All USC running back Javorius Allen needed was a chance.
Buried on the depth chart under former head coach Lane Kiffin, Allen has erupted for 268 rushing yards, 98 receiving yards and six total touchdowns in the last two games.
Now with senior Silas Redd out because of a right knee injury and leading rusher Tre Madden limited by a hamstring injury, Allen is likely to be the Trojans' starter and main ball carrier for its soldout home game against Stanford on Saturday.
A 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt sophomore, Allen showed the same game-breaking ability in practice that he has shown in wins at Oregon State and California, scoring touchdowns of 52, 43, 57 and 79 yards. It wasn't until running backs coach Tommie Robinson was allowed to set the rotation after Kiffin's midseason dismissal that Allen finally became a consistent part of the offense.
"He was way down there low, I promise you that," interim head coach Ed Orgeron told the "College Football 24/7" Podcast. "He had been on our service team for about two years, but you got to give Tommie Robinson credit. I had been in the meetings ever since Tommie came. He said, 'Coach, I think Buck is going to be a really good player.' He (Allen) is a great testimony to when your time comes you better step up, and he has stepped up in a tremendous fashion."
Allen rushed for two touchdowns in his first game as a real contributor, a 38-31 win over Arizona, coincidentally the first game USC played without Kiffin.
Whether Allen -- known as "Buck," a nickname he acquired in high school -- can keep up his breakout play against the fearsome Stanford defense could be the deciding factor in whether USC can break its four-game losing streak in the series.
Anchored by linebackers Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov, the Cardinal is allowing only 3.23 yards per carry and has surrendered only five rushing touchdowns this season. However, Bishop Sankey of Washington ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns in a three-point Stanford win and Bubba Poole of Utah ran for 111 yards in the Cardinal's lone defeat.
Allen will have to show the elusiveness to avoid being stopped for negative plays and capitalize on the rare opportunities when he gets into the second level of the Stanford defense.
Considering how Allen has maximized his playing time so far, it wouldn't be a surprise if he does so again in the biggest game of the season.