If I were coach, I'd pat myself on the back for sticking with Chauncey Washington. What a story this young man is. He suffered through years of difficulty to make the starting line-up. He was injured in his freshman year, followed by two years of academic ineligibility. While all the signs pointed toward transferring, Washington was resolute in finishing his career as a Trojan.
He finally got to be 'the man' in his senior season and promptly got injured before the first game of the season. It took him a few weeks to get back to speed. By this time, Stafon Johnson established himself as a go-to back. Because of injury, Johnson has been slowed down.
The backfield was depleted enough and Washington under performed that it would be justifiable to move another running back into the starting role. Coaches hung in with him and he's had back-to-back great games. The second of which, he had 220 yards and a touchdown. Washington is running like a man possessed.
If I Were Coach, I'd Continue to Establish the Run
The running backs are good enough to wear down any opposing team. I'd go with Washington and a now mostly healthy Johnson, and beat up defenses with the ground game. Then I'd throw in Joe McKnight, just when the opposition thinks they have Washington and Johnson cornered.
If I Were Coach, I'd Throw Downfield More Often
Ronald Johnson is just about ready to explode. He has been running lights-out on kick returns, following his blocks and finding holes in the coverage. On offense, the Trojans go to Johnson about one time per game. He usually is overthrown or does not catch up to the ball. If he can get just one reception downfield, the floodgates will open.
I'd go downfield to Johnson three or four times a game. He's going to break it, and when he does, the Trojan offense will be unstoppable.
Opposing teams do not respect USC's deep threat, well, because there is none. Defenses can key on the short game because the Trojans have not shown the ability to go deep this year.
If I Were Coach, I'd Run I-Formations with Two Tailbacks
What would it look like for opposing defenses to have Johnson and Washington running at them at the same time? Throw in McKnight for good measure. Opposing defenses should get a steady diet of I-formations, Student Body Left/Right and wide pitch-outs.
The tailback position is still one of strength for the Trojans. Always have been, always will be.