FanPost

USC-Kentucky advanced statistics based preview

As all Gamecock fans know, the last time a highly ranked South Carolina team went to Kentucky, they lost a heartbreaker after blowing a large halftime lead. Well, that 2010 Kentucky team was significantly better than this year's edition, which might be even worse than last year's team who got stomped in Columbia.

Kentucky actually sports mediocre pass offenses and defenses, but their rush defense is pitiful and while they are okay at running, it is not an explosive attack. (Kentucky did run for ~150 yards against Florida's defense.) Kentucky's defense's profile is actually very similar to Clemson's thus far in the season so a good effort by Carolina on offense bodes well for the season endingmatchup.

Like last week, I have laid out the three key questions for the game

1) Will the Gamecocks show up on offense and defense?

I know the players and coaches need to treat their opponents with respect and say the right things, but let's be honest, Kentucky is a bad team. The Vegas line is USC by 21 and my guess is that USC is getting more bets than Kentucky. (I believe the line in 2010 was only USC -7.) The Gamecocks really need to show up and execute on offense and this game should be a win.

2) Can the Gamecocks run the ball on offense?

Since the opener against Vanderbilt, USC has struggled to run the ball. The offense has only been successful* on 40% of its rushes, which can put the offense in a lot of second or third and longs. Fortunately, the passing offense has compensated for this so far this year. But here comes Kentucky, with their 108th rated rush defense. Louisville and Florida both topped 200 yards against them, and Western Kentucky checked in around 150 yards. This game presents a great opportunity to get Lattimore going before Georgia comes to town next week.

* A successful play is one where the offense increases its expected points for the drive because of the result of the play. For example, a 3 yard pass play on first down is not considered a successful play, but a 5 yard pass play would be.

3) Can Kentucky control the ball on offense?

Really, Kentucky's only shot at winning this game is playing keep away from the Gamecocks. The one area Kentucky has been average is getting positive yardage when they run. Now this isn't explosive yardage, but a lot of 4 and 5 yard runs strung together can sustain a drive and keep the ball away from the other team. Kentucky will probably need three touchdown drives of 10+ plays so they can bleed the clock and keep the score low to have any chance at winning this game.

It shouldn't happen though-stopping the run is the Gamecock's strength as a team this year, both in the number of successful runs and in the amount of yardage given up. If they do that again on Saturday, South Carolina will win.

Prediction: This should not be a close game and I will not predict it to be one. I see Connor Shaw and Marcus Lattimore running the ball effectively in the first half before Dylan Thompson, Kenny Miles, and Mike Davis get a shot in the fourth quarter. Kentucky won't be able to run the ball but should put up some points through the air.

Gamecocks win 38-10

South Carolina offense versus Kentucky defense

South Carolina Offense



Kentucky Defense


Overall Offense

103.2 (46)

92.7 (77)

Overall Defense

S&P+

Pass offense

0.932 (32)

0.785 (69)

Pass Defense

S&P

Run offense

0.696 (79)

0.840 (108)

Run Defense

S&P

Adj. Points per pass play

0.156

-0.022

Adj. Points per pass play


Adj. Points per run play

-0.43

0.005

Adj. Points per run play


Successful pass (%)

47% (43)

54% (104)

Successful pass (%)


Successful runs (%)

40% (69)

43% (72)

Successful runs (%)


Pass percentage (1D)

39%

31%

Pass percentage (1D)


Run percentage (1D)

61%

69%

Run percentage (1D)


Look for the running game to get back on track this week and for the passing offense to be efficient like last week. Kentucky allows a lot of completions and Connor Shaw can look to take advantage of this.

Kentucky offense versus South Carolina defense

Kentucky Offense



South Carolina Defense


Overall Offense

94.5 (75)

132.7 (10)

Overall Defense

S&P+

Pass offense

0.772 (55)

0.588 (28)

Pass Defense

S&P

Run offense

0.650 (103)

0.351 (4)

Run Defense

S&P

Adj. Points per pass play

-0.21

-0.013

Adj. Points per pass play


Adj. Points per run play

-0.03

-0.161

Adj. Points per run play


Successful pass (%)

42% (80)

47% (66)

Successful pass (%)


Successful runs (%)

46% (30)

31% (9)

Successful runs (%)


Pass percentage (1D)

58%

47%

Pass percentage (1D)


Run percentage (1D)

42%

53%

Run percentage (1D)


Kentucky has had a large number of positive rushes so far this season but has not been explosive. The Gamecocks defense will need make sure they do not lapse through the air but Kentucky has not been able to hit a lot of positive passes yet this season.

Note: S&P+ and S&P refer to Bill Connelly's advanced statistics. All the other numbers are mine.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Garnet And Black Attack

You must be a member of Garnet And Black Attack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Garnet And Black Attack. You should read them.

Join Garnet And Black Attack

You must be a member of Garnet And Black Attack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Garnet And Black Attack. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker