There is no denying Matt Barkley is a good quarterback capable of moving the football down the field with his arm. Robert Woods is a dynamic playmaker and it would be foolish for Lane Kiffin and the coaching staff to not take advantage of his incredible blend of speed and strength. And while the team already knows what works for it offensively, the Trojans will be looking to run the ball much more effectively the rest of the season.
That means the team could look to establish the run early against the Cal Bears on Thursday evening.
"We want to be an offense that starts with running the football," Kiffin said. "So far this season we've been up and down in our run game, very inconsistent with all the new players up front. We haven't seen the same type of explosive plays in the run game that we have in the passing game. We can't do that all year, or we will get exposed."
"We've made some strides week in and week out," center Khaled Holmes said. "It's been a good thing having the same five on the O-line for a few weeks now. We just need to polish up some of the little things. Once we clean those up it will be the difference between a 4-yard gain and a big play."
As far as inconsistencies go, the Trojans have been hampered this season with injuries and suspensions to their tailbacks and offensive linemen. That being said, if USC truly hopes to take the next step offensively this season, a solid rushing attack week in and week out will be required if they hope to knock off the conference's elite teams.
Will a change in offensive philosophy come this week against Cal? Probably. Lane Kiffin sounds like a determined man and definitely wants to make his offense less one-dimensional. Do not be surprised to see starting running back Marc Tyler hear his named called much more often than usual this week.
For more on USC football, Conquest Chronicles is the place to check out.