The USC Trojans‘ running game was a disappointment last season with nine different players trying their hand at carrying the ball — although only four of them reached double digits in carries and only two of them surpassed 700 rushing yards.
Senior running back Silas Redd was the team’s most successful ball carrier, as he led the team in carries (167), rushing yards (905) and touchdowns (nine) while averaging 5.4 yards per attempt.
He’s hungry for more in his final season, however, as he looks to return to his 2011 form, when he totaled 1,241 yards on 244 carries for the Penn State Nittany Lions, crossing the goal line seven times and averaging 5.1 yards per attempt.
One year ago today, Redd announced his transfer to USC amid the child sex abuse scandal that rocked college football and resulted in serious sanctions against the Penn State football program.
The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder won’t deal with anything like that as he enters his second season with the Trojans, but he will try to bounce back and show that he can still get it done despite tearing a meniscus in his left knee in March, forcing him to miss the remainder of the spring. Although, he is expected to be ready for the start of the season.
Redd isn’t the only Trojan running back who was banged up, though, as freshman Justin Davis — who suffered from a broken finger — and junior Tre Madden — who missed all of last season with an ACL injury — were forced to sit out some spring practices as well. As a matter of fact, Madden didn’t play at all, putting his status for the Aug. 29 opener against the Hawaii Warriors in question.
Junior D.J. Morgan and sophomore Javorius Allen, who both saw time last year, will probably enter the season as USC’s second and third stringers, hopefully lessening Redd’s load and helping him maintain a little more durability than he showed while missing one game last year and carrying the ball three times or less on two occasions.
If he can stay healthy and give the Trojans 15-to-20 carries per game, look for Redd to team with the rest of the squad’s ball carriers to perhaps do what head coach Lane Kiffin predicted: return the team to its glory days of 2004 and 2005.
Whether that happens or not, Redd will try to make sure that one of college football’s most historic programs doesn’t finish 7-6 and in the middle of the Pac-12 again.