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No-huddle offense could be the answer

LOS ANGELES -- The records are nice and the score will look good in a couple of months, but if there's one thing to take away from the USC Trojans' 50-6 dismantling of Colorado at the Coliseum on Saturday, it's this: USC might be better equipped to take down Oregon than we realized.

More specifically, maybe the Trojans can make a no-huddle offense work for them, too. Oregon has done it to perfection in recent years. USC broke it in Saturday for the first time and looked pretty good doing it, albeit against the dismal Buffaloes.

Coach Lane Kiffin admitted Saturday that his team has been practicing the no-huddle all season. He just kept it under wraps until now to surprise the Trojans' next two opponents in Arizona and Oregon.

Now, the Wildcats and Ducks have to prepare for it. Even if USC doesn't break it out in either of the next two games, that's still one thing more to account for.

"That's why we do a lot of the stuff that we do," Kiffin said Sunday.

And if the Trojans do show more no-huddle, then, well, it'll be interesting.

"We didn't do the no-huddle wanting Arizona or whoever to see it," USC receivers coach Tee Martin said after Saturday's game. "We did the no-huddle because it gave us an advantage today."

So, does that mean they'll use it again?

"If Arizona and whoever gives us that advantage, then maybe so," Martin said. "If not, we'll do our normal stuff."

Center Khaled Holmes didn't say the Trojans were better in a no-huddle offense, but he did say they were about as good. Considering the newness of it, that's about the same thing.

"I think the whole offensive line, the whole offense, is successful and comfortable at that pace," Holmes said Saturday. "We were successful tonight, too, which always makes us seem more comfortable."

Kiffin has long said that quarterback Matt Barkley is comfortable adjusting plays at the line and calling audibles based on defensive schemes. Running a successful no-huddle doesn't require much more than that from the quarterback.

And, based on how USC's play-calling has routinely rotated between a select group of plays, it wouldn't limit Kiffin's creativity too much to narrow things down to a few options for Barkley to select from at the line.

Coincidence or not, USC also didn't commit a false-start or delay-of-game penalty against Colorado. The Trojans were called for nine of those over the previous two weeks.

Kiffin attributed most of that to playing on the road the previous two games, but also allowed that his team reacted well to the increased speed of the no-huddle offense.

Arizona coach, Rich Rodriguez, is a no-huddle pioneer, so it all lines up for another test this Saturday.