USC Football RB Darwin Barlow was recently asked about how different and more complex this new offense that Lincoln Riley has brought in is compared to last year's offense that Graham Harrell ran at SC. He had a hilarious answer that basically encapsulates how much of a joke Harrell's offense was. Just listen to this:
This is straight comedy. Our offense was so basic and bland last year that the backs didn't even have to know the play. Of course, Barlow is probably joking a little bit, but clearly the sentiment of the offense being as plain and predictable for the RBs is there and is true.
The backs weren't consistently used and weren't consistently effective last season. Yes, Keaontay Ingram had a very good year, but it certainly wasn't due to the scheme as Barlow explained. Ingram was a standout at Texas before he balled out for USC. He was a finished product, and we knew he'd succeed no matter the offense.
Darwin Barlow must be excited he's in an offense with USC football that values the running game more than last year.
Last year, USC football's offense was just to throw the ball to Drake London. There was no development of other players, no scheming other players open, hardly any lining up under center and pounding the rock, and an imbalanced attack that was more pass-heavy than it should have been.
And it was perplexing due to the fact that not only did Ingram play exceptionally well, but even our third-string back in Barlow averaged 4.7 yards per carry. So we had three backs in Ingram, Malepeai, and Barlow who could all tote the rock, yet we decided to run an air raid (or whatever that was called) and randomly rotate between two quarterbacks with no basis behind when we would make the QB switches.
Now, we get a balanced attack in the best offense in the country. Riley brings over a nice spread that also features many different routes in the passing game to run--not just swing routes. There will be a lot of shotgun formations, but Riley won't literally never go under center when we need to. He can play call, and knows how to get the most out of his playbook. Nobody should be surprised that the RBs aren't bored anymore. They're going to be heavily involved in everything the Trojans do.