Background on the evolution of the USC offensive line


Are you worried about USC’s starting offensive line? If you are, that’s understandable. However, there are many reasons to think that this unit, if healthy, will be good. (If the starters get injured, that’s a different story.)

USC beat writer Antonio Morales of The Athletic answered questions from readers and had this to say about this offensive line’s journey over the past two years:

I wouldn’t give much importance to the spring game. It’s not like Lincoln Riley calls plays with the goal of beating the USC defense with every shot. The offense was extremely vanilla. If this was a real game, you would probably have seen different protection adjustments. Riley wasn’t going to show them at the spring game.

Those who think the offensive line will improve, myself included, are going from what they saw last year when the Trojans had just adequate pattern continuity. USC’s run blocking was putrid in 2020, but aside from the Washington State and Arizona games, I think the offensive line held up pretty well in the run game last year. USC allowed 18 sacks in 2021, which was tied for 19th nationally. It was while playing two redshirt freshmen at tackle points for most of the season.


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