November 25, 2009

What the stats say - UCLA/USC

With the help of Ted Bloom (aka Bruin1974) and the Pac 10 website, here are some of what the stats say about Saturday's match-up. By taking a two-step approach this week it makes better sense. UCLA-USC is that big; it deserves that. And what has been done to this point this year by the two teams provides a great deal of the information that is the basis for educated expectations about what we will see in the game itself.

The coaches on both sides have done their due diligence now. The game plans are being taught. The players are preparing to give it their best shot. After that, it comes down to execution - and the odd shape of the funny-shaped ball with the two pointy ends that has a tendency to bounce at times in odd directions.

But for now, let's get started on firmer ground. Here's a look at where the two teams stand in terms of Pac-10 Conference statistics - the tale of the tape.

UCLA defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough says the best way to measure a defense is how many points it has given up. Compare that to the opposing offense and you get an idea of where the starting point is in seeking a balance between two teams. At this point in the season, these numbers are close to as good as they are going to get. USC has a slight advantage in that UCLA has played everyone else now while the Trojans have yet to face a good Arizona team.

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