As the USC Trojans head into their sixth game of the season, traveling to The Farm Saturday night to battle the No. 16 Stanford Cardinal, their preliminary depth chart remains unchanged for the most part, even after a stunning 32-31 loss to Washington at the Coliseum on Saturday. Armond Armstead figures to start at either left defensive end or tackle, supplanting one of Wes Horton or DaJohn Harris, but other than that the depth chart is pretty steady.
At tailback, the starter is listed as Marc Tyler or Allen Bradford, but in the end it doesn't matter too much because both running backs will get their share of carries. However, if there is one thing is clear through the first five games this season, it's that Bradford is the man.
The 6-foot, 235-pound senior Bradford punished the Huskies for 223 yards and two touchdowns. He is averaging 9.80 yards per carry this season, thanks to several long runs. However, even without the long runs, Bradford has been very effective. He has 16 runs this season of 10 or more yards, but even if you remove those carries Bradford is still averaging 4.74 yards per carry on his other, shorter runs.
To put that in perspective, Tyler is averaging 5.35 yards per run on the season, which includes all of his runs. Bradford is performing nearly at that level using only his short runs.
This is not to say Tyler hasn't been effective; he has. A good offense will use two, if not three (I'm looking at you, Dillon Baxter) running backs. It's good to mix and match, and distribute the carries to keep everyone fresh, if not hungry. But, there's one running back that has emerged as the identity of the 2010 Trojans, and that's Allen Bradford.
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