USC reprised a classic late in the third quarter of its opener two weeks ago. With two men in the backfield, the Trojans’ center and right guard pulled to the left side, forming the core of a phalanx of blockers. The running back swept in behind them.
USC was essentially running John McKay’s offensive staple, student-body right — only to the left.
“In honor to Coach McKay, that’ll never leave the playbook,” Trojans coach Clay Helton said.
It didn’t work out very well. A defensive lineman penetrated before center Nico Falah could get in position, and the defender gobbled up Velus Jones in the backfield. The play lost seven yards.
USC found more success with its own, updated scheme the next week against Stanford.
The Trojans’ running game torched the Cardinal, bullies of the Pac-12 Conference for the past decade, for 307 yards. USC’s offense lost yards on just one, non-kneel-down play, a one-yard sack of quarterback Sam Darnold. It was a dominant showing.