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The Citadel at South Carolina Preview: Checking in on USC's Offense

A few things to look for with USC's offense this weekend:

--Downfield passing. I'd like to see USC get a couple of nice, long drives with lots of runs in to begin the game. That will ensure an early lead, which will ensure that The Citadel will throw the ball more for the rest of the game, which will mean less potential for injuries for the defense. However, once we have that lead, I'd like to see Connor Shaw toss the ball around a bit. First of all, we're going to need an effective passing game against Clemson, and this is a chance to get Shaw comfortable in the pocket. Second of all, we need to give our receivers, particularly Alshon Jeffery, a chance to pad their stats a bit. I'd also like to see us try to hook up with Damiere Byrd for the first time. These guys have busted their butts this year but haven't had many chances to have big games. This is a good chance.

--Brandon Wilds breaking one. Wilds has had a great season to date. However, he hasn't yet had a big-time long-distance run. He came close to breaking one a couple of times last weekend, but no cigar. This weekend, I'd like to see him showered with love after a 50+-yard TD.

--Offensive line play. The offensive line took a step in the right direction last weekend. It wasn't a great performance, mind you, but it blocked well for the running game and gave Shaw time to throw on a handful of plays. And that came against one of the conference's best defensive lines. There's no excuse for it not to have another good game this weekend.

--Get the backups in. It was nice to see Andrew Clifford and Dylan Thompson make some plays against Kentucky. This week, how about a Josh Hinch touchdown?