TCU transfer Barlow helps spark USC’s improving run offense
LOS ANGELES, (AP) Clay Helton has always maintained that Southern California could find balance between the pass and the run in its Air Raid offense.
Three games after Helton’s dismissal, the Trojans finally found it with 218 yards rushing on 35 attempts in their 37-14 win at Colorado. Now, USC hopes to continue its success on the ground against a Utah defense who has a history of making teams one-dimensional. I don’t want it be every week,” Mike Jinks, running backs coach, said Tuesday. “I want it to be that, be our mindset, and that we’re going to make a difference each and every week.”
Texas transfer Keaontay Ingram led the way with 124 yards on 14 carries against the Buffaloes, with TCU transfer Darwin Barlow adding 61 yards on 10 attempts.
Barlow had impressed in training camp before sustaining a hamstring injury, which left the redshirt sophomore reduced to making his debut for USC (3-2, 2-2 Pac-12) in mop-up duty against Stanford. He had three carries for 22 yards and a touchdown in what would be Helton’s last game as head coach.
Ballow was able to make a difference against Colorado with more time to recover from injuries. USC had a three-pronged attack, with Ingram and redshirt senior Vavae Malpeai.
Interim Coach Donte Williams was impressed by Barlow’s ability to rush for three of the Trojans nine first downs. Williams called Barlow “a big-time runningback .”
” You know that if you touch the ball enough times, it’s going to make things happen,” Williams stated.
Jinks was more happy with Barlow’s performance, calling it his best performance since the injury.
” He looked great last week. Jinks stated that he saw him today for a full practice. He was so excited to see how it turns out on Saturday. “Now, we got work to continue to put in today, throughout this week, but he’s starting to look like he did a little bit early on in fall camp.”
USC will need every available option to crack the Utes, who led the Pac-12 in rushing defense each of the previous three seasons and in five of the past six years. Utah hasn’t been as stout through its first four games this season, allowing 140.5 yards per contest, but Jinks warned his position group to expect a formidable challenge.
“Nothing has changed,” Jinks stated. “They know exactly where we are walking into .”
Despite the victory against Colorado, there was consensus that USC could have been better. Jinks cited a pair third downs in which too much dancing led to runs that couldn’t keep the chains moving.
” We left a lot meat on the bones, to be fair,” Jinks stated.
Jinks challenged his tailbacks to give Colorado a physical advantage. He wants them to keep it and add the consistency that USC has lost during their up-and-down start. If they can, it would go a long way towards the Trojans getting consecutive wins for the first time in 2021.
” They were big on defense, and that mindset was going to have to carry them through the game,” Jinks stated. “I believe they did that. “I think they did that. Dart, a freshman, was hurt in his collegiate debut. He joined the team and did position drills. Williams stated that Dart is still week-to-week. He needs to be cleared by doctors before he can do more extensive work.
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