Interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron has USC Believing Again

Nov 15, 2013

Ed Orgeron has USC Believing Again

Don’t look now but USC  has reeled off three consecutive SU and ATS wins over Utah (19-3), Oregon State (31-14) and California (62-28).  If it were not for a couple of missed field goals against Notre Dame, the Trojans would be a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS under interim head coach Ed Orgeron. Regardless, USC has regained its swagger and enters tonight’s pivotal Pac-12 contest with a surging offense that is averaging 37.3 points over the last three games, including 5.1 yards per rush play, 9.6 yards per pass attempt and 7.0 yards per play.  The Trojans’ explosive attack is best epitomized by the fact that they are averaging an incredible 11.1 yards per point over the last three weeks and 12.8 yards per point against conference opponents.

Overall, USC is averaging 29.0 points per game at 4.8 yards per rush play, 8.2 yards per pass play and 6.2 yards per play, which is 0.7 yards per rush play, 0.8 yards per pass attempt and 0.6 yards per play better than average offensively in 2013.  While USC certainly possesses a solid offense, the Trojans’ success has been predicated upon a very good stop unit that is limiting opponents to a mere 13.0 points per game at home at 2.9 yards per rush play, 5.5 yards per pass attempt and 280 total yards (4.3 yards per play; 21.5 yards per point).  USC’s defense has been particularly tough against the pass as its secondary is yielding just 5.4 yards per pass play over the last three games.

Taking its entire body of work into account tells us that USC is 11.7 points per game, 0.6 yards per rush play, 1.1 yards per pass play and 0.9 yards per play better than average defensively in 2013. Based on the foregoing analysis, the Trojans are 1.5 yards per play better than average from the line of scrimmage this season (0.6 yards per play better than average offensively and 0.9 yards per play better than average defensively).  Now, if you’re eyes have not glossed over by now, the good news is that I’m turning my focus to my technical database for additional support for the Trojans.

From a technical standpoint, what we want to do is invest against any college football favorite off an upset win over an undefeated opponent (5-0 or better) as these teams are a money-burning 55-72-1 ATS since 1980, including 17-30 ATS on the road.  Better yet, if our ‘play against’ team is matched up against an opponent that allows less than 25 points per game on the season, they drop to 2-12 ATS. Finally, if our ‘play against’ team has a winning record after week six of the regular season, they plummet to 1-11 ATS.  With Stanford coming off a shocking 26-20 win over previously undefeated Oregon last week, the Cardinal fall squarely within the foregoing system.  Let’s also note that USC is a profitable 10-2 ATS at home following a blowout win on the road by 28 or more points, 21-9 ATS at home after scoring 42 or more points and 17-4 ATS after covering the point spread in two or more consecutive games.