Inside The Numbers:  USC

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via inquizition.files.wordpress.com

Going up against USC is like going up against the Death Star.  It's white and round and there is a weird dimple.  It's scary and intense.  But if you manage to shoot Mark Sanchez in the face with your laser missile gun, you'll probably win.

Failing a space assault on the Coliseum, the Cal football team will have to take the field against USC.  This............could be rough.  Can Syd'Quan shoot laser missiles?  I sure hope so!  Let's take a look at USC and see some of the players we'll be rooting against tomorrow.

                           2008 USC Trojans Football
USC Overall Team Statistics (as of Nov 01, 2008)
All games

TEAM STATISTICS USC OPP
--------------------------------------------------------
SCORING....................... 322 57
Points Per Game............. 40.2 7.1
FIRST DOWNS................... 180 117
Rushing..................... 75 46
Passing..................... 96 53
Penalty..................... 9 18
RUSHING YARDAGE............... 1633 673
Yards gained rushing........ 1765 963
Yards lost rushing.......... 132 290
Rushing Attempts............ 309 272
Average Per Rush............ 5.3 2.5
Average Per Game............ 204.1 84.1
TDs Rushing................. 18 5
PASSING YARDAGE............... 2048 1020
Att-Comp-Int................ 239-156-8 236-126-12
Average Per Pass............ 8.6 4.3
Average Per Catch........... 13.1 8.1
Average Per Game............ 256.0 127.5
TDs Passing................. 24 2
TOTAL OFFENSE................. 3681 1693
Total Plays................. 548 508
Average Per Play............ 6.7 3.3
Average Per Game............ 460.1 211.6
KICK RETURNS: #-Yards......... 12-262 23-422
PUNT RETURNS: #-Yards......... 30-295 8-98
INT RETURNS: #-Yards.......... 12-271 8-49
KICK RETURN AVERAGE........... 21.8 18.3
PUNT RETURN AVERAGE........... 9.8 12.2
INT RETURN AVERAGE............ 22.6 6.1
FUMBLES-LOST.................. 13-6 14-8
PENALTIES-Yards............... 67-603 48-372
Average Per Game............ 75.4 46.5
PUNTS-Yards................... 28-1054 59-2501
Average Per Punt............ 37.6 42.4
Net punt average............ 32.7 35.4
TIME OF POSSESSION/Game....... 30:45 29:15
3RD-DOWN Conversions.......... 49/106 33/118
3rd-Down Pct................ 46% 28%
4TH-DOWN Conversions.......... 10/14 5/9
4th-Down Pct................ 71% 56%
SACKS BY-Yards................ 19-142 9-57
MISC YARDS.................... 0 24
TOUCHDOWNS SCORED............. 44 7
FIELD GOALS-ATTEMPTS.......... 5-6 3-9
ON-SIDE KICKS................. 0-0 0-0
RED-ZONE SCORES............... 32-40 80% 10-15 67%
RED-ZONE TOUCHDOWNS........... 28-40 70% 7-15 47%
PAT-ATTEMPTS.................. 43-44 98% 6-7 86%
ATTENDANCE.................... 341544 190331
Games/Avg Per Game.......... 4/85386 4/47583


Ok. I mean this is just sick. Scoring 322-57. 322 to 57!!!! Jesus Christ! Only 211 yards per game given up.  I mean the numbers just speak for themselves.  This is one of the finest defenses you've ever seen.  Interestingly, even though USC is crushing its opponents, it only has 40 more plays than them.  So, a quick strike offense. 

If Cal's Home D can show up, which generally limits the big play, then maybe, just maybe, we can hold USC at bay.  Maybe. 

Note that they rush for over 200 yards a game.  That's because a)blowouts lead to rushing and b)their rushing is better than their passing.

RUSHING         GP  Att Gain Loss  Net   Avg  TD Long Avg/G
-----------------------------------------------------------
Gable, C.J. 8 64 422 12 410 6.4 6 50 51.2
Johnson, Stafon 8 74 405 11 394 5.3 5 41 49.2
McKnight, Joe 6 50 374 13 361 7.2 0 41 60.2
Green, B. 6 32 173 5 168 5.2 3 37 28.0
Tyler, Marc 4 19 103 1 102 5.4 1 24 25.5
Havili, Stanley 8 12 67 0 67 5.6 0 11 8.4
Bradford, Allen 3 14 57 0 57 4.1 1 15 19.0
Johnson, Ronald 8 3 32 0 32 10.7 0 14 4.0
Williams, D. 8 3 29 0 29 9.7 0 16 3.6
McCoy, Anthony 8 0 23 0 23 0.0 0 0 2.9
Sanchez, Mark 8 28 66 58 8 0.3 2 15 1.0
Green, Garrett 8 1 3 0 3 3.0 0 3 0.4
Goodman, Adam 8 1 1 0 1 1.0 0 1 0.1
Mustain, Mitch 6 4 10 18 -8 -2.0 0 8 -1.3
Team 6 4 0 14 -14 -3.5 0 0 -2.3
Total.......... 8 309 1765 132 1633 5.3 18 50 204.1
Opponents...... 8 272 963 290 673 2.5 5 26 84.1

And now you see their stable of running backs. Gable. Johnson. McKnight. McKnight missed the last game due to injury.  Maybe that'll slow him a bit, I don't now.  They have 3 RBs with over 50 carries on the year.  And the worst is averaging over 5.3 yards a carry.  Ai!

They all average about 50 or more yards a game, which shows the depth.  That's what is so amazing here.  We think we have depth with 2 great RBs, but they have 3 great RBs.  It will be a herculean task to stop these guys.

We were just able to stop Oregon's amazing run game.  But there are 3 key differences here:

1.  It's on the road.

2.  USC has a passing game.

3.  It's not raining.

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Joe McKnight via graphics.fansonly.com

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CJ Gable via graphics.fansonly.com

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Stafon Johnson via graphics.fansonly.com


PASSING         GP   Effic Cmp-Att-Int   Pct  Yds  TD Lng Avg/G
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sanchez, Mark 8 163.28 144-221-7 65.2 1884 22 63 235.5
Mustain, Mitch 6 194.29 10-14-1 71.4 150 2 59 25.0
Corp, Aaron 4 79.40 2-4-0 50.0 14 0 12 3.5
Total.......... 8 163.70 156-239-8 65.3 2048 24 63 256.0
Opponents...... 8 82.32 126-236-12 53.4 1020 2 39 127.5

And here is the passing.  This is the "weak" part of the offense.  Mark Sanchez isn't exactly a Leinart or Palmer.  But he still has a rating of 163.  He still completes 65% of his passes.  And this is the "weak" part of the team.  He has 22 TDs to 7 Ints. 

Our hope is apparently to try to slow the running game to force Sanchez to make throws.  He is 10X the QB Masoli is when it comes to throwing, but he apparently is not adverse to forcing throws at time.

And our D is opportunistic when it comes to ints.  So, there is a glimmer of hope here.  A glimmer. 

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Mark Sanchez via graphics.fansonly.com

RECEIVING       GP  No.  Yds   Avg  TD Long Avg/G
-------------------------------------------------
Williams, D. 8 30 451 15.0 5 34 56.4
Turner, Patrick 8 29 433 14.9 7 42 54.1
Johnson, Ronald 8 21 399 19.0 5 63 49.9
Havili, Stanley 8 18 199 11.1 2 35 24.9
McKnight, Joe 6 13 146 11.2 1 32 24.3
McCoy, Anthony 8 7 79 11.3 1 21 9.9
Ayles, Blake 8 6 41 6.8 1 13 5.1
Ausberry, David 8 5 80 16.0 1 59 10.0
Gable, C.J. 8 5 42 8.4 0 23 5.2
Johnson, Stafon 8 5 34 6.8 0 12 4.2
Hazelton, Vidal 5 5 33 6.6 0 9 6.6
Bradford, Allen 3 4 44 11.0 0 17 14.7
Patterson, T. 7 3 25 8.3 0 17 3.6
Ellison, Rhett 4 2 33 16.5 0 21 8.2
Tyler, Marc 4 1 10 10.0 1 10 2.5
Goodman, Adam 8 1 0 0.0 0 0 0.0
Miller, Jimmy 5 1 -1 -1.0 0 0 -0.2
Total.......... 8 156 2048 13.1 24 63 256.0
Opponents...... 8 126 1020 8.1 2 39 127.5

Patrick Turner is the guys USC fans love to hate.  Apparently, DeSean went to Cal, because Patrick Turner was going to USC or something like that.  Not sure of the reasons, per se, but I've heard rumors.  And Turner was underwhelming while DeSean was Tha1.  Now, Turner and the WRs are showing their promise.  They have 6 guys who average over 10 yards a reception.  These really are cartoon numbers when you add in the rushing numbers.  They have 3 guys who average essentially 15+ yards a reception.  I mean it's just mind boggling. 

These guys will be a challenge for our secondary.  We saw how Arizona's physical WRs were able to shed tackles for extra yards.  Arizona passed, passed, passed on us very successfully.  And Arizona doesn't exactly have the running game USC does (or at least they shouldnt have if their backup 3rd string red shirt high school RB didnt run for 8,000 yards on us). 

Writing this post is depressing me.

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Patrick Turner via graphics.fansonly.com

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Damian Williams via graphics.fansonly.com

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Ronald Johnson via grfx.cstv.com


                       |--------Tackles--------| |-Sacks-| |---Pass Def---| |-Fumbles-| Blkd
DEFENSIVE LEADERS GP Solo Ast Total TFL/Yds No-Yds Int-Yds BrUp QBH Rcv-Yds FF Kick Saf
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
58 Maualuga, Rey 7 25 22 47 1.5-1 . 2-48 1 . . . . .
10 Cushing, Brian 8 25 20 45 5.5-22 1.5-11 . 4 . . 1 . .
43 Maiava, Kaluka 8 26 18 44 5.5-13 . . 1 . . . . .
4 Ellison, Kevin 7 19 23 42 2.5-2 . 1-0 7 . . . . .
47 Matthews, Clay 8 19 19 38 6.0-52 4.0-38 . 2 . 2-0 2 1 .
0B Mays, Taylor 8 25 11 36 2.0-7 . . 3 . . . . .
7 Harris, Cary 8 20 9 29 3.0-4 . 1-0 3 . . 1 . .
75 Moala, Fili 8 8 12 20 5.5-21 2.0-14 . . . 1-0 . 2 .
84 Moore, Kyle 8 8 12 20 6.5-42 3.0-30 . 1 . 1-0 . . .
26 Harris, Will 8 12 7 19 2.5-11 . 1-28 1 . . . . .
1G Morgan, Michael 7 7 11 18 3.0-8 . . . . . . . .
36 Pinkard, Josh 8 13 4 17 . . . 2 . 2-0 2 . .
0F Smith, Malcolm 8 10 6 16 0.5-1 . . . . . . . .
93 Griffen, E. 7 6 5 11 3.5-26 3.5-26 . . . . . . .
19 McAllister, D. 8 6 3 9 . . 2-37 . . . . . .
54 Galippo, Chris 5 2 7 9 2.0-3 . 1-50 1 . . . . .
94 Armstead, A. 7 4 4 8 3.0-9 1.0-6 . . . . . . .
91 Casey, Jurrell 8 3 5 8 1.0-1 . . . . . . . .
15 Thomas, Kevin 8 6 2 8 1.0-8 1.0-8 3-53 6 . . . . .
24 Wright, S. 2 5 3 8 . . . . . . . . .
0A Bryant, T.J. 4 5 1 6 . . 1-55 2 . . . . .
99 Spicer, Averell 6 3 3 6 1.0-1 . . . . . . . .
14 Green, Garrett 8 2 3 5 . . . . . . . . .
37 Campbell, J. 7 3 2 5 . . . . . . . . .
TM Team 6 5 . 5 3.0-4 . . . . . . . .
27 Jones, Marshall 8 3 1 4 . . . . . . . . .
2E Harper, Daniel 5 3 1 4 . . . . . . . . .
57 Garratt, Nick 7 2 1 3 0.5-0 . . . . . . . .
44 Tupou, C. 8 2 1 3 1.0-2 . . . . . . . .
45 Goodman, Adam 8 1 2 3 . . . . . . . . .
8 Johnson, Ronald 8 1 2 3 . . . . . . . . .
97 Jackson, Malik 6 3 . 3 2.0-8 2.0-8 . . . . 1 . .
35 Kaveinga, Uona 8 3 . 3 1.0-4 . . . . . . . .
4F Cumming, Ross 4 1 1 2 . . . . . . . . .
81 Washington, G. 6 1 1 2 0.5-1 0.5-1 . . . 2-0 . . .
1 Turner, Patrick 8 2 . 2 . . . . . . . . .
21 Bradford, Allen 3 . 1 1 . . . . . . . . .
4D Woidneck, Greg 8 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . .
1J Shoemate, D.J. 5 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . .
42 Stephens, Scott 2 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . .
79 Weiss, Andrew 1 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . .
98 Harris, DaJohn 5 . 1 1 0.5-0 0.5-0 . . . . . . .
68 Lewis, Butch 7 . 1 1 . . . . . . . . .
3H Erickson, R. 1 . 1 1 . . . . . . . . .
1H Buehler, David 8 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . .
Total.......... 8 294 226 520 64-251 19-142 12-271 34 . 8-0 7 3 .
Opponents...... 8 343 200 543 30-102 9-57 8-49 22 . 6-4 5 1 .

And that was the offense.  The weak side of the ball.  This is the defense.  The strong side.  One note:  Ellison will not be facing us.  So, his 42 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 7 pass break ups are out.  But I am sure USC has a 5 star blue chip back up to step in.

Maualuga (Cincho Ocho) is the stud here.  He leads the team with 2 Ints.  He leads the team with total tackles.  He is second in solo tackles, behind only Cushing.

Note:  Cushing has 5.5 tackles for loss.  5.5!  You'd think that would lead the team, but it's actually tied with 2 other players for 3rd.  WHAT?!?!  They have Kyle moore with 6.5 TFL.  Clay Matthews with 6 TFL.  And then Maiava, Cushing, and Moala with 5.5.  Our OLine is going to have its hands full here.  We get Malele back, I believe, but Edwards is still going to be starting.  Edwards played well last week against a fierce Oregon rush.  Generally, the OLine played better than expected against that fierce Oregon rush. 

This will be another huge test for the OLine.  Don't be shocked if there are a lot of TFLs in this game.  We'll probably be trying to run a lot with Best and Vereen.

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Rey Maualuga via graphics.fansonly.com

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Brian Cushing via graphics.fansonly.com

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Clay Matthews via graphics.fansonly.com

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Kaluka Maiava via grfx.cstv.com


Final Thoughts:  Writing this post has depressed me greatly.  This is a team that he crushed its opposition.  Hopefully, Cal has been studying that OSU game furiously and can determine how the Beavs managed to pull off the upset.

I see this either being a huge USC blowout or a close Cal win.  It depends really on which D shows up.  As noted before, USC has a quick strike offense.  They are crushing their opponents, but only have like 40 more plays than them on the year.  So, I think our scheme will work to try to limit their "quick strike"-osity.  That's the scheme we always use, anyways. 

Of course, the problem is execution.  Home D executes perfectly, holding a sick Oregon running game in check.  Road D has problems executing, allowing a backup Arizona RB to run wild.  Given that this game is on the road, Road D seems more likely.  But who knows?

If Home D shows up and the Pain Train is at his Pain Trainiest and SydGOD is at his SydGODiest, then it will be a low scoring game.  I don't see our offense exploding against them.  Their defense is beyond unbelievable.  The OLine is in shambles, but getting Malele back can only help.  The OLine was stunningly good against Oregon.  Can they repeat the magic(k)?  Seems doubtful, but crazier things have happened.

The path to victory seems like this:  Home D hold USC offense in check, mostly by forcing Sanchez to make some poor decisions.  They pick him a few times in key areas.  Offense does just enough to eke out the victory.  Longshore plays mistake-free ball.  We probably don't need him to play perfect ball, just mistake free. 

If we turn the ball over a few times and then Road D shows up, it could be a long day, though.  Go Bears!

  Go Bears!

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