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USC's 1-2 Punch

Aug 21, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans tailback Silas Redd (25) at practice at Dedeaux Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Aug 21, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans tailback Silas Redd (25) at practice at Dedeaux Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

We know that Robert Woods and Marqise Lee are the big names in the USC Offense but they are going to get some competition this season.

Reggie Bush and LenDale White were Thunder and Lightning.

Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd have a chance to write their own chapter in the book that is Tailback U.

When the Pac-12 announced its 2011 all-conference team, Curtis McNeal was listed as honorable mention.

Yet this week, on the Trojans' first official depth chart of 2012, he isn't even listed as the starter.

McNeal is designated no better than co-starter along with Silas Redd, who, a month ago, wasn't even here.

Yeah, there's just a little bit of skill at USC, a team that has two No. 7s and both (Matt Barkley and T.J. McDonald) could be starting in the NFL right now instead of in the Coliseum on Saturday.

So when Redd – the first tailback this season to go in motion – decided to transfer from Penn State and directly into McNeal's space, space he, as a senior, would be occupying for only one more season, the incumbent could have, well, become bent.

Kiffin did his home work when Redd became available after the NCAA allowed players to transfer penalty free in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky Sanctions. Kiffin needed to have a player that would not upset the chemistry of a team that he has rebuilt over the past two and a half years.

Redd almost left PSU in November when the Sandusky allegations broke.

How tough last year was with the changes at the end of the season:

“That month of November was very tough. We were 8-1 going into the Nebraska game and then all of that stuff happened and that really took a toll on the rest of our season. We went 1-2 those last couple of games and we would’ve had a chance to play for the Big Ten Championship if we would’ve beaten Wisconsin and we didn’t do that so I’m not blaming the whole situation on that but it definitely took a toll on us.”

How tough it was for him to decide to leave Penn State:

“A lot of people don’t know that I had questioned leaving in November when it first hit the fan and I talked to my family, they were really my anchors and really the shoulders I needed to lean on. I decided to stay through the winter and we really started to turn the corner with the new program and coach O’Brien and everything and then the things happened with the Freeh Report and that was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back so to say.”

Why he decided to leave Penn State:

“I feel like I needed a fresh start. First off let me say that I established some great opportunities and great relationships with some people at Penn State that really did a lot for me on and off the field but like you said it was the best decision for me to leave and I feel like this will be a great new chapter of my life, I plan to establish great relationships and opportunities here just like I did at Penn State.”

Those are the words of a very astute young man.

This team knows what they need to do. The whole unfinished business theme is the driving force.

Having two backs that will share carries, while not falling prey to petty jealousy, goes a long way to having one of this seasons most explosive offenses firing on all cylinders.

You have to give both players props...McNeil for accepting Redd as part of the team and Redd for expecting the man, he knew he needed to earn his spot. Good problems to have as some in the MSM expect high returns on this season with others having doubts.

It's a win/win if the season plays out the way we all want.