Utah vs. USC
October 20, 2018 at 5:10pm
Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT: 46,405
Total Time: 3 hours 12 minutes
Seven games in and the USC Trojans are in full Clay Helton road game form: anemic offense, bad snaps, and uninspired coaching that left freshman quarterback, JT Daniels, exiting the game with a possible concussion. If not for a few lucky plays, the offense would have been held scoreless for the first three quarters of the game.
The defense may have faltered towards the end, but I would attribute that fault more to the offense. Week in and week out, they have to endure being on the field for 30% more plays and nearly 10 minutes of game time on the field than the failing offense. By the end of this Utah game, they looked absolutely exhausted, so Utah could continue to race them to death using perimeter runs.
I thought last week was a statistical anomaly, but this one is definitely worse in the grand scheme of things (especially since it ended in a loss). In fact, “anomaly” may not be the right word; this has definitely become a pattern for Clay Helton and his coaching staff. Year three is usually when a head coach fully installs their system and philosophy, leading to a strong team or a hollow mess of one. Find me one person that can believe it’s the former.
Ridiculous Stat of the Week #1: 205 yards of total offense. That’s seriously half of what Utah’s QB, Tyler Huntley, produced himself (398 total yards).
Ridiculous Stat of the Week #2: USC punted as many times as Utah scored (7). USC scored as many times at Utah punted (4).
Ridiculous Stat of the Week #3: The Trojans ran less than 60 plays (54), which resulted in a time of possession that was 9:32 less than their opponent.
Misleading Stat of the Week: 20% of USC’s first downs were a direct result of a Utah penalty and 10% were from fourth down conversions…but that’s only because USC only had a total of 10 first downs through the entire game. Ridiculous Stat of the Week #4: In the first half, USC’s defense had more sacks (5) than USC’s offense had first downs (4).
Ridiculous Stat of the Week #5: All three of Helton’s losses this season have been by double digits. They average a 16 point differential per loss.
Uplifting Stat of the Week #1: Only 2 penalties for 20 yards!! Yay!…Yet, by the end of the third quarter, they still had more penalties (2) than first downs (0 of 10)…I’m bad at this uplifting thing, huh?
Uplifting Stat of the Week #2: A 310 pound Jay Tufele ran 48 yards for a touchdown.