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USC focuses on Air Raid ties by hiring Texas State OL coach Clay McGuire

Alicia de Artola
Jan 19, 2021, 5:35 PM PST
USC football is hiring Texas State's Clay McGuire
USC football is hiring Texas State's Clay McGuire | Billie Weiss/Getty Images
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USC football is reportedly on the verge of hiring Clay McGuire from Texas State as the Trojans' new offensive line coach.

McGuire will replace Tim Drevno, who was let go by USC after the 2020 season following a largely disappointing two-year stint leading the offensive line.

On Tuesday morning, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN called McGuire the "top candidate" for the job thanks to his familiarity with offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. The two coached together under Mike Leach at Washington State.

Bruce Feldman of The Athletic made the hire unofficially official when he reported the news on Tuesday evening.

Clay McGuire is an Air Raid coach, but his track record is wanting

McGuire's familiarity with the Air Raid is a big feather in his cap. Drevno's lack of experience in an Air Raid offense certainly didn't help USC's offense find its feet in the trenches.

SEE ALSO: How would you grade USC's 2020 season?

McGuire has been steeped in the offensive system for more than a decade. He was the offensive line coach at Washington State for six years, including the season when Cody O'Connell achieved first-team All-American status twice.

The Texas Tech alum landed with the Red Raiders as a co-OC and running backs coach in 2018 before moving to Texas State to once more coach offensive line following Kliff Kingsbury's firing.

There can be no questioning McGuire's connections to the Air Raid system. His time at Wazzu under Leach proved he could produce more with less in the trenches. The Cougars were third nationally in opportunity rate (the rate at which the offensive line does their job and produces four yards on a rush play) in 2015. That alone should intrigue Trojan fans.

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However, his more recent stint with the Bobcats hasn't been wildly successful. Granted, Texas State ranked ahead of USC in line yards, opportunity rate and power success rate in 2020. However, they managed to fall below the Trojans in stuff rate with 23 percent of their runs going for zero or negative yards. That's an atrocious figure to counter USC's embarrassing mark of 21.2 percent.

The challenge for McGuire will be to whip the Trojans line into shape while figuring out how to run the ball more efficiently than either USC or Texas State managed this past season.

dark. Next. 5 Best USC Offensive Linemen Since 2000

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