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USC Football 2015: Trojans vs Utah Utes Advanced Stats Preview

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Can the Trojans win their first Pac-12 home game of the season?

Harry How/Getty Images

Numbers courtesy of Bill Connelly and keep the glossary open.


USC Offense vs Utah Defense

USC Offense Utah Defense
Category Avg. Rk Avg. Rk
Overall Explosiveness IsoPPP 1.45 9 1.1 15
Efficiency Success Rate 48.0% 17 39.8% 58
Field Position Avg. FP 27.3 110 27.8 39
Finishing Drives Pts per trip in 40 5.61 10 3.44 10
Rushing Rushing S&P+ 133.6 6 127.8 15
Rushing Success Rate 52.3% 8 40.7% 55
Rushing IsoPPP 1.14 39 0.8 2
Passing Passing S&P+ 130.1 10 110.5 39
Passing Success Rate 44.8% 34 39.3% 56
Passing IsoPPP 1.72 13 1.31 27
Standard Downs Standard Downs S&P+ 136.4 2 114.3 28
Stadard Downs Success Rate 56.5% 5 46.0% 59
Standard Downs IsoPPP 1.19 25 0.94 12
Passing Downs Passing Downs S&P+ 129.2 20 112.9 47
Passing Downs Success Rate 29.0% 76 31.9% 53
Passing Downs IsoPPP 2.6 1 1.47 117
Havoc Rate 19.1% 23

Utah Offense vs USC Defense

Utah Offense USC Defense
Category Avg. Rk Avg. Rk
Overall Explosiveness IsoPPP 1.22 82 1.31 87
Efficiency Success Rate 42.3% 62 40.1% 60
Field Position Avg. FP 31.9 30 27.8 41
Finishing Drives Pts per trip in 40 5.76 6 3.56 12
Rushing Rushing S&P+ 123.4 23 103.7 61
Rushing Success Rate 40.0% 90 44.1% 84
Rushing IsoPPP 1.14 36 1.1 74
Passing Passing S&P+ 121.9 19 111.3 36
Passing Success Rate 45% 32 35.6%% 31
Passing IsoPPP 1.31 104 1.6 103
Standard Downs Standard Downs S&P+ 124 13 109.5 38
Stadard Downs Success Rate 46.5% 74 44.3% 50
Standard Downs IsoPPP 1.15 42 1.2 102
Passing Downs Passing Downs S&P+ 112.9 47 100.1 66
Passing Downs Success Rate 31.9% 53 31.6% 83
Passing Downs IsoPPP 1.47 117 1.64 40
Havoc Rate 13.3% 105

There are some interesting things the numbers are telling us. Lets start at the top, with an S&P+ rank of 11, USC is the best team Utah has played since Michigan. It's also the most well rounded offense that they've played, both the USC rushing attack-- highlighted by Ronald Jones II who is supposedly getting overdue additional touches-- and passing attack that are the best per S&P+ on Utah's schedule to date. The hope for USC lies with this exact matchup, the USC offense needs to prove it's too powerful for the Utah defense.

Something I'm particularly concerned with given the shuffling of the USC offensive line --Zach Banner now at LT, true freshman Chuma Edoga starting at RT and Toa Lobendahn's 2nd start at C-- is the frequency in which the Utah defense is able to create pressure highlighted by the Havoc Rate. If the offensive line can control this -- I have my doubts -- then USC has a chance.

The numbers match the grumbles coming from fans about the USC defense, the Justin Wilcox era is most likely coming to an end. The defense is incapable of getting pressure, ranking 105th of 128th in the country in Havoc Rate. Utah is going to run Devontae Booker at will against this defense and I'll be stunned if USC slows him down at all. I'm going against the S&P+ prediction of a 5 or 6 point USC win and say Utah wins in a shootout -- because there is no other option with this USC defense -- by a final score of 42-38.