Redshirt sophomore Tre Madden started six games for USC in 2013, earning a CollegeFootballNews.com Sophomore All-American honorable mention.
By the numbers: 138 carries, 703 rushing yards, 5.09 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns; 15 catches, 201 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns
What went right: Madden was everything he had been advertised to be and more since making the switch from linebacker to runningback in 2012 when he lit up spring practice before injuring his knee.
Despite seeing notable playing time in just six of 13 games, Madden was USC’s second leading rusher behind Buck Allen. He also revealed his considerable skills in the passing game by catching four touchdown passes, second only to Nelson Agholor on the team and the most by a Trojan tailback since Stanley Havili in 2007.
With a dangerous combination of speed, power and no shortage of instinct, Madden became the first USC player since Marcus Allen to open a season with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games, joining the illustrious company of Charles White, O.J. Simpson, Mike Garrett and Don Williams in that feat.
What went wrong: The hamstring injury he suffered against Arizona stifled Madden more than any defense could.
The workhorse back up to that point for the Trojans, Madden missed the Notre Dame game entirely then fought through the injury to log 12 carries against Utah. He never truly returned to form and saw just 11 carries in the final six games of the Trojan campaign.
In terms of on the field production, there is little to critique, but in the final stretch of games before his injury Madden developed a slight fumbling problem. Though he lost just one of the four he dropped in a three game stretch, that one created a huge momentum swing against Arizona State. With just a few minutes left in the first half and the Sun Devils with a newly acquired lead, Madden coughed up the ball and ASU capitalized with another field goal to go up six points.
What’s next: An interesting byproduct of the injury problems in USC’s backfield, Madden finds himself in a three-horse race for playing time in 2014. Justin Davis and Buck Allen have both proven themselves as game-changing backs, but Madden holds the edge over both in terms of power. With his hamstring hopefully no longer an issue, money should still be on Madden to secure his fair share of the carries in Steve Sarkisians new offense.
Final Grade: A
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