After a murky, wet, 6 a.m. practice session the Trojans took part in today, USC head coach Lane Kiffin answered questions about Oregon and the future for USC, particularly the offense. Kiffin went on to say that due to the personnel he will have for the 2011 season, their is no reason for the Trojans to install a spread offense attack.
"Look at what we have," Kiffin said after a morning practice to LA Times reporter, Gary Klein. "We've got a bunch of really good receivers and backs and tight ends and we don’t have a fullback on our roster that's on scholarship two months from now."
Now, you're probably thinking "Wait? Barkley isn't a very good runner, how will we use the spread effectively?" Well, the spread offense that uses a dual-threat quarterback is a zone-read option spread attack that is famously used by the Oregon Ducks. This spread offense style will have Barkley playing under center with three, four, maybe even five receivers he can use. With an offensive line needing depth and the great amount and talent of receivers USC has, there is no reason why Kiffin shouldn't use the spread.
Now, you're probably thinking "Wait? Does this mean Kiffin will have Barkley play shotgun every play?" Well, no. The offense that will probably be utilized will be similar to the New England Patriots offense, which is very similar to the Green Bay Packers, and New Orleans Saints. There will be 3-step and 5-step drops with a single back playing behind the quarterback. Think Oklahoma Sooner's offense and not Oklahoma State Cowboy's.
USC has toyed with the spread offense during their last game against the California Golden Bears on a play where Barkley made a quick pass to Robert Woods. In that particular play, USC used Ronald Johnson, Brandon Carswell, Robert Woods, and David Ausberry as receivers and three true offensive linemen.
Another reason that may shift Kiffin's offense is the fullback position. The fullback prospers in a basic pro-style offense because of their size that helps the offensive line protect the quarterback. With Havili being the only fullback on the roster and, being a senior, graduating after this season, the only option USC has at fullback next season is 2010 signee Soma Vainuku, who is currently having grade issues.
USC signed three five-star receivers, according to Rivals.com, for the 2010 class. A play when your best three or four receivers are all on the field, as talented as any receiver in the nation, it's a good thing for any USC fan.