Trojans Step Up Their Run Game

Coverage on USC's receivers has given the Trojans a lot to do during last week's bye.

As opposing defenses continue to game plan for USC receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, the Trojans are being forced to adjust.

The changes are driving the team to run the ball inside, finding players like Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer more often.

"I think people just said ‘hey, we aren't going to let 9 and 2 beat us, we're going to force you to be successful running the ball,'" coach Lane Kiffin said.

"Guys on the opposite team are always going to try and find our strong points and pinpoint them," Grimble said. "But as long as we execute our assignment things take care of themselves."

But the tight ends haven't gotten their hands on the ball too much this season. Grimble and Telfer have combined for 13 receptions, in comparison to Lee and Woods combined 65.

For the team, this week's bye came at an ideal time, allowing them along with the coaches to rework strategy and improve their game. "We definitely had some areas to improve on and it was good to kind of just get back to the basics of it and just kind of start from the ground up again," Grimble explained. "I think this bye week was perfect timing."

The schedule change allowed some of the younger players to get more reps, while starters received much needed mental and physical rest.

"At this point we've just been going, just all football straight since camp, so I mean it kind of naturally comes around, just that natural tiredness of the players," said Grimble. "That's why the bye week was good for us to sit back, watch a little bit and get ready for this week."

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