By the Numbers: USC's 2019 Rushing Stats (from Shravan Janakiraman)

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by ErikMcKinney, Aug 25, 2020.

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  2. AMLTrojan

    AMLTrojan Junior Member


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    #2
    This falls under the category of lies, damn lies, and statistics. Our running game last year doesn't require much analysis. It basically went like this:
    - When the coaches insisted on rotating Malepeai and Carr, with Stepp as an afterthought, our running attack was mediocre (not terrible, but not reliably effective either).
    - When the coaches started realizing Stepp was an unstoppable beast, our running game looked good, and the real frustration was that we didn't run the ball more.
    - When injuries piled up and we had to resort to Christon and even St. Brown in the backfield, other than against Arizona's Charmin D, our run game was putrid, and pace Mike Leach and June Jones, we only ran the ball as an occasional offspeed pitch.
     
  3. ErikMcKinney

    ErikMcKinney Administrator

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    #3
    When I talked to Mike Jinks about the running backs just after spring ball was shut down, he had a quote about Stepp that has stuck with me. He said, "I think we all kind of figured out what was happening there" when talking about Stepp starting to take on a bigger role. The coaches just didn't seem comfortable with him as the lead back early on in the season, but it feels like--had he not gotten hurt--that they were prepared to ride with him over the second half of the season.

    https://wearesc.com/usc-tailbacks-will-be-rested-and-ready-to-run/
     
  4. gubo&palanka

    gubo&palanka Points Member

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    #4
    Nice feature.
     
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  5. BigRex

    BigRex Points Member


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    #6
    I thought this was great analysis. I think one more thing needed, was to compare the rushing stats when they won to when they lost. Running the ball against a weak team is vastly different from running it against Oregon. USC needs to be willing to run the ball even if they aren't successful early in the game. Sometimes a successful running attack just means the will to run the ball. Slovis is like free candy. It's so easy to get one nine or ten yard completion every time. And, as USC passes more and more and more, the chances that Slovis gets hurt gets geometrically higher. In the end you get an injured QB and a spent defense.
     
  6. Peete2Affholter

    Peete2Affholter Junior Member


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    #7
    A strong running attack has numerous benefits besides just pretty statistics.
     
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  7. Rodgarnay51

    Rodgarnay51 Junior Member


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    #8
    I think this is very interesting. Thank you Erik and Shavran. Personally, I think if I had a passer like Slovis and receivers like Pittman, St. Brown, Vaughans and London, I'd pass on most plays too. I don't think this is a bad thing when you have great skill players and a somewhat shaky offensive line. It's interesting that Shavran uses Slovis, Burrow and Darnold as his models. Three highly skilled passers, especially the first two. And they all had great receivers to throw to as well.

    However, these stats also indicate that it's best to not neglect the running game entirely.

    There are some eye-popping stats here in terms of third-down conversions and short-yardage, red-zone and goal-line situations. The stats also clearly point to a lack of half-time adjustments, even advance scouting of opponents. We all know how bad SC was in the 3rd quarter last year. The obvious example was against BYU. There is no way SC should have lost that game, except for they either couldn't or wouldn't run the ball against a team that dropped 8 into coverage. You must be able to run the ball a little bit! They put a lot of the shoulders of a talented but young and inexperienced QB.

    Why don't they at least put in some short yardage packages/formations? That to me is the Achilles Heel of the Air Raid and throwing on every down.
     
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  8. AMLTrojan

    AMLTrojan Junior Member


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    #9
    Yep, we should've run Stepp down their throats until they changed defensive tactics. That was rookie Air Raid playcalling there that killed us.
     
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  9. CFB Fan

    CFB Fan Junior Member


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    #10
    Rush yards are twice as valuable than passing yards.
     

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