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USC Vs. Cal: Curtis McNeal Says USC Run Game Needs To Step Up

There was much criticism dealt to USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley after his team lost to the Stanford Cardinal, and he wasn't shying away from it. Barkley threw two interceptions and had no touchdown passes as USC fell, 21-14, to David Shaw's team, but the blame won't squarely lie on Barkley.

Running back Curtis McNeal called out his unit, telling the Los Angeles Times that the running game will need to both see more carries and produce more yardage to help out Barkley and receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.

"It will have to (improve)," McNeal said. "That's the only way we're going to win. We can't just depend on Barkley and Marqise and Woody all day to make plays.

"Other guys on the team have to step up."

The numbers from Saturday's loss tell the story. USC ran the ball 28 times and only mustered 26 yards, though take away Barkley's 42 yards in the opposite direction and the numbers look much less anemic. Still, the run game only saw 22 carries to Barkley's 41 passes.

Penn State transfer Silas Redd fumbled the ball once because of a recurring stinger injury, and he and McNeal struggled to do much against the Stanford defensive front. Aside from a 30-yard burst from McNeal, nothing was doing. They'll look to get the run game back in gear against the California Golden Bears.

Check out Conquest Chronicles for more on the Trojans or take a peek at SB Nation's college football hub.