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Lincoln Riley’s Past Heisman QB Provides Insight on His Offensive Philosophy


Fans understood that the University of Southern California’s offensive was set to advance significantly when it was revealed that Lincoln Riley, formerly the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, had been hired.

USC averaged 41.4 points per game in Riley’s first season as the Trojans’ head coach, which ranked seventh in NCAA football. Their average of 53.6 points per game this season is the highest by almost a touchdown.

USC scored just 28.7 points per game in 2021–22, a year before Riley moved to Los Angeles, finishing outside the top 50 in NCAA football.

A Lincoln Riley-led Oklahoma squad hasn’t finished outside the top 12 highest-scoring offenses since Riley took the helm of the program.

Riley’s teams are always offensively focused, as Baker Mayfield, who won the Heisman Trophy while playing for Riley at Oklahoma, is aware of.

That awful defense has been Riley’s issue in a number of games, including games in the College Football Playoff.

Riley’s top-performing defense in terms of points allowed per game since taking the reins as head coach was placed 34th nationally. His team’s average overall ranking across his seven seasons as head coach is roughly 64th, including this season’s 50th-ranked defense.

For four of those seven seasons, defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has been in charge, and he frequently receives criticism for the way his unit has performed on the field.

The USC team has demonstrated that they are capable of winning games without having a defense that ranks among the top 10 in college football.

But even just one or two crucial stops or mistakes in the Trojans’ major games against potent offenses like Oregon and Washington might give Caleb Williams and the explosive USC offense a chance to contend for the national championship.

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