Monday, September 08, 2008

Southern Cal Defense: Scary Like Spiders

So Southern Cal stomped Virginia 52-7 on week one and instantly became the top ranked team in the land. Their offense clearly had no trouble scoring on UVA. But what about that Trojan defense and how they dominated and shut down the Cavaliers? Let's peek inside the numbers shall we?

USC held UVA to only 187 total yards. 155 passing and 32 rushing. 56 plays and 3.34 yards per play.
USC held UVA to only 7 points.
USC forced 4 turnovers.

Impressive? Maybe. Have you wondered how bad the Virginia offense might be? Yeah, me too. So let's see how Richmond's defense fared against UVA.

Richmond held UVA to only 295 total yards. 204 passing and 91 rushing. 77 plays and 3.83 yards per play.
Richmond held the UVA offense to only 10 points.
Richmond forced 2 turnovers.

I know what you might be saying... "USC had such a huge lead that they unloaded the bench in the 4th quarter and gave up some garbage yardage." So let's throw out the 4th quarter of each game and take another look.

Through 3 quarters:

USC held UVA to 158 total yards on 47 plays for 3.36 yards per play.
Richmond held UVA to 242 yards on 62 plays for 3.90 yards per play.

USC held UVA to 7 points.
Richmond held UVA to 3 points.

USC forced 1 turnover.
Richmond forced 2 turnovers.

So, through 3 quarters Richmond surrendered 4 fewer points and only 19 inches more per play than the #1 team in America. (As it turns out, if you look at all 4 quarters, the difference in yards per play is 0.49 yards per play - or 17.6 inches.) You do know that Richmond is a 1-AA football team, right? Now I am not saying that USC isn't a great football team. They are. But, I am saying that the Virginia offense is terrible and that perhaps the poll voters jizzed a little prematurely in moving them to #1. Nevertheless, after USC pummels Ohio State - who also has a terrible offense - it will be a moot point.

What do you say?


Bop said...

This is a great post. I'm convinced Georgia Southern would probably beat UVA. Duke looks like the only possible win left on UVA's schedule. They are BAD. This UVA team would be a middle of the road Southern Conference team.

Yet, the almighty trojans get all this credit for whipping them on the road. It was a 3-0 game vs Richmond with 7 minutes left in the game!!!

Central Mich would beat UVA on the road by 21+ pts. The ACC is pathetic and Virginia is at the very bottom of the barrel.

Hunker Down said...

You preach the truth BOP!

LeakBrewerGator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeakBrewerGator said...

I gotta agree. UVA is a horrible team in a horrible conference.

Why would anyone be surprised that USC would jump to number 1 after beating them?

Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't start the season number 1. The WWL seems to always blow their collective load to hype up SC to the masses.

USC thumping UVA is the top story on College Football Live all week. However, USC losing to Stanford last year didn't even get the pub that Syracuse beating Louisville got on the WWL.

Makes me sick.....

BTW - Can't wait for November 1st!

You guys finally made the series interesting again.

I kid, I kid......

Hunker Down said...


I was also surprised that USC did not start the year as consensus #1. I think the rankings are near meaningless now and look for most claims to be settled on the field - like Nov 1. Let's hope that game is as huge as we are now planning on it being.

You are correct about the series being interesting again. Can't wait - but oh, so much football between now and then.