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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 10, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Comparing UW’s and USC’s conference-only stats

With so few games in a season, and so many vagaries within those seasons, college football statistics are not quite the potentially accurate indicator of the future as those in, say, baseball.

But comparing the conference-only stats of UW and USC may provide about much insight as statistics ever could. Each team has played six conference games and five have come against the same opponents — Utah, Colorado, Arizona, California and Stanford. Each beat the first four but lost to Stanford. The only difference in the schedules saw UW host Oregon and USC play at Arizona State — you’d give the edge for strength of schedule there to the Huskies, obviously, but the home-and-road difference mitigates it somewhat.

That said, let’s take a look at some of the signigicant conference-only stats of the Huskies and Trojans (you can find all of them here):
SCORING OFFENSE
USC 35.5 (fourth in Pac-12)
Washington 32.3 (fifth)
SCORING DEFENSE
USC 30.0 (eighth)
Washington 31.8 (ninth)
TOTAL OFFENSE
USC 451.0 (fourth)
Washington 429.8 (sixth)
TOTAL DEFENSE
Washington 411.3 (sixth)
USC 415.7 (eighth)
RUSHING OFFENSE
Washington 171.7 (fourth)
USC 158.3 (fifth)
RUSHING DEFENSE
USC 122.3 (fourth)
Washington 146.8 (fifth)
PASS OFFENSE
USC 292.7 (third)
Washington 258.2 (sixth)
PASS DEFENSE
Washington 264.5 (seventh)
USC 293.3 (11th)
PASS EFFICIENCY
Washington 152.8 (second)
USC 150.9 (third)
PASS DEFENSE EFFICIENCY
Washington 133.2 (seventh)
USC 133.6 (eighth)
KICKOFF RETURNS
Washington 23.8 (fourth)
USC 17.9 (11th)
PUNT RETURN
USC 10.6 (third)
Washington 6.6 (eighth)
SACKS BY
USC 10-82 (tied seventh)
Washington 10-89 (tied seventh)
SACKS AGAINST
USC 4-22 (second)
Washington 15-86 (eighth)
3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS
Washington 53.8 percent (second)
USC 41.7 (sixth)
OPPONENTS 3RD-DN CONVERSIONS
USC 41 percent (seventh)
Washington 45.6 (ninth)

TURNOVER MARGIN
Washington Minus-3 (tied eighth)
USC Minus-4 (10th)

The general consensus? Pretty darn even overall, moreso than I might have thought before looking at them all. One caveat — USC’s game with Stanford went three overtimes, the Cardinal scoring 22 points in those three periods and piling up a few other numbers (though USC also had three offensive possessions, as well).

You probably could have won a bet that UW’s pass defense would rate more highly than USC’s —- the Trojans gave up a season-high 425 to Arizona.

One difference that stands out — USC allowing just four sacks while UW has allowed 15, and neither team ranking high in getting sacks on defense. That could be a game-changing edge for USC if Matt Barkley continues to have all kinds of time to throw.

Overall, though, this game has the makings of another offensive shootout, though USC having the obvious homefield edge — always an X factor that can’t be calculated in the stats.

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