USC's depth issues affect the offense as well as the defense

LOS ANGELES CA - OCTOBER 30: Cliff Harris #13 of the Oregon Ducks runs past Chris Pousson #62 of the USC Trojans during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 30 2010 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Here is an interesting observation from Lane Kiffin on Saturday night's loss...

Kiffin said that even his best, most durable players, such as receivers Ronald Johnson and Robert Woods, didn't have the same burst in the fourth quarter after playing 70-plus plays. The Ducks retained the "ability to still play at full speed," Kiffin said.

For all the attention we give the defense with regards to depth it sometimes gets lost that even our most reliable players start to tail off. It doesn't take much to mistime a catch or break away from a defender.

Its a stark contrast when 'SC used to dominate other teams because of our depth...

Oregon outscored USC, 10-0, in the fourth quarter to cap a 24-0 closing run. The Ducks have a 73-7 edge in the fourth quarter this season. The Trojans have a 72-50 deficit.

That figure stands in stark contrast to the height of the Pete Carroll era, when USC was stocked with talent and regularly dominated the second halves of games. In 2008, for example, USC had a 199-39 scoring advantage in the second half and 105-32 in the fourth quarter.

That's why I don't necessarily buy into the speed of the Oregon offense. No question they play at a fast pace but it gets magnified in the second half when their opponents lack fresh legs on defense.

We all remember that earlier this season when we heard that Nickel Robey played something like 70 plays. Guys just learn how to dig deep.

I am not breaking any new ground here but depth is a big reason why 'SC has struggled in games this season.

I just thought it was intriguing that we see it on the offense as well...

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