USC Football: Which Running Back Will Lead the Trojans in Rushing in 2014?


For USC, the 2014 season appears poised to be all about the running backs. Steve Sarkisian has described his offense as “run-first” and with so many talented rushers available, it’s no wonder.

For today’s roundtable, the Reign Of Troy staff takes a stab at answering the question of which of those outstanding running backs will stand above the rest.

Who will lead the Trojans in rushing:

Matthew Moreno:

Well first off, is there a wrong answer to this? Looking at the depth chart, I can easily see an argument being made for any of the top running backs.

Tre Madden began 2013 hot before his injury, Justin Davis showed promise as a true freshman also pre-injury, and Buck Allen came on late in the year. With the offense now under Sark’s direction, I believe Tre Madden will take the lead role out of the backfield.

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Davis is likely the most athletically gifted of the bunch, but I believe Madden brings a bit more of a complete game to the table (size and being able to block). Madden is also no slouch in carrying the ball — remember, he eclipsed 100 rushing yards in four of the first five games last season; the one game he finished with 93 rushing yards.

Madden also added 201 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 15 catches. Though Allen does have him beat in terms of receptions and yardage with 22 and 252, respectively. So, with all that, Madden gets my vote.

Alicia de Artola:

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Madden started 2013 with 100 yards in four of USC’s first five games until injury kept him out or limited for the remainder of the season.

His performances may be in the back of fans minds, but he will very quickly bring them to the forefront when they see him galloping all over the Coliseum floor once more.

With his impressive mix of power, speed and vision, along with above average skill in the passing attack, there’s every reason to believe Madden will thrive in Steve Sarkisian’s offense.

Allen and Davis may be the home run hitters, but Madden will carry the load.

Josh Webb:

Given my answer to Monday’s question, it would seem silly to pick anyone other than Buck Allen here.

This roster is loaded with capable running backs, but Allen led the way last year for a reason. Justin Davis and Tre Madden are thrilling to watch, but Allen appeared to be the most durable in that role.

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I expect Allen to find some big holes in the HUNH offense and I also expect USC’s running game to receive a huge boost from their ridiculous receiving corps. If Farmer, Mitchell, Rogers, Agholor, Jackson, and Smith can stay healthy, then USC will probably have one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the entire nation. Factor in Bryce Dixon and Randall Telfer into that offense and it seems likely that everyone on the team will eat this season, especially the running backs.

Allen led the way for the backs last year and it’s likely he will again.

Michael Castillo: