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Utah 30, California 24: Utes remain fun, aggressive, unstable, and opportunistic

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Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

utahcal

Top 5 Plays

Play Number

Offense

Down

Distance

Spot

Quarter

Play Description

Home Team Win Probability Before Play

Home Team Win Probability Added

1

79

Utah

1

10

54

2

Travis Wilson Pass to Cory Butler-Byrd for 54, TOUCHDOWN

0.626

0.147

2

201

Utah

3

12

81

4

Kneeldown

0.861

0.139

3

174

California

1

10

35

4

Jared Goff Pass INTERCEPTED

0.752

0.131

4

62

Utah

2

6

56

2

Travis Wilson Pass INTERCEPTED

0.697

-0.129

5

37

Utah

1

10

40

1

Devontae Booker Rush for 40, TOUCHDOWN

0.520

0.115

Utah 30, California 24

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics California Utah Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 75 77
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 100.0%
Avg Starting FP 30.5 33.6 29.6
Possessions 15 16
Scoring Opportunities*
9 7
Points Per Opportunity 2.67 4.29 4.76
Leverage Rate** 72.0% 71.4% 68.1%
Close S&P*** 0.627 0.572 0.585
* 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?) California Utah
Total 42.1 39.1
Rushing 11.5 24.0
Passing 30.5 15.1
Success Rate (what's this?) California Utah Nat'l Avg
All (close) 50.7% 39.0% 41.5%
Rushing (close) 60.0% 42.0% 42.5%
Passing (close) 46.0% 33.3% 40.5%
Standard Downs 59.3% 49.1% 47.0%
Passing Downs 28.6% 13.6% 29.8%
IsoPPP (what's this?) California Utah Nat'l Avg
All (close) 1.11 1.30 1.26
Rushing (close) 0.77 1.14 1.07
Passing (close) 1.33 1.68 1.48
Standard Downs 0.95 1.28 1.11
Passing Downs 1.93 1.51 1.79
Line Stats California Utah Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 4.29 3.33 2.84
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 9.4% 0.0% 5.0%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 0.0% 7.1% 7.2%
Turnovers California Utah
Turnovers 6 3
Turnover Points (what's this?) 23.7 12.4
Turnover Margin Utah +3
Exp. TO Margin Utah +1.76
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) Utah +1.24
TO Points Margin Utah +11.3 points
Situational California Utah
Q1 S&P 0.704 0.623
Q2 S&P 0.646 0.661
Q3 S&P 0.676 0.595
Q4 S&P 0.544 0.352
1st Down S&P 0.649 0.616
2nd Down S&P 0.658 0.675
3rd Down S&P 0.646 0.440
Projected Scoring Margin: Utah by 8.4
Actual Scoring Margin: Utah by 6

Because of the title race, we end up viewing games like this in terms of both the entertainment they provide and what they can tell us about the future. For the former, this game was nuts. Instability can be pretty fun, after all. You had nine turnovers, you had the Utah offense stopping Cal in Ute territory twice in the fourth quarter, you had a few big plays, you had plot twists. You had a lot.

In terms of what it can tell us about the future, though? It told me that I still don't trust Utah. And maybe that's on me. From a resume standpoint, the Utes should rank awfully high -- the Michigan win just keeps looking better, and even though Wazzu also just won in Eugene, the Cougars didn't do it by 42 points like Utah.

But I don't look at things from a resume standpoint, especially not in mid-October. Utah looks like a fun, aggressive, top-20 team to me, maybe even top-10 or top-15. But they don't look like a true national title-caliber team. At least, they don't yet.

It's not up to me, though. Go 13-0 and it doesn't matter. Go 12-1, and it might not matter. So we'll see. I encourage more games like this, though. That was fun.