USC and Georgia Tech are set for their fourth ever meeting on New Year’s Eve in El Paso, as the teams collide at this year’s annual Sun Bowl. For the Trojans, it’s their second straight bowl against ACC team, while the Yellow Jackets have earned their second straight trip to El Paso to face the Pac-12.
Despite playing in two vastly different conferences and Georgia Tech being only the second losing team to ever earn a bowl invite after UCLA set the trend last year, the teams have plenty of parallels in the stat book.
The Yellow Jackets bring forward an old school approach with Paul Johnson at the helm, deploying a powerful triple option rushing attack that is only behind Oregon and the academies in the national stat rankings. At nearly five and a half yards per rush, Georgia Tech will be a handful for the Trojans defensively, who had running spread offenses give them fits all season long.
Despite two drastically different coaching philosophies, the Trojans and Jackets are nearly identical in total offense, total defense and scoring.
The big difference is with the peripherals, where USC has struggled all season long, and which has been the root of their five losses. Georgia Tech has a big advantage on third downs, they turn the ball significantly less and they take a fraction of the penalties that the Trojans take.
USC has more talent and can play with a flashier attack if they want to, while Georgia Tech brings an old school vanilla option attack while being more disciplined. It’s your prototypical white collar vs. blue collar affair.
Here’s how the teams break down statistically.
|Categories||USC Trojans (7-5)||Georgia Tech (6-7) |
|First Downs Per Game||22.6||21.8|
|Yards Per Carry||5.03||5.45|
|Yards Per Play||6.83||6.25|
|3rd Down Conversions||35.8%||45.6%|
|4th Down Conversions||50.0%||63.9%|
|Red Zone Offense||76.9%||79.0%|
|First Downs Per Game Against||23.0||20.0|
|Yards Per Play Against||5.32||5.84|
|3rd Down Defense||37.4%||42.9%|
|Red Zone Defense||80%||81.1%|
|Penalties Per Game||8.3||4.6|
|Penalty Yardage Per Game||66.5||36.2|