USC Vs UCLA By The Numbers And What It Means For The Future?
By now I’m sure you’re aware of the beating USC took Saturday evening by their archrivals UCLA Bruins 62-33. Dorian Thompson-Robinson vs Jaxson Dart is the matchup people wanted to see and the Senior had himself a day against the Trojans. There were some positives from this USC offense such as the emergence of Gary Bryant Jr. and the rushing attack remaining effective.
Despite Score Offense Was Efficient
Jaxson Dart would make his first collegiate start on Saturday and what better opponent to face than USC’s rival the UCLA Bruins. Jaxson Dart went 27/47 for 325 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. That stat line isn’t as impressive as his game against Washington State when he came in for an injured Kedon Slovis where he had 391 yards and four touchdowns. However, in both games, he threw around 46 to 47 times.
It’s clear this coaching staff trusts Dart enough to pass the ball at such a high clip. It’s pretty obvious to see the production of this offense has dropped off by a large amount due to the loss of star wideout Drake London. I want to turn your attention to the 4-star Sophomore receiver Gary Bryant Jr. who had a lot of hype surrounding him coming out of high school. With London out, the team needed someone to step up. Bryant Jr. had nine receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown. It’s becoming more clear who the new number one receiver is after that impressive performance. Despite the score of the Wazzu game being better on paper, I think the offense ran better this past Saturday where the Trojans lost the game.
Run Game Keeps Defense’s Honest
All this talk about the air attack I forgot to mention the run game. Keaontay Ingram picked up where he left off and had a decent day with 17 carries for 96 yards. Although the other senior running back Vavae Malepeai had himself a crazy day with 10 carries 49 yards and three touchdowns.
This was originally an “Air Raid” team who threw the ball 50 times and very rarely ran the ball. As time has passed, most of this team’s success has come when there is a healthy balance of running and passing the ball. It’ll be interesting to see what coach Donte Williams and Graham Harrell decide to do these last two games.
Defense Can’t Figure It Out
When a team puts up 30 points on your defense, mistakes were made. When a team puts up 60 on your defense you flat out couldn’t stop it even if you tried. You can chalk this up to Todd Orlando’s defense being too conservative at times or being too aggressive and letting big plays happen. Or on the other side of the coin, maybe USC just doesn’t have the athletes this year to stop a high-powered offense like UCLA.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson went 16/22 for 349 yards, throwing four touchdowns. Not to mention him running for another two. Not taking anything away from this offense but when you complete 16 passes for 349 yards something is wrong. Now either UCLA ran the plays to perfection with no hiccups or the defense was out of position a majority of the time. Or honestly, it could be a combination of the two. Receivers Kyle Phillips and Kazmeir Allen combined for 195 yards on just nine receptions. Not to mention Greg Dulcich with another two receptions for 75 yards.
It’s the same thing every week with this Trojan run defense. UCLA’s So-cal native running back Zach Charbonnet had 28 carries for 167 yards and a score. The other 100 yards on the ground came from Ethan Fernea and “DTR” combined. When a team has as much success throwing as they do running against a defense, there’s not much you can do but move on. Hopefully, Coach Williams gets these guys ready for a good BYU squad, and a Cal team who’s recently caught fire.