USC RB has wild answer when asked how different Lincoln Riley's offense is
It isn’t necessarily a knock on the previous regime (any regime!) to say adding a mind like Lincoln Riley is an upgrade for an offense. You can probably count on one hand the number of guys in college football who have been better on that side of the ball than Riley over the last five-plus years.
It is not, however, an endorsement to say the previous guy’s offense was one where if you didn’t know what was going on, you could quite literally fake it until you made it.
USC running back Darwin Barlow was asked Tuesday how different the Trojans’ offense was last season under head coach Clay Helton and offensive coordinator Graham Harrell compared to the new offense Riley is installing in spring ball. His answer was… telling.
— Ryan Young (@RyanYoungRivals) March 30, 2022
“Me and my homeboys were joking in the running back room the other day, we were just joking around and said if you didn’t know the play you could just run a swing last year,” Barlow said, per TrojanSports.com’s Ryan Young. “But now, you’ve gotta know because you’re doing everything. There’s different plays that have the running back involved in the offense. We really love it and we’re excited to get to work.”
At this point in his career, Barlow is pretty well-versed. He spent two years at TCU before transferring to USC last year. Now, with Riley in town, Barlow’s on his third set of coaches and his third offense.
He ran the ball 62 times for 289 yards and two touchdowns last season in Harrell’s offense. That Air Raid is now at West Virginia with Harrell.
USC averaged 29 points a game last season, down from 33 the year prior. Oklahoma, under Riley, averaged 39 a game and he left town with the fanbase claiming he’d “lost his touch.”
Safe to say things will look a little different for the Trojans on offense next season. Maybe Riley will have some fun and throw a swing pass in his gameplan once or twice for good measure. It’s apparently second nature for some of the Trojan backs.