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Study Hall: Utah 24, USC 21

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Via Matt Mills:

Utah 24, USC 21

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics USC Utah Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 70 74
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 100.0%
Avg Starting FP 20.8 34.2 29.8
Possessions 13 12
Scoring Opportunities*
4 5
Points Per Opportunity 3.50 3.40 4.70
Leverage Rate** 74.3% 71.6% 68.2%
Close S&P*** 0.464 0.461 0.506
* A scoring opportunity occurs when an offense gets a first down inside the opponent's 40 (or scores from outside the 40).
** Leverage Rate = Standard Downs / (Standard Downs + Passing Downs)
*** When using IsoPPP, the S&P formula is (0.8*Success Rate) + (0.2*IsoPPP)
EqPts (what's this?) USC Utah
Total 19.2 19.6
Rushing 4.9 10.0
Passing 14.3 9.5
Success Rate (what's this?) USC Utah Nat'l Avg
All (close) 41.4% 41.9% 41.9%
Rushing (close) 34.3% 35.0% 43.4%
Passing (close) 48.6% 50.0% 40.3%
Standard Downs 36.5% 43.4% 47.1%
Passing Downs 55.6% 38.1% 30.6%
IsoPPP (what's this?) USC Utah Nat'l Avg
All (close) 0.66 0.63 0.85
Rushing (close) 0.40 0.72 0.73
Passing (close) 0.84 0.56 0.99
Standard Downs 0.55 0.63 0.77
Passing Downs 0.86 0.63 1.14
Line Stats USC Utah Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 2.51 2.62 2.92
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 4.8% 5.3% 4.7%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 7.1% 6.7% 7.5%
Turnovers USC Utah
Turnovers 2 2
Turnover Points (what's this?) 13.4 12.9
Turnover Margin +0
Exp. TO Margin USC +1.17
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) Utah +1.17
TO Points Margin Utah +0.5 points
Situational USC Utah
Q1 S&P 0.619 0.567
Q2 S&P 0.178 0.326
Q3 S&P 0.213 0.445
Q4 S&P 0.576 0.591
1st Down S&P 0.457 0.413
2nd Down S&P 0.392 0.527
3rd Down S&P 0.615 0.443
Projected Scoring Margin: Utah by 0.9
Actual Scoring Margin: Utah by 3

This was one of the stranger games of the week on paper. USC and Utah were almost dead in efficiency, explosiveness, and finishing drives. Plus, both teams had a return touchdown (Utah via fumble return, USC via kickoff), so that cancels out. With all of those factors even, one would assume that a 14-yard field position advantage for Utah would have resulted in an easier victory, but it did not. The Utes still needed a fourth-down stuff and a last-second touchdown to win.

Regardless, they DID win, and they're now 6-1 and 32nd in F/+. Win in Tempe this Saturday (a tall task), and they might become the South favorites with Arizona coming to SLC in a few weeks.

As for USC, the Trojans are still a healthy 23rd in F/+, but the defense has trailed off dramatically from last year. I was able to convince myself that the offense would improve a bit and the defense would still be really good after Justin Wilcox took thd coordinator baton from Clancy Pendergast. Not so much. USC's up to 13th in Off. F/+ but down to 41st in Def. F/+. The leakiness has been costly enough for the Trojans to lose three games by six or fewer points. They used up quite a bit of karma in those Stanford and Arizona wins, evidently.