trojans need to attack the Eagles' secondary, and they need to do it with downfield throws. If Kiffin is smart, he will call for a deep pass in the first series, whether the situation calls for it or not, just so the crowd will see he can do it. I guarantee the call would bring a round of applause, even if the play doesn't work.
The Boston College secondary shouldn't provide too much of a hindrance to players with the talent of Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor. The Eagles are 2-0 but have beaten a team that runs a ground-option offense and an FCS team. It's safe to say they haven't seen the likes of what they will face on Saturday.
Now it's just a matter of having Kiffin turn loose the offense and let his players play. If he does that, look for the Trojans' offense to score often and for Kessler to show just why he was chosen for the starting job.