Spring football has officially kicked off and yesterday head coach Clay Helton detailed what the Trojans' focus will be going into the 2021 season.
Along with maintaining the culture of "toughness, discipline and the united-ness of our team", Helton told the media, that his guys will be looking to improve on some key needs both offensively and defensively.
Offensively, Helton looks to prioritize the run game, work on third and short conversions, as well as improve on protecting the quarterback.
USC averaged only 3.2 yards per carry in the 2020 season.
"We have to be more efficient" Helton said. "When we see those advantage looks - coverage looks - and we have an advantage box to be able to run with equal numbers, that's where we've got to be more efficient."
In the 2020 season, USC converted 43% of their third downs - which ranked 39th in the league.
"Those are two priorities for us going into the Spring - as well as protecting the quarterback. We ended up with 15 sacks last year which is about one in every 17 throws." (Helton)
Defensively, the focus is third downs and creating turnovers.
"We were not in the top fifty in third down efficiency, so we are going to make that a priority. You'll see a lot of situational mastery over spring ball where we will put our defense in a lot of third down situations." (Helton)
Helton credits their 5-0 regular season record in 2020 to turnovers. The Trojans produced 16 turnovers total in the season, nine interceptions, and seven fumbles.
"We have to continue [creating turnovers] - we made a point of emphasis about it - we have to continue that." (Helton)
The USC Spring Showcase will take place April 11, at noon and will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks.
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