Javorius Allen, also known as Buck, has benefited the most from Lane Kiffin’s firing.
During the 2013 season, while Kiffin was still the head coach, Buck Allen had 14 rushing attempts and recorded 78 yards with 0 touchdowns.
Fast forward to USC football under interim head coach, Ed Orgeron. In 5 games under Orgeron, Buck Allen has 37 rushing attempts, 327 yards and 7 touchdowns. Additionally, Allen has played an integral role in the passing game during the absence of many of the injured USC wide receivers. He has recorded 8 receptions, 107 yards and 1 touchdown.
If you haven’t heard about Buck Allen before, I don’t blame you. As a third year sophomore, Allen spent is first two seasons on the scout team. This season, he was competing for playing time for the running back position, but ended up on the bottom of the depth chart.
As a result of Silas Redd’s injury, former head coach, Lane Kiffin chose Tre Madden to be his main running back and share the carries with freshman, Justin Davis. The duo of Madden and Davis performed very well together, but both of them were injured shortly after Kiffin’s firing.
This situation left Orgeron no choice but to play Buck Allen. However, Orgeron credits his running backs coach, Tommie Robinson for helping him make this decision. “Tommie, since he came here as running backs coach, has liked Buck. Seems like he’s going to be a pretty good player for us”, said Orgeron.
Having Orgeron as a head coach and Clay Helton, the offensive coordinator calling plays instead of Kiffin has given Allen the opportunity to stand out as a player and a star for the USC football team.
Although this may seem like a far stretch and it’s definitely too early to tell, Buck Allen reminds me of Reggie Bush. At 6’1″, 215-pounds, Allen has the physical strength of a big running back. Orgeron describes Allen as “sort of a slasher. He can pick the hole well, break tackles. He does a good job of catching the ball out of the backfield. He’s becoming a well-rounded back”.
Seeing Allen on the field is exciting for USC football fans. He brings energy to the game– an energy that was lacking during Kiffin’s tenure as head coach.
In his last two games against Oregon State and Cal, Allen rushed for 133 yards and 135 yards, respectively and scored a total of 5 rushing touchdowns.
After every game, Allen thanks Orgeron and the coaching staff for the opportunity to play.
This opportunity that was essentially dropped into Allen’s hands is huge. His road to where he is now wasn’t easy and that’s why he’s so grateful and appreciative of the coaching staff.
During his junior year in high school, Allen broke his left leg in the first game of the season while making a touchdown catch. He was sidelined the rest of the year, but came back strong his senior year and rushed for over 1,500 yards and helped lead Tallahassee Lincoln High School to the state title.
When it came time to choose which college to attend, Allen loved Alabama, but chose to sign with USC in 2011 because Jawanza Starling and T.J. Bryant, former defensive backs at USC attended the same high school as Allen.
In his first season at USC, Allen redshirted due to academic reasons. His second season, in 2011, he practiced with the scout team because Silas Redd, Curtis McNeal and D.J. Morgan received all of the playing time at the running back position.
Talent and skill was never the reason that Allen didn’t get playing time. Working hard and time are the reasons he now does have playing time. Being on the bottom of the depth chart motivated Allen to work harder in the classroom and on the field and the time to prove himself finally arrived.
Allen’s recent success has been incredible, but 51 rushing attempts isn’t enough to judge him and foresee how he will perform the rest of the year and the rest of his career. Earlier in the article, I stated that Allen reminds me of former Heisman winner and USC football great, Reggie Bush.
Tomorrow will be the day that Buck Allen can prove himself and perhaps be classified as one of many great USC football running backs. The Trojans will play the 4th-ranked Stanford Cardinal tomorrow at the Coliseum in hopes of upsetting their Pac-12 rivals and earning a spot in the Top 25.
It’s the perfect opportunity for Allen to step up and be a leader for the Trojans.
We look forward to seeing you in the end-zone Buck!
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