clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Advanced Statistics: Cal vs. UCLA

New, 1 comment

Cal faces its lil baby bear bro in the NCAA Wildcard

NCAA Football: California at Stanford Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

California lost to Stanfurd. I wrote this phrase 8 years in a row. Each of the times the game is lost, either due to the poor performance of the bears in a blowout, or it was due to the fact that the game was lost by razor thin margins, it hurts. But last week it hurt the most due to how gosh-darn close we were.

As I wrote last week, this would be a low possession game with each being an important one.

This will be a game of long methodical possessions, the multidimensional Laird against the run offense monster that is Love.

For Cal there were 6 possessions, 10 plays a pop, 1 pooch punt, 1 missed FG, and 1 turnover. With each FG being preceded by a miss deep shot.

On defense Cal contained the explosive run game of Stanfurd to slightly above average levels, which is a remarkable feat, injured Bryce Love or not.

However, the biggest issue with the Cal offense is evident in the Cal passing IsoPPP number being abysmal. As long as Cal struggles to solve the deep passing game for its offense, it will have trouble closing out games.

Also

PAT LAIRD MVP

California Golden Bears, 5-6 (2-6, Pac-12 North), Overall #87 (Up by 2)

Overall

Cal Overall Week 13

Category Offense Rk Defense Rk
Category Offense Rk Defense Rk
S&P+ 26.2 86 28.9 75
Points Per Game 27.8 70 28.3 81

Nothing new, Cal is in a rebuild season. Considering the team has lost the following players:

  • Tre Watson, RB1
  • Demetris Robertson, X-WR1
  • Melquise Stovall, H-WR1
  • Ray Hudson, TE1
  • Devante Downs, ILB1
  • Evan Rambo, SS1
  • Cameron Saffle, RUSH1
  • Cam Goode, OLB1

That is a lot of key players from our 2 deep. And I am sure I am missing some. This list does not include players who are injured to one degree or another.

Offense

Cal Offense Week 13

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Success Rate 40.90% 76 40.40%
IsoPPP 1.12 87 1.17
Avg. FP 30 55 29.6
Pts. Per Trip in 40 4.33 82 4.42

Cal offense is... adequate. It will need to step-up in 2018 with the offense oscillating between great against WSU and OSU (89 percentile and 88 percentile performance) and well... not good Oregon, Washington, and Colorado (8 percentile, 7 percentile, 12 percentile).

Cal Offense Detail Week 13

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Rushing S&P+ 96.7 85 100
Rushing Success Rate 43.60% 60 42.40%
Rushing IsoPPP 0.88 71 0.91
Adj. Line Yards 90.4 115 100
Opportunity Rate 35.70% 100 38.90%
Power Success Rate 64.40% 86 68.10%
Stuff Rate 21.00% 91 19.10%
Passing S&P+ 96.3 85 100
Passing Success Rate 38.80% 88 40.40%
Passing IsoPPP 1.32 108 1.47
Adj. Sack Rate 105 59 100

We can see that despite the outstanding performance of Pat Laird. The rushing offense is slightly below average. I think with another year under coach Greatwood and with the upcoming recruiting class Cal can really take a step forward with Laird and Watson.

Passing offense is struggling to produce explosive plays both due to Wharton and Noa not being traditional deep threats and Bowers having problems with accuracy past the 15 yard mark.

Defense

Cal defense has been good via the eye test.

Cal Defense Overall Week 13

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Success Rate 46.20% 111 40.40%
IsoPPP 1.09 33 1.17
Avg. FP 31.3 106 29.6
Pts. Per Trip in 40 4.14 42 4.42

However, statistics do not love us. The statistical profile depicts a true “bend and don’t break” mentality. With the rushing game being the example of grind-out defense. The passing defense is similar but not at the extremes that the run defense exhibits.

Cal Defense Detail Week 13

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Rushing S&P+ 95.8 81 100
Rushing Success Rate 49.10% 120 42.40%
Rushing IsoPPP 0.82 28 0.91
Adj. Line Yards 95.3 87 100
Opportunity Rate 41.90% 106 38.90%
Power Success Rate 80.50% 125 68.10%
Stuff Rate 17.00% 92 19.10%
Passing S&P+ 102.3 55 100
Passing Success Rate 43.20% 90 40.40%
Passing IsoPPP 1.4 54 1.47
Adj. Sack Rate 99.8 66 100

What is troubling for the up-and-coming DB corps is the very poor HAVOC rate. This needs to be addressed if the DBs want to take the next step in 2018 .

University of California, Los Angeles of Westwood, 5-6 (3-5, Pac-12 North), Overall #73

Overall

UCLA Overall and Comparison

Category Offense Rk Defense Rk
Category Offense Rk Defense Rk
UCLA - S&P+ 35.9 18 36.2 119
UCLA - Points Per Game 34.1 31 37.6 121
2016 Cal - S&P+ 40.1 7 36 107
2016 Cal - Points Per Game 37.1 22 42.6 126

This team lives and dies by Josh Rosen’s arm. Simple as that. This team is similar to the Sonny Dykes team where the offense is top 25 and is bottom 25 on defense.

This team is eerily similar to the 2016 Cal team. Which will be an interesting experiment where we can see a real life comparison of what was and is in Cal football. At least on paper.

Offense

UCLA Offense Detail

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Rushing S&P+ 109.7 44 100
Rushing Success Rate 47.10% 28 42.40%
Rushing IsoPPP 0.81 105 0.91
Adj. Line Yards 100.6 72 100
Opportunity Rate 37.80% 81 38.90%
Power Success Rate 82.20% 6 68.10%
Stuff Rate 19.40% 68 19.10%
Passing S&P+ 116.4 23 100
Passing Success Rate 43.30% 38 40.40%
Passing IsoPPP 1.51 47 1.47
Adj. Sack Rate 163.9 17 100

The passing offense is top notch, at the level of the WSU or 2016 Cal. Its strength is being being able to push the ball on power run plays. Cal has to be weary about the short 1-3 yard 3rd down conversions. This means stopping the early run plays and forcing drops from the UCLA WRs (who have a similar catch rate to Cal’s WRs).

UCLA RBs

Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Rushes Yards TD Yards/ Carry Hlt Yds/ Opp. Opp. Rate Fumbles (Lost)
Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Rushes Yards TD Yards/ Carry Hlt Yds/ Opp. Opp. Rate Fumbles (Lost)
Bolu Olorunfunmi RB 5'10, 215 JR 102 540 5 5.3 4.8 41.20% 1 (1)
Soso Jamabo RB 6'2, 210 JR 84 424 6 5 5.2 35.70% 1 (1)
Jalen Starks RB 6'0, 265 SO 35 136 4 3.9 3 34.30% 0 (0)
Brandon Stephens RB 6'1, 210 SO 24 100 0 4.2 13.3 16.70% 1 (1)

The UCLA RBs split carries quite evenly, neither of whom seem to be featured in the passing game as receiving threats. This can be helpful for the Cal LBs/FSs/SSs that cover RBs out of the backfield allowing them to prioritize other facets of the game.

Good for Cal, UCLA throws 54% of the time on standard downs, and despite that they are the 7th best offense on those. But only 56th on passing downs. Therefore, forcing these passing downs will both be a challenge but will reap great benefits for the Cal defense.

Defense

UCLA Defensive Detail

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Rushing S&P+ 93.4 93 100
Rushing Success Rate 47.50% 111 42.40%
Rushing IsoPPP 1.03 111 0.91
Adj. Line Yards 96.4 80 100
Opportunity Rate 43.90% 119 38.90%
Power Success Rate 80.00% 122 68.10%
Stuff Rate 15.50% 110 19.10%
Passing S&P+ 101.4 62 100
Passing Success Rate 43.50% 95 40.40%
Passing IsoPPP 1.59 103 1.47
Adj. Sack Rate 80.1 99 100

Feed. Patrick. Laird.

Simple as that.

By running the ball effectively and hopefully getting scores early in the game we can limit the UCLA offense into more predictable patterns and force them to play on Cal’s schedule. The Bruins are not the most formidable on the passing defense either so Ross Bowers and co. should have some opportunities.

UCLA Defensive Players

Name Pos Ht, Wt Year Tackles TFL (Sacks) Run Stuffs* Int (PBU) FF Succ. Rate**
Name Pos Ht, Wt Year Tackles TFL (Sacks) Run Stuffs* Int (PBU) FF Succ. Rate**
Kenny Young LB 6'1, 235 SR 71 7 (1) 15 0 (2) 0 48.80%
Adarius Pickett DB 5'11, 195 JR 63.5 4 (0) 3 1 (3) 0 54.80%
Jaleel Wadood DB 5'9, 180 SR 58.5 2 (0) 3 1 (3) 1 73.00%
Krys Barnes LB 6'2, 240 SO 42.5 1 (0) 3 0 (0) 0 54.00%
Nate Meadors DB 5'11, 195 JR 41 1.5 (1) 0 1 (9) 1 80.40%
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner DL 6'2, 285 SR 40 6.5 (5.5) 4 0 (0) 0 24.40%
Chigozie Nnoruka DL 6'2, 295 SO 36 6.5 (2) 12 0 (0) 0 18.60%
Keisean Lucier-South DL 6'4, 235 SO 30 5.5 (1) 9 0 (2) 1 31.00%

Cal has to be careful with the DL. The trio of Tuiti-Mariner, Nnoruka, and Lucier-South have combined for 25 run stuffs, 11 sacks and 18.5 TFLs. This will be a big test of the Cal OL and the coaching by Greatwood as it faces the disruptive trio. Furthermore, Kenny Young, senior LB of the Bruins has been a huge force in the run game.

Final Thoughts

Cal has a good shot in this game. With the mismatch between the Cal strength on defense and the offensive tendencies of the UCLA offense this game will be decided on Cal’s ability to force passing downs. Getting Rosen to play behind schedule will significantly improve Cal’s chances for a win.

On the offensive side of the ball, making sure we don’t take negative plays and continue to feed Laird will be the prerogative for the team. As long as Laird can be an effective threat as a runner and a receiving threat it should open up the playbook for Baldwin and Bowers.