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USC Football 2015: USC vs Colorado Advanced Stats Preview

USC's first ever Friday the 13th game

Harry How/Getty Images

Numbers courtesy of Bill Connelly and make sure you keep the glossary open.

USC Offense vs Colorado Defense

USC Offense Colorado Defense
Category Avg. Rk Avg. Rk
Overall Explosiveness IsoPPP 1.4 14 1.32 87
Efficiency Success Rate 45.2% 30 42.9% 81
Field Position Avg. FP 28.8 95 30.2 79
Finishing Drives Pts per trip in 40 5.35 20 4.88 89
Rushing Rushing S&P+ 119.7 17 87.8 106
Rushing Success Rate 45.0% 42 46.7% 104
Rushing IsoPPP 1.19 19 1.14 97
Passing Passing S&P+ 120.7 23 96.1 78
Passing Success Rate 45.3% 30 38.8% 53
Passing IsoPPP 1.6 35 1.54 87
Standard Downs Standard Downs S&P+ 114.7 26 89.9 104
Stadard Downs Success Rate 50.3% 30 49.0% 88
Standard Downs IsoPPP 1.17 33 1.15 86
Passing Downs Passing Downs S&P+ 131 14 95.4 79
Passing Downs Success Rate 33.3% 42 29.3% 56
Passing Downs IsoPPP 2.2 3 1.94 109
Havoc Rate 15.2% 74

Colorado Offense vs USC Defense

Colorado Offense USC Defense
Category Avg. Rk Avg. Rk
Overall Explosiveness IsoPPP 1.1 122 1.23 60
Efficiency Success Rate 44.3% 36 41.1% 66
Field Position Avg. FP 29.8 71 28 38
Finishing Drives Pts per trip in 40 4.43 94 3.9 19
Rushing Rushing S&P+ 102.3 77 117.7 23
Rushing Success Rate 47.7% 18 41.3% 62
Rushing IsoPPP 0.91 123 1.03 56
Passing Passing S&P+ 87.5 102 109.3 40
Passing Success Rate 40.6% 68 41% 70
Passing IsoPPP 1.34 100 1.42 58
Standard Downs Standard Downs S&P+ 99 75 113.7 29
Standard Downs Success Rate 52.0% 20 44.7% 54
Standard Downs IsoPPP 0.93 125 1.12 80
Passing Downs Passing Downs S&P+ 82.8 115 111.9 41
Passing Downs Success Rate 25.1% 111 33.1% 91
Passing Downs IsoPPP 1.99 20 1.55 24
Havoc Rate 14.6% 85

The nicest thing I can say about the Colorado defense is that they're mediocre against the pass. Their offense, on the other hand, actually has a few redeeming qualities! They're pretty efficient, especially in the run game where they rank 18th nationally and illustrates the biggest opportunity to take advantage of the USC defense. Their passing game efficiency is a middle of the pack and their performance on standard downs is ok also. The Buffs can move the ball a little bit and they try to maximize their opportunities by running a ton of plays. The only time they're really explosive is on passing downs which USC actually does a good job of limiting in general.

As for the USC offense, the plan should be to hand the ball to Ronald Jones II and Justin Davis over and over again. Tre Madden will be out with an injury so SC fans might even get to see Aca'Cedric Ware get a little bit of run. I wouldn't be surprised to see USC run the ball around 50 times to limit the effects of playing a short week and in elevation against a team that likes to operate at a breakneck speed. Ideally Cody Kessler won't really need to have much of a game or be called on to do so although he has had success against Colorado in the two years he's played against them.

USC "should" have no problems despite the short week, I don't think they'll cover the spread though given variables listed in the paragraph above. I'll go with a score 42-28 in favor of the Trojans.