As a true freshman, Ronald Jones II flashed on a couple of impressive runs during fall camp, but no one knew for sure how well he would do in a game or if he would get an opportunity. But an injury to Tre Madden opened the door for Jones to take the No. 2 role that he has occupied since, except for the rare couple of weeks Madden was able to get healthy.
Jones took advantage of his limited chances early. In his first six games, he got 44 carries and produced an impressive 380 yards -- 8.6 yards per carry. Over the next six games, Jones carried the ball at least 11 times every game, running for 85 yards a game on a 5.4 per carry average.
But since Clay Helton was officially hired as USC's head coach, the McKinney, Texas native has struggled. He has averaged only 7.1 carries and 35.6 yards in the last seven games. Only once has Jones got double-digit carries. He also has produced three of the worst games of his career in the last four weeks. He rushed for eight yards on five carries against Utah State when he suffered a rib injury, 15 yards on eight attempts at Utah and got just five rushes for 20 yards on Saturday.
So what has been the issue for Jones and how do the Trojans get him back on track? According to his position coach: Nothing.
"I don't think nothing's wrong with him," USC running backs coach Tommie Robinson said. "Every year is a different year.
"The kid is working his tail off and he's doing everything right," Robinson added. "There ain't nothing that I could tell you magical, 'Well RoJo's not doing this. RoJo's not doing that.' He's doing everything that he's supposed to do. His time will come."
Watch Tommie Robinson, above, also talk about Ronald Jones II's blocking and pass catching, how Justin Davis' game has improved since Robinson's last stint at USC and how the coaching staff chooses which running back should be in the game.
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