USC Football: Early Season in Review – Offense

Sep 21, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans tailback Tre Madden (23) is pursued by Utah State Aggies defensive end Paul Piukala (48) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Utah State 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a season of Jekyll and Hyde performances for the USC Trojans offense thus far. After suffering through an over-extended quarterback battle and anemic offense as a result in the first two games, the Trojans found their groove in six quarters against Boston College and Utah State before losing it again in the second half versus the Aggies. They exploded for 41 points in the desert against Arizona State but those points came to naught as the defense was uncharacteristically battered for 62. Now at a turning point with a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator at the reins and a new lease on life, it’s time to look back on the USC offense that was in the first five games.

Best Moment:

Lee 80 yard BC

Marqise Lee’s 80-yard touchdown reception against Boston College was everything Trojan fans were looking for after the terrible offensive performance the week before. Kessler showed great composure to right himself after losing his footing on the drop back, found USC’s most exciting athlete in space and Lee let it rip with the help of a block from Nelson Agholor.

Worst Moment:

Kessler pick six

With apologies to Nelson Agholor, whose attempted chase down of Cougar’s DB Damante Horton was one of the top effort plays of the season, the pick six that ultimately decided the game was the lowest low of the most abysmal offensive performance this year. Kessler stared down the receiver and gifted Washington State more points than the defense allowed.

Most WTF Moment:

Lee injury

Arguments can be made that Kiffin had every reason to keep Lee in on punt returns as he is USC’s most explosive player and quick scoring threat. However, Lee has been battling injuries all season and had tweaked his ankle on a punt return earlier in the season. Keeping him on special teams put his season in serious danger, even though we now know the knee injury he sustained wasn’t of the season-ending variety.

Most Valuable Player: Tre Madden

The story writes itself, read-option high school quarterback comes to college as a linebacker only to make the switch to running back before blowing out his knee while making a cut in the open field. Despite all that, the QB turned LB turned RB returns from injury and thrives, rushing for more than 100 yards in each of his first three games for a total of 599 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also added 12 receptions for 135 yards and three touchdowns. It’s not just the numbers. Madden has carried the Trojan offense, single-handedly at times. His contributions have been invaluable.

Biggest Area for Improvement: Offensive Line

Aside from questionable play calling, the offensive line has been the biggest road block to success for USC so far. Poor blocking has sabotaged both the passing game and the running game. The Trojans rank 110th nationally in pass sacks allowed while Madden and Justin Davis have had ro work hard for after contact yardage. A more stable, reliable line would instantly improve the offense exponentially.


Total Offense………………..National – 87 | Conference – 12

Rushing Offense…………….National – 56 | Conference – 7

Passing Offense……………National – 98 | Conference – 11

Scoring Offense…………….National – 84 | Conference – 12

3rd Down Conversion………National – 112 | Conference – 12

Red Zone Offense………….National – 49 | Conference – 9

Turnovers……………………National – 88 | Conference – 10


RUSHING  GP  Att  Gain  Loss  Net  Avg   TD  Long  Avg/G 
Madden, Tre   110  599  16  583  5.3  34  116.6 
Davis, Justin   42  335  24  311  7.4  58  62.2 
Allen, Javorius  14  79  78  5.6  14  15.6 
Isaac, Ty   22  22  5.5  11  4.4 
Agholor, Nelson  13  4.0  13  1.6 
Lee, Marqise   12  11  0.2  0.2 
TEAM   15  -6  -1.5  -1.5 
Wittek, Max   22  -18  -2.2  -6.0 
Kessler, Cody   17  17  43  -26  -1.5  -5.2 
Total……….  206  1090  137  953  4.6  10  58  190.6


PASSING  GP  Effic  Cmp-Att-Int  Pct  Yards   TD  Long  Avg/G 
Kessler, Cody   142.0  66-104-4  63.5  832  80  166.4 
Wittek, Max   89.1  10-20-1  50.0  117  19  39.0 
Madden, Tre   -200.0  0-1-1  0.0  0.0 
Total……….  130.8  76-125-6  60.8  949  80  189.8


RECEIVING  GP  No.  Yards  Avg   TD  Long  Avg/G 
Lee, Marqise   30  385  12.8  80  77.0 
Madden, Tre   12  135  11.2  48  27.0 
Agholor, Nelson  11  192  17.5  28  38.4 
Grimble, Xavier  10  127  12.7  30  25.4 
Pinner, Jahleel  22  5.5  11  4.4 
Blackwell, Victor  26  13.0  17  13.0 
Flournoy, De’Von  22  11.0  13  5.5 
Telfer, Randall  17  8.5  13  3.4 
Vainuku, Soma   16  8.0  14  3.2 
Rogers, Darreus  7.0  2.3 
Total……….  76  949  12.5  80  189.8


Topics: Marqise Lee, Tre Madden, USC Trojans

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  • Michael Castillo

    No tight end porn?!

    • Alicia de Artola

      I know right? I’ll just have to give the TE porn a post of its own