Travis Dye gained 20 rushing yards against Rice. He caught one 21-yard pass. He didn’t do much of anything, right? That could not be further from the truth.
Go look at the film from this game. Look at highlights of pass plays that worked for the Trojans on Saturday against Rice.
When Dye wasn’t running with the ball or catching a pass, he was blocking. He was picking up blitzes. He was putting his body in harm’s way for his teammates. He was doing the no-glory gruntwork for Caleb Williams and the rest of the USC offense.
That kind of contribution — which will never show up in the box score — is exactly what good coaches teach to their players and manage to elicit from their players in live game action. This is what gets the attention of teammates and shows leadership in the locker room. This is how teams build a new culture and come together, all pulling for each other instead of being a collection of isolated individuals. This is how USC will become great again. This is how USC will regain national relevance under Lincoln Riley.
We talked about this with Mark Rogers at The Voice of College Football: