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Cal Advanced Stats: Cal & Ole Miss

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SEC Ball is coming to our living room.

Weber State v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Weber State was an ugly game to watch as a Cal fan with a lot of expectations towards the team. The failure to capitalize on the talent and athleticism gap, especially on the trenches and in our skill positions. Yet throughout the game there was a severe lack of explosiveness on the field. If you follow Nick Kranz on twitter you will see this stat:

This is a really sad. It is understandable that Weber State is a scrappy team with good moxie and a ranked FCS team. Still, they should not be stopping a Pac-12 team to YPP that would rank 10th in the nation for defense in 2016. Did I mention “Pat Laird for MVP”?

California Golden Bears, 2-0 (0-0 Pac-12 North): S&P+ Overall Ranking: #58 (up 3)

Currently Cal is predicted to win 2 more games, against Arizona and OSU, however, we’re pretty close to even against WSU and UCLA. As the pre-season predictions get phased out we will get a better view of the match-ups.

Cal Offense Overall

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Success Rate 43.70% 62 39.80%
IsoPPP 1.4 17 1.16
Avg. FP 30.1 70 29.7
Pts. Per Trip in 40 4.6 66 4.3

We can see here that Pat Laird and Vic Wharton’s explosive plays from Weber and at UNC are giving Cal a strong edge in the explosive play category. Of course we can’t count on this to happen each game. The lack of consistent sustainability, Success rate being poor relative to the weapons we have, is concerning. Furthermore, the slightly above average performance in the opp. 40 yard area is notable.

Cal RBs Week 2

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)
Vic Enwere RB 6'0, 245 SR 22 39 1 1.8 1.6 22.70% 0 (0)
Tre Watson RB 5'11, 205 SR 17 83 0 4.9 2.1 52.90% 0 (0)
Patrick Laird RB 6'0, 200 JR 15 200 3 13.3 19.5 46.70% 0 (0)
Ross Bowers QB 6'2, 200 SO 7 2 0 0.3 6.3 14.30% 3 (1)
Demetris Robertson WR 6'0, 190 SO 2 40 1 20 13.8 100.00% 0 (0)
Malik Psalms OLB 6'1, 200 SO 1 2 0 2 0 0.00% 0 (0)

We can see that with the loss of Tre Watson Cal’s lead back will not be Vic Enwere but Patrick Laird, if stats have anything to say. Despite having the most touches of our RBs Vic has failed to produce on the ground, this could be due to the way he plays in the scheme: short distance back. Yet, with 22 carries he should have more than 1.8 yards per.

Furthermore, with Pat Laird we cannot depend on him breaking multiple explosive runs each game. It will be hard for Cal to find consistent yardage on the ground and in the pass game with Tre gone.

Cal WRs Week 2

Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Targets Catches Yards TD Yds/ Catch Yds/ Target Catch Rate Success Rate Target Rate
Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Targets Catches Yards TD Yds/ Catch Yds/ Target Catch Rate Success Rate Target Rate
Demetris Robertson WR 6'0, 190 SO 16 7 70 0 10 4.4 43.80% 31.20% 25.00%
Vic Wharton III WR 5'11, 200 JR 13 10 202 1 20.2 15.5 76.90% 46.20% 20.30%
Jordan Veasy WR 6'3, 225 SR 9 6 65 1 10.8 7.2 66.70% 66.70% 14.10%
Kanawai Noa WR 6'0, 185 SO 6 5 56 0 11.2 9.3 83.30% 50.00% 9.40%
Tre Watson RB 5'11, 205 SR 6 5 31 0 6.2 5.2 83.30% 33.30% 9.40%
Patrick Laird RB 6'0, 200 JR 4 3 66 1 22 16.5 75.00% 50.00% 6.30%
Vic Enwere RB 6'0, 245 SR 4 2 1 0 0.5 0.3 50.00% 0.00% 6.30%
Gavin Reinwald TE 6'3, 220 FR 2 2 26 0 13 13 100.00% 100.00% 3.10%
Malik McMorris FB 5'11, 285 JR 2 2 23 0 11.5 11.5 100.00% 100.00% 3.10%
Jordan Duncan WR 6'1, 210 SO 1 1 20 1 20 20 100.00% 100.00% 1.60%
Brandon Singleton WR 6'0, 170 SO 1 1 3 0 3 3 100.00% 0.00% 1.60%

Main number to look at: Demetris Robertson’s low catch rate: 43.8%. Combined with his high target rate, we can see that Beau Baldwin is trying to feed him the ball but Ross Bowers continues to miss him on multiple throws. His yards per target is a measly 4.4, only exceeding Vic and Brandon Singleton (both of whom are rarely involved in the passing game).

The three best bets for Cal are : Vic Wharton, Kanawai Noa, and Jordan Veasy. At UNC it looked like Robertson was drawing a lot of coverage from the DB and safety, however, against Weber it just looked like they didn’t have the right timing down. Ole Miss will be a test for Cal.

Cal Defense Week 2

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Success Rate 49.40% 118 39.80%
IsoPPP 0.98 33 1.16
Avg. FP 28.5 62 29.7
Pts. Per Trip in 40 3.65 45 4.3

Here we can see the mismatch between what we saw the last two weeks and what is on the stat-sheet due to the pre-season bias. More can be gleaned later on, but the lack of movement, or it being small, is concerning since we have been seemingly experiencing a defensive resurgence. More data will be needed on this topic.

Cal Defensive Footprint

Stat Team Rk Nat'l Average
Stat Team Rk Nat'l Average
Std. Downs Run Rate 55.60% 80 58.80%
Pass. Downs Run Rate 25.50% 97 33.70%
Overall Havoc Rate 14.50% 94 17.00%
DL Havoc Rate 3.20% 90 5.30%
LB Havoc Rate 6.40% 33 4.80%
DB Havoc Rate 4.90% 91 6.70%
PD to INC 25.60% 103 32.80%

This remains an ugly statistic from all but the LB group. Which makes sense, the DLs in a 3-4 are supposed to be the unsung heroes of the team: devouring the blocks to let the LBs make plays, and plays they make. We have spoken quite a lot about Devante Downs, however, Raymond Davison has had an equal impact on the stat-sheet for the Bears, matching Downs’ production.

Despite this, the defense as a whole continues to struggle in making disruptive plays, something Nam Le has been talking about while we all collectively fawned over the new defense. Against competition like Ole Miss we will need to disruption from across the board to actually live up to talk we have made as fans about the defense.

Ole Miss Rebels, 2-0 (0-0 SEC West): S&P+ Overall Ranking: #22

Ole Miss, one of the teams from the allegedly best football conference: SEC. From the deep south they come to Cal. Fun Fact: after retiring Colonel Reb, their mascot is the Rebel Black Bear. Theoretically speaking, it is one of those Bear on Bear games.

Ole Miss Overall Offense

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Success Rate 57.60% 8 39.80%
IsoPPP 1.49 13 1.16
Avg. FP 30.6 63 29.7
Pts. Per Trip in 40 5.37 31 4.3

They good. That’s all I can say. With an explosive offense, that finishes well in the 40. However, unlike Cal, they have not faced any significant opponents the last two games (one of them being South Alabama [Sun Belt] and FCS’ UT Martin, thanks Ole Miss Commentators for pointing out the mistake). South Alabama is ranked #119 in S&P+ overall with the defense and offense ranked in the 100s.

Ole Miss 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)
Jordan Wilkins RB 6'1, 217 SR 17 65 1 3.8 1.4 41.20% 1 (1)
D'Vaughn Pennamon RB 5'11, 238 SO 9 36 1 4 4.6 22.20% 0 (0)
Eric Swinney RB 5'9, 214 SO 8 35 0 4.4 1.7 62.50% 1 (0)
Shea Patterson QB 6'2, 203 SO 7 31 0 4.4 1.8 71.40% 0 (0)
D.K. Buford RB 5'11, 231 JR 3 8 0 2.7 0 0.00% 0 (0)

If Cal fails to contain the poor Ole Miss run game then we will be in for a long game. Ole Miss has thrown the ball 78 times to running the ball 44 times. Which is close to a 2 to 1 ratio of passing to rushing... Sounds like a Sonny Dykes lead level balance statistic.

Ole Miss Receivers

Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Targets Catches Yards TD Yds/ Catch Yds/ Target Catch Rate Success Rate Target Rate
Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Targets Catches Yards TD Yds/ Catch Yds/ Target Catch Rate Success Rate Target Rate
D.K. Metcalf WR 6'4, 225 FR 20 13 121 1 9.3 6.1 65.00% 50.00% 26.00%
A.J. Brown WR 6'1, 225 SO 17 16 389 4 24.3 22.9 94.10% 82.40% 22.10%
DaMarkus Lodge WR 6'2, 199 JR 15 11 184 3 16.7 12.3 73.30% 66.70% 19.50%
Van Jefferson WR 6'2, 195 SO 9 5 54 0 10.8 6 55.60% 44.40% 11.70%
Jordan Wilkins RB 6'1, 217 SR 6 6 64 1 10.7 10.7 100.00% 66.70% 7.80%
D'Vaughn Pennamon RB 5'11, 238 SO 4 3 61 0 20.3 15.3 75.00% 75.00% 5.20%
Markell Pack WR 6'2, 185 SR 3 3 27 0 9 9 100.00% 66.70% 3.90%
Eric Swinney RB 5'9, 214 SO 1 1 12 0 12 12 100.00% 100.00% 1.30%
Octavious Cooley TE 6'3, 268 SO 1 1 4 0 4 4 100.00% 0.00% 1.30%
Ty Quick TE 6'3, 264 SR 1 1 2 0 2 2 100.00% 0.00% 1.30%

The WRs faced FCS/low-end FBS level DBs which explains their high catch rates and yards per target. Yet still, A.J. Brown’s ridiculous catch rate and yards per target have to be taken seriously due to the high level of productivity. Overall all of the major targets of the Ole Miss passing game are larger than the Cal DBs from a height and weight perspective. This will be a huge match-up for Cal and will probably decide the wins on 50/50 balls.

Ole Miss Overall Defense

Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Category Avg. Rk Nat'l Avg.
Success Rate 37.00% 53 39.80%
IsoPPP 1.18 73 1.16
Avg. FP 29.4 77 29.7
Pts. Per Trip in 40 5.1 103 4.3

Cal needs to exploit the weakness on the defense on Ole Miss. It is not as bad as the current data on Cal, however, this game has the makings of an offensive shoot-out and whomever bends but does not breaks more. Ole Miss has higher odds against a Cal offense that was lackluster against Weber State. The first quarter will probably tell the story of the whole game if Cal can’t get hot quickly.

Ole Miss Defensive Footprint

Category Team Rk Nat'l Average
Category Team Rk Nat'l Average
Std. Downs Run Rate 69.60% 19 58.80%
Pass. Downs Run Rate 48.00% 15 33.70%
Overall Havoc Rate 16.30% 71 17.00%
DL Havoc Rate 7.80% 27 5.30%
LB Havoc Rate 3.10% 90 4.80%
DB Havoc Rate 5.40% 82 6.70%
PD to INC 31.60% 63 32.80%

The DL has a potential to be game wrecking, but if the game plan can allow for Bowers to the get the ball out quickly to not let the DL disrupt the offense too often, then we might be able to mitigate the DL. However, this number has to be taken with a grain of salt due to the fact that, indeed, Ole Miss faced two back to back cupcakes and the DL might’ve been feasting on a simple talent and athleticism mismatch rather than genuine skill. Most of that disruption came from DE Victor Evans (6’3” 243) who has 3.5 TFLs, 0.5 sacks, and 3 run stuffs and a 25% success rate.

Ole Miss 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**
C.J. Moore DB 5'11, 198 JR 10.5 1 (0) 1 0 (0) 0 63.60%
DeMarquis Gates LB 6'2, 221 SR 8 1 (0) 1 0 (2) 0 27.30%
A.J. Moore DB 5'11, 202 SR 7.5 3 (1) 2 0 (0) 0 42.90%
Josiah Coatney DT 6'4, 302 SO 7.5 2 (0) 3 0 (0) 0 10.00%
Zedrick Woods DB 5'11, 201 JR 7.5 0 (0) 1 0 (2) 0 71.40%
Marquis Haynes DE 6'3, 230 SR 6.5 0.5 (0.5) 2 0 (0) 0 44.40%
Victor Evans DE 6'3, 243 JR 6 3.5 (0.5) 3 0 (0) 0 25.00%
Jaylon Jones DB 5'11, 186 SO 5.5 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 83.30%
Myles Hartsfield DB 5'11, 199 SO 4.5 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 66.70%
Detric Bing-Dukes LB 6'1, 254 JR 4.5 0 (0) 1 0 (0) 0 40.00%
Willie Hibbler LB 6'3, 227 SO 4 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 1 60.00%
Charles Wiley DE 6'2, 258 FR 3.5 1 (0) 1 0 (0) 0 25.00%
Benito Jones DT 6'2, 315 SO 3.5 1 (0) 2 0 (0) 0 25.00%
Donta Evans LB 6'1, 236 FR 3.5 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 60.00%
Breeland Speaks DT 6'3, 285 JR 3.5 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 20.00%
Austrian Robinson DT 6'4, 280 SO 2.5 1 (0) 1 0 (0) 0 33.30%
D.D. Bowie DB 6'0, 180 FR 2 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 50.00%
Jalen Julius DB 5'10, 188 SO 2 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 66.70%
C.J. Miller DB 6'0, 191 FR 2 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 100.00%

Ole Miss doesn’t generate many turnovers, with only 1 FF and no INTs Cal should aim to keep the stats at that level. Another player worth watching, the Josiah Coatney who keeps the success rate at 10%. Cal might have to put the game in the hands of Bowers and the short passing game to mitigate the DL. That would relieve the pressure on the gelling OL and with Tre being out for the year it would help the hobbled run game.

Final Thoughts

Cal is in for a shoot-out. With Shea Patterson and A.J. Brown finding the rhythm that we crave for our own Ross bowers and Demetris Robertson. With the Cal offense, there is a lot of hope running on the fact that Cal is facing a borderline mediocre defense under Saturday night lights. With the emergence of out ILBs Ray Davison and Devante Downs we hope to be able to force Ole Miss one dimensional with their passing attack and despite the size mismatch, be able to force Patterson into tougher situations than he has faced against past opposition.

Errata: Thanks for noticing the errors Mallrat!

GO BEARS!