The USC Trojans has struggled to find an offensive identity which has effected its ability to put together consistent performances and hampered player development. The Trojans new offensive coordinator is looking to change that this season. Graham Harrell addressed the media on Monday afternoon and provided some insight on what he’s looking to do with the USC offense.
Harrell’s press conference gave many a breath of fresh air when he discussed his plans for the USC offense. One key thing he mentions is the conception of the air raid offense being X’s and O’s. Harrell explains how the air raid offense is more of an identity than it is a playbook and how it puts players in the right position to make plays. USC has had years where they’ve ran what many called a “gumbo” offense. A mixture of the Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian offenses. The last two seasons, Helton has preached being a run first team when in reality USC had no true identity and it showed in a lot of games, especially last year when the Trojans had their worst offensive season in almost 18 years.
Many assume that the Trojans will be embracing a pass happy, air raid offense, like Harrell’s former coach Mike Leach. Harrell states that that will be far from the case and USC will look to keep it simple and let the players play, rather than out-scheming opposing teams. With the talent on hand at USC, keeping things simple is exactly what they need. Getting the ball out of the quarterback hands quickly and not overthinking it, allowing your talented wide receivers and running backs to make plays in space, not having the offensive line hold blocks for a long period of time while the quarterback can make long reads, and running the football. Yes USC will still run the football.
Harrell makes it simple, it’s all about execution. Something the Trojans failed to do offensively last season. In games where the offense needed to get another score or move the ball, it couldn’t execute which led to multiple three and outs and putting the defense in bad spots.
Harrell so far has given USC football a breath of fresh air after an off-season full of negativity. With the talent surrounding him, there’s no doubt that he can turn things around. Harrell has helped North Texas become a top 15 offense in 2017 and 2018. Spring camp will give us a look into what could develop this season.