(Slight delay with Hydro's posts. They'll be coming either this afternoon or tomorrow, hang tight.)
Whew! One last day of Cal football. It's upcoming and it might not excite some of you, but remember this:
This is the last Cal football game we'll see for the next 9 months.
Yes. Kinda puts things into perspective, don't it. So, time to get up Bears! Time to get pumped and ready to go! To that end, Avinash and I decided to take a tour through the magical mystery that is Utah football stats. After the jump, follow us as we weave our way through their numbers and see what it portends for the Poinsettia Bowl, the most important Southern California Flower-Related Bowl you'll see all year! GO BEARS!
TwistNHook: Ok, first lets take a look at the Passing Stats thanks to cfbstats.com:
Oy, these look pretty good. Nearly 60% completion rate. We'd kill for that. Twice as many TD than Interceptions. Rating of about 130 is not great, but not particularly bad either. And they start off with a 173 rating, so that is very good. Oddly enough, though, they have their largest attempts in the 2nd quarter. Not sure why. 116 attempts compared to not more than 87 in the other quarters. Why would that be?
In that quarter, their numbers are the worst, too. 51ish% completion rate with 3 int to 3 TD and a 104 QB rating. Hopefully, Cal can get Utah to play at that level as compared to their overall level!
|09/03/09||Utah St.||Turf||W 35-17||30||20||66.7||286||9.5||1||2||162.08|
|09/12/09||@ San Jose St.||Grass||W 24-14||32||18||56.3||248||7.8||0||1||131.66|
|09/19/09||@ 7 Oregon||Turf||L 24-31||42||20||47.6||178||4.2||2||1||81.56|
|10/10/09||@ Colorado St.||Turf||W 24-17||32||24||75.0||248||7.8||1||2||154.48|
|10/17/09||@ UNLV||Turf||W 35-15||24||17||70.8||174||7.3||0||2||159.23|
|10/24/09||Air Force||Turf||W 23-16||21||11||52.4||167||8.0||0||1||134.89|
|11/07/09||New Mexico||Turf||W 45-14||31||19||61.3||306||9.9||1||2||159.05|
|11/14/09||@ 3 TCU||Grass||L 28-55||32||16||50.0||219||6.8||1||1||111.55|
|11/21/09||San Diego St.||Turf||W 38-7||29||15||51.7||202||7.0||0||1||121.61|
|11/28/09||@ 15 Brigham Young||Grass||L 23-26||45||22||48.9||201||4.5||1||0||81.97|
Simple to figure out: Bad against good teams...good against bad teams. I remember watching the Oregon-Utah game and wondering, "Wow, these guys can't throw the ball." Against most of the MWC bottom-dwellers though they romped it up. However, Terrence Cain went down around Halloween, forcing true freshman Jordan Wynn into the starting spot against TCU and BYU. Tough spot for the young one to be in.
That being said, Cal's pass defense has yet to play real well this season (they've had moments, but good games? It's been awhile), so I doubt Wynn will have trouble getting his looks. A lot will depend on how well the Utes can run the ball and get that going.
TwistNHook: Ok, now lets take a look at the rushing stats.
What do we have here? 23 TDs, pretty good. 4.52 yards a carry. Not all that bad, but if you look at the first half numbers, it is quite a bit different from the second half numbers. 3.79 compared to 5.16. 2nd half doesn't have *that* many more carries than first half (especially when divided over 12 games) than first. So, what is the reason for the increased success as the game continues? Do they have a lot of OLine depth? Do they cheat? Or are they generally dominant and rushing a lot in blowouts?
Let's look at their sked;
|9/03||Utah State||1-0 (0-0)||W 35-17|
|9/12||@ San Jose State||2-0 (0-0)||W 24-14|
|9/19||@ Oregon||2-1 (0-0)||L 31-24|
|9/26||Louisville||3-1 (0-0)||W 30-14|
|10/10||@ Colorado State||4-1 (1-0)||W 24-17|
|10/17||@ UNLV||5-1 (2-0)||W 35-15|
|10/24||Air Force||6-1 (3-0)||W 23-16 OT|
|10/31||Wyoming||7-1 (4-0)||W 22-10|
|11/07||New Mexico||8-1 (5-0)||W 45-14|
|11/14||@ No. 4 TCU||8-2 (5-1)||L 55-28|
|11/21||San Diego State||9-2 (6-1)||W 38-7|
|11/28||@ No. 19 Brigham Young||9-3 (6-2)||L 26-23 OT|
|12/23||vs. California||8:00 PM|
Well, they went 9-3. 9 wins. Of those 9 wins, 7 were by 10 points or more and 6 were by 14 points or more. So, they might have been running a decent amount in the second half where the opposing team didn't really have a chance. Hopefully, that means that the increased second half numbers are not necessarily indicative of great OL depth, but just a contextual situation that HOPEFULLY won't occur on the 23rd!!!!! Hopefully.
At first glance the offensive line looks really good. Again it looks like it'll come down to how well we stick down on the run...we can't have Utah clicking on both cylinders. If the running game is stopped that'll force their true frosh to throw more...and given how we've done against Nick Foles and Andrew Luck (redshirts, but whatever), and he doesn't seem as capable as those two, we might have some success.
Eddie Wide is their primary ball-carrier, and he's been tearing it up as of late...
Except for the customary stuffing at TCU, he's performed really well: seven 100+ yard games out of 9, with a YPA of at least 5+ in each one. I'm not going to say he's beaten up on the stiffest of competition, but I'd expect we'd want to hold him to 60 or 70 yards. Anything over that and Cal could be in huge trouble defensively.
TwistNHook: Let's take a look at the Passing D.
Oy! 50% against. 100 rating against. More Ints than TDs. Those are gooooooooooooooood numbers. Unless we get them to overtime, where they are giving up a QB rating of 257! 257! Now, *that's* a number I can work with. The numbers also seem fairly steady across the board. The highest QB rating against is 121, which is very solid.
This is a very solid passing Defense and Cal is going to need to bring solid blocking to give Riley a chance to make the good throws. Hopefully, we see the Kevin Riley that played in the Big Game, making great throws at the perfect times.
|09/03/09||Utah St.||Turf||W 35-17||26||10||38.5||121||4.7||1||0||69.86|
|09/12/09||@ San Jose St.||Grass||W 24-14||34||21||61.8||242||7.1||1||1||125.39|
|09/19/09||@ 7 Oregon||Turf||L 24-31||16||4||25.0||95||5.9||1||0||62.38|
|10/10/09||@ Colorado St.||Turf||W 24-17||24||12||50.0||184||7.7||3||1||103.15|
|10/17/09||@ UNLV||Turf||W 35-15||47||25||53.2||236||5.0||2||1||93.88|
|10/24/09||Air Force||Turf||W 23-16||10||7||70.0||64||6.4||0||0||123.76|
|11/07/09||New Mexico||Turf||W 45-14||42||21||50.0||252||6.0||2||2||106.59|
|11/14/09||@ 3 TCU||Grass||L 28-55||29||17||58.6||207||7.1||1||1||123.06|
|11/21/09||San Diego St.||Turf||W 38-7||37||17||45.9||207||5.6||2||1||91.06|
|11/28/09||@ 15 Brigham Young||Grass||L 23-26||32||12||37.5||134||4.2||0||2||93.31|
Shut down Oregon, very impressive. Shut down Max Hall (37% completion rate???), VERY impressive. TCU had a modest game against them, but for giving up 55 points, the pass D seemed to hold up their end. The only team that's threw on them well was Air Force (on 10 throws?) and Wyoming (WYOMING?)?
Not sure what to make of these guys. I'm guessing we don't want to end up throwing on them that much and rely a lot on Vereen to take us home. Sad that this is what our offense has come down to--staying as far away from the pass game as possible.
TwistNHook: Well, we better hope that their run D kinda sucks, then.
GODDAMN IT! 3.76 yard per rush against. Ai! And the 1st half 2nd half splits don't seem to be particularily different. This ain't good.
To compare, ASU's run D, which was known for being rather good (unless they were facing a T Gerhart) gives up 3.39 yards per rush
Cal's rush D, which was fairly stout all year long, is actually at 3.51. So, while we do have a better rush D on a per carry basis, it is not much better.
So, they have a rush D on the same level as ours and a pass D that is much, much better. Their offense doesn't seem to be amazing, so this could be a defensive struggle. I feel as if that could benefit Cal, given our recent offensive woes. Recent as in the last game, where Matt Summers-Gavin did not play. Ai!
Avinash: Eh. This doesn't concern me as much.
|09/03/09||Utah St.||Turf||W 35-17||34||221||6.50||2|
|09/12/09||@ San Jose St.||Grass||W 24-14||22||22||1.00||1|
|09/19/09||@ 7 Oregon||Turf||L 24-31||51||217||4.25||3|
|10/10/09||@ Colorado St.||Turf||W 24-17||31||150||4.84||1|
|10/17/09||@ UNLV||Turf||W 35-15||33||91||2.76||0|
|10/24/09||Air Force||Turf||W 23-16||75||254||3.39||1|
|11/07/09||New Mexico||Turf||W 45-14||29||82||2.83||0|
|11/14/09||@ 3 TCU||Grass||L 28-55||51||342||6.71||5|
|11/21/09||San Diego St.||Turf||W 38-7||29||55||1.90||0|
|11/28/09||@ 15 Brigham Young||Grass||L 23-26||36||131||3.64||1|
Short story: They shut down crappy running games (Wyoming 86th, UNLV 87th, Louisville 90th New Mexico 110th, San Diego State 116th, San Jose State 117th) and got torched by good ones (TCU 5th, Oregon 6th, Utah State 22nd). While we're not as potent as TCU or Oregon in the run game, I feel Vereen, and some Debo and Isi can get us around our 175+ average.
The key will be how good Riley and the receivers can keep up their end of the bargain. The O-line might struggle in both areas, but Utah's defense is heavily dependent on how good the opponent they're facing.
Short story: If Good Cal shows up we win, if Bad Cal shows up we lose. How's that for trite?
TwistNHook: What's trite mean?
Avinash: Use the googles.
TwistNHook: THE GOOGLES, THEY DO NOTHING!