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USC Trojans Football: Advanced Stats look at DC candidate Dave Aranda

Clay Helton looks to fill out his staff and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has been mentioned as a potential DC for the USC Trojans.

Harry How/Getty Images

As the rumor mill turns for potential defensive coaching hires. The most prominent name thats been mentioned, really the only name in conjunction with the search, has been Dave Aranda current defensive coordinator at Wisconsin. Aranda came to Wisconsin when Gary Andersen became the head coach following their stint at Utah State.

When Andersen shockingly left for Oregon State, Aranda stayed behind and became a part of Paul Chryst's staff. When Bruce Feldman broke the news that Aranda was a name that USC was looking at, it piqued my curiosity. I knew very little about Wisconsin's performance this season other than the fact that they'll conveniently be USC's Holiday Bowl opponent on December 30th. Naturally I wanted to look at Aranda's performance not simply as Wisconsin's defensive coordinator this season, but what his resume showed overall during his different stops. Aranda has now been a defensive coordinator for 5 seasons from 2010-2011 he held that title at Hawaii, then he made a one year pit stop at Utah State in 2012 and has now been at Wisconsin since 2013.

In the table below, I've listed how his defenses have fared in some of the key defensive categories along the way and ohh man is it exciting. You can almost throw out the bad Hawaii season because you know, Hawaii. Keep in mind these numbers are adjusted for opponent so you can't really say "But the MWC is crap!" or LOL B1G (which doesn't really apply anymore anyway). The best part about it is the fact that it's not a defense that is simply good at one thing and really struggling against another ( run v pass, standard downs v passing downs). It's a well-rounded defense that performs mostly well to amazing in all facets, well almost all facets.

Dave Aranda lead Defenses by S&P+
Hawaii Utah State Wisconsin
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Overall Rank 32 82 10 10 29 7
Std. Downs 43 95 14 14 50 7
Passing Downs 86 81 11 36 7 11
Rushing 41 88 30 9 28 14
Passsing 69 96 6 28 23 9
Drive Efficiency 20 86 17 8
Success Rt+ 25 18
IsoPPP+ 30


Wisconsin Rank
havoc rate 31
LB Havoc rate 1
DL Havoc rate 127

In breaking down this season a little further I wanted to get into what makes Aranda's defenses tick. It looks like, the d-line does not, as it's havoc rate is one of the worst in the nation (might be a personnel issue as well) but it definitely is driven by the way in which he uses his LBs. His two starting OLB's lead the team in sacks with 8 and 9 each which make sense given he runs a base 3-4. This fits with the current personnel on the USC defense and bodes well for Porter Gustin's future at rush end if USC in fact does hire Aranda.