College Football Data and Advanced Stats Preview: Notre Dame VS USC

Well people right here we’re at (shut) to the top of the highway. It’s Week 13 and the Notre Dame soccer program is closing out its common season with a rivalry sport towards USC.

With the week-to-week craziness that is been the defining attribute of the Irish’s 2022 marketing campaign, I had virtually forgotten how massive of a matchup that is. As somebody’s who’s faculty soccer consciousness actually got here into type put up Bush push and USC’s heyday, the rivalry has all the time meant extra due to cultural stuff as a substitute of precise play.

Growing up in Louisiana, California and the Pac-12 (or perhaps simply the Pac-10 now?) appeared like a faraway land. If Notre Dame soccer simply barely penetrated the SEC’s protection mechanisms simply think about how little about Cali groups made its approach down. Before attending to South Bend in 2009, my greatest image of California and USC soccer was a extremely bizarre collab of palm timber, surfboards and Sunshine bear in mind the Titans.

Over the years, that picture has gotten far more detailed, largely coloured by high-powered passing offenses, quarterbacks who all appear to be eligible for worldwide modeling contracts and a whole disregard for the defensive side of soccer. As Notre Dame will get set to face off towards the 10-1 USC Trojans in Los Angeles, not so much about that profile has modified.

The Trojans are considerably of a juggernaut coming into this sport. Their solely loss on the season got here in Week 7 to Utah and with a #5 rating they’re proper on the College Football Playoff bubble. While I can not deny that they have some actually good issues going for them this season, their success comes with the perennial asterisks of the Pac-12 competitors pool and how that interprets to matchups with groups type different areas (and extra diversified soccer methods). Although I will not go so far as saying that they are as a lot of a possible dud as Michigan this season, given this issue there’s some chance that the Irish may be capable of overcome their underdog odds and stroll away with an enormous win to cap off what’s for sure going to be a storied common season.

So let’s have a look at what the info has to inform us about USC going into the sport.

Definite Scoring Advantage to the Trojans

It ought to come as no shock to us {that a} USC program places a variety of factors on the scoreboard. Through twelve weeks of soccer, USC has outscored Notre Dame 492-341. The Irish have turned their scoring troubles round by the season’s remaining stretch however the Trojans nonetheless have a definitive edge. USC is averaging round 43 whole factors per sport with a season excessive of 66 in Week 1 (towards Rice) and a low of 30 in Week 6 towards Washington State.

Scoring development and comparability.

The Trojans are averaging near 513 whole yards of offense per sport. In the center of the season they hit some roadblocks on this space however have been on considerably of a yardage tear since Week 7. Their season excessive of 649 whole yards got here final week in a shootout with UCLA that they walked away from with a 48-45 win.

Total yards development and comparability.

Strong Season for Caleb Williams

USC’s passing sport has been the principle driver of their offensive success. They’re averaging round 331 passing yards per sport and hit a excessive of 470 yards final week towards UCLA. The season acquired off to a slower begin for passing however they’ve discovered their groove now and the Irish secondary goes to be going through its hardest take a look at of the yr. If the performances of Benjamin Morrison and the ND squad the final couple of weeks stays intact on the highway, although, I’m assured we’ll be up for the problem.

Passing yards development and comparability.

The Trojan’s sophomore quarterback, Caleb Williams is having a rockstar season. He’s accomplished 65% of 385 makes an attempt for a whopping 3,480 yards. That passing success has been accompanied by solely 3 interceptions however a mixed 20 sacks.

Passer comparisons for Notre Dame and USC by Week 12.

Rushing Game because the Secondary Strategy

USC’s floor sport had a way more vital function within the offensive manufacturing earlier within the season. They’re averaging round 192 whole dashing yards per sport.

Rushing yards development and comparability.

In phrases of effectivity, they’re getting slightly below 5 yards per carry, with the massive outlier of seven.4 yards per try within the Week 1 rout of Rice.

Rushing makes an attempt development and comparability.

Avg. yards per rush development and comparability.

Senior operating again Travis Dye is the Trojan’s definitive dashing standout. Dye is averaging 6.1 yards per keep it up 145 makes an attempt and has tallied up 46% (884) of the group’s general dashing yards. Austin Jones is a detailed second, averaging 6.2 yards on 73 makes an attempt. Notre Dame’s protection entrance is firing on all cylinders so sustaining the Trojan’s floor unit does not maintain me up at evening an excessive amount of.

Rushing particulars for USC by Week 12.

A Deep Trojan Receiving Corps

In true Pac-12 type, the Trojan’s boast a extremely deep receiving corps. For receivers with greater than 10 receptions on the yr, junior broad receiver Jordan Addison is the chief. Addison is averaging 15 yards per reception on 51 catches. He tallied up 22% (765) of the group’s collective receiving yards. The receiving threats can actually come from in every single place, although.

Receiving particulars for USC by Week 12.

Low Odds for Turnovers

For a group that depends so closely on its offense, USC is actually stingy with giving up the ball. Through twelve weeks of play they’ve solely racked up 1 misplaced fumble and thrown 3 interceptions. The Irish protection has been doing a little actually spectacular work forcing turnover late within the season however the odds aren’t in our favor that that’ll proceed within the common season nearer.

Lost fumble development by Week 12 for USC.

Interception development by Week 12 for USC.

Porous USC Defense

When your offense is frequently placing up a ton of factors, I assume it does not matter what your protection does. At least that is what the Pac-12 philosophy has been for some time now and is essentially the case for the 2022 Trojans.

USC’s protection has allowed a mean of 405 whole yards per sport. They’ve progressively gotten worse on this space because the season has pushed alongside. They allowed a season excessive of 562 whole yards in Week 7 towards Utah and gave up 513 final week towards UCLA. While ND’s offense is not fairly as prolific because the opponents that USC has confronted, it paints a promising image for general success.

Defense (whole yards allowed) development and comparability.

The Trojan’s protection has confirmed comparably extra inclined to opponents’ passing assault (not essentially the go to for Notre Dame), a there’s limitations for what which means for this matchup given the Pac-12 airing it out philosophy. They’re giving up a mean of near 150 yards on the bottom to opponents and let each Stanford and UCLA run for 200+ yards.

Defense (passing yards allowed) development and comparability.

Defense (dashing yards allowed) development and comparability.

It’s positively going to be a problem to Notre Dame to stroll out of the Coliseum with a W on Saturday.

Our offense is (knock-on-wood) in a spot that we do not have to fret a lot about it being a legal responsibility as a substitute of an asset. But the protection will likely be assembly its hardest opponent of the yr and the secondary goes to need to play lights out to include Caleb Williams and the Trojan’s proficient receiver corps.

Without a bunch of comparable video games to take a look at, it is powerful to say that simply by the numbers the group will pull it out. But we have seen some particular issues by the final leg of this yr’s Irish soccer marketing campaign I believe it’s going to go right down to the wire however ND pulls some defensive and particular groups rabbits out of the hat and finishes the season with a powerful win.

Cheers and Go Irish!!

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