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USC 27, Colorado 24: Another 'this close' game for the Buffaloes

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Top 5 Plays

Play Number

Offense

Down

Distance

Spot

Quarter

Play Description

Home Team Win Probability

Home Team Win Probability Added

1

176

USC

2

11

28

4

Team Kneeldown

0.229

-0.229

2

154

Colorado

2

1

1

4

Cade Apsay Pass to George Frazier for 1, TOUCHDOWN

0.198

0.177

3

133

Colorado

4

9

34

4

FIELD_GOAL

0.428

-0.174

4

116

Colorado

1

10

63

3

Christian Powell Rush for -3, FUMBLE

0.760

-0.161

5

134

USC

1

10

36

4

Cody Kessler Pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster for 36, TOUCHDOWN

0.254

-0.157

USC 27, Colorado 24

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics Colorado USC Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 67 64
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 100.0%
Avg Starting FP 38.6 31.4 29.7
Possessions 11 12
Scoring Opportunities*
6 6
Points Per Opportunity 4.00 4.50 4.73
Leverage Rate** 68.7% 75.0% 68.1%
Close S&P*** 0.535 0.579 0.586
* 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?) Colorado USC
Total 25.6 31.3
Rushing 10.1 13.7
Passing 15.4 17.6
Success Rate (what's this?) Colorado USC Nat'l Avg
All (close) 46.3% 45.3% 41.7%
Rushing (close) 43.3% 40.0% 42.7%
Passing (close) 48.7% 51.7% 40.7%
Standard Downs 50.0% 50.0% 46.9%
Passing Downs 38.1% 31.3% 30.5%
IsoPPP (what's this?) Colorado USC Nat'l Avg
All (close) 0.83 1.08 1.26
Rushing (close) 0.78 0.98 1.07
Passing (close) 0.86 1.17 1.48
Standard Downs 0.83 1.12 1.11
Passing Downs 0.82 0.89 1.77
Line Stats Colorado USC Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 2.54 2.83 2.88
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 22.2% 0.0% 4.9%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 10.5% 22.2% 7.6%
Turnovers Colorado USC
Turnovers 1 1
Turnover Points (what's this?) 4.1 4.8
Turnover Margin +0
Exp. TO Margin Colorado +0.66
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) USC +0.66
TO Points Margin Colorado +0.7 points
Situational Colorado USC
Q1 S&P 0.701 0.599
Q2 S&P 0.554 0.515
Q3 S&P 0.485 0.721
Q4 S&P 0.380 0.681
1st Down S&P 0.536 0.575
2nd Down S&P 0.614 0.678
3rd Down S&P 0.495 0.499
Projected Scoring Margin: USC by 5.1
Actual Scoring Margin: USC by 3

The USC Trojans have trailed in the beginning of every game since Clay Helton took over. This game, against a team that was just blown out by Stanford, they were down by as many as 14 and trailed by 11 at the half.

Colorado won the field position battle, aided by a big kick return and a punt return by Nelson Spruce that put the ball at the USC 2. Since Helton has taken over, SC has given up a big punt or kick return in every game except the Cal game. You play with fire doing that, and it makes it very difficult to win games when you lose the field position battle.

Formations/Basics

USC Colorado
Backs-Wide % of Plays Yds/Play % of Plays Yds/Play
0 backs, 5 wide 6.0% 2.8
1 back, 2 wide 12.9% 8.8 28.4% 3.3
1 back, 3 wide 45.2% 4.8 32.8% 4.7
1 back, 4 wide 11.3% 3.7 17.9% 2.4
2 backs, 0 wide 4.5% 1.3
2 backs, 2 wide 24.2% 3.9 9.0% 10.5
2 backs, 3 wide 6.5% 12.0 1.5% 9.0
No Huddle? % of Plays Yds/Play
USC 100.0% 5.4
Colorado 100.0% 4.2
USC Colorado
Hash % of Plays Yds/Play % of Plays Yds/Play
Left 25.8% 5.0 35.8% 5.1
Middle 9.7% 8.3 28.4% 1.4
Right 64.5% 5.2 35.8% 5.5

Whereas Sarkisian's USC teams were highly explosive, Helton's team has tended to lean more toward the efficiency spectrum. Only one play went for more than 30 yards: the TD pass to Juju Smith-Schuster. He has also changed the offense to be obviously run-heavy with every game aside from Notre Dame featuring more runs than passes.

Passing

USC Colorado
Passing Comp Rt Yds/Pass Passing Comp Rt Yds/Pass
Behind Line 3-3, 24 yards 100.0% 8.0 5-5, 15 yards 100.0% 3.0
0 to 4 5-6, 26 yards 83.3% 4.3 7-8, 47 yards 87.5% 5.9
5 to 9 4-7, 68 yards 57.1% 9.7 8-8, 72 yards 100.0% 9.0
10 to 19 4-8, 50 yards 50.0% 6.3 1-2, 12 yards 50.0% 6.0
20 to 29 0-1, 0 yards 0.0% 0.0 2-5, 40 yards 40.0% 8.0
30-plus 1-2, 36 yards 50.0% 18.0 1-3, 36 yards 33.3% 12.0
USC Colorado
% Blitz: 41.4% 50.0%
Avg. Rushers 4.6 4.5
Passing (no blitz) 11-17, 126 yards, 0 sacks, 7.4 yds. per att. 13-16, 100 yards, 2 sacks, 5.6 yds. per att.
Passing (blitz) 6-10, 78 yards, 2 sacks, 6.5 yds. per att. 10-14, 121 yards, 4 sacks, 6.7 yds. per att.
Reason for INC/INT USC Colorado
QB Fault 5 3
Good Defense 2 1
WR Fault 2 2

The best thing about the Helton era (although the defense is still led by Justin Wilcox) is the improved pressure they've been getting on the QB. With six more sacks this week they've recorded multiple sacks in every game aside from the Cal game and 12 in two weeks.

Rushing

USC Colorado
Rush-Yds YPC Rush-Yds YPC
To Edge 10-65 6.5 4-21 5.3
Toward Tackle 15-44 2.9 9-44 4.9
Up Middle 5-22 4.4 14-24 1.7

Justin Davis was the star of the run game this week, as Ronald Jones II struggled for the first time in his career. Davis was efficient if not terribly explosive, and it was evident Colorado wanted no business of giving Jones room to hit the 2nd level.

QB Activity

USC Colorado
QB Move Rushes-Yds Passes-Yds Sacks-Yds Rushes-Yds Passes-Yds Sacks-Yds
Rollout 1-9 1-1
Option - zone read 2-2
QB Draw 1-9
Sack - in pocket 1-(-6) 5-(-33)
Sack - QB fault 1-(-8)

Cody Kessler took two more sacks on third down, which is happening way too often. There is some higher probability in that since USC has been getting into too many passing downs, but still, other than a turnover that is the worst possible result for the quarterback.