Travis Dye's injury means a lot more to USC Football than just his outputs on stat sheets. Sure, he came into this last game averaging 6.3 yards per carry and 9.6 yards per catch en route to 858 rushing yards and 202 receiving yards, but his impact extends beyond just what those statistics say.
He was also one of the top leaders within this entire program. Lincoln Riley addressed this after the game:
Realistically, the task that USC set out to accomplish this season was to establish and build a new culture. SC has certainly done that this year, or at least made very strong and significant strides to do so. It's a major part of the reason they're 9-1 this year. They would not have showed up to their most recent game ranked inside the top eight of the country if they weren't building a strong culture.
Remember, this team was 4-8 last year. Clearly, the culture and mentality within the program was in shambles. It's very far from that this year, and Riley wouldn't have credited Dye for a large part of that for no reason.
Dye has even gone as far as calling out his teammates after WINS for not playing with enough urgency. He truly has been the fifth-year leader he was expected to be for this team, and more. Riley is undoubtedly correct in that SC wouldn't be where they are without him.
USC Football RB Travis Dye made Lincoln Riley's job a lot easier.
It's no secret that Lincoln Riley loves to use running backs that are forces in the blocking game, and Travis Dye certainly fits that description for USC Football. Dye leads by example in that department, and so many others.
The Trojans have some very good backup running backs, so it's very plausible that they still have a strong running game without Dye. It will still always be true, however, that Dye's impact on this Trojans team goes beyond rushing and receiving the ball. His absence will make things tougher on Riley, but luckily Riley is more than proven to be a great offensive schemer under any circumstance.