Las Vegas Bowl Tale of the Tape: USC vs. Fresno State

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

USC and Fresno State will be meeting for the third time in the schools’ history on December 21st, in the annual Las Vegas Bowl. While the Trojans may be the Pac-12 representative, they won’t be heavily favored against the 11-1 Bulldogs.

USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast will need to find a way to slow down the up-tempo Fresno State offense, as the Bulldogs average nearly one whole play more per minute than USC does (2.93 vs. 2.01). Part of that is due to the pass-first identity that Fresno State deploys with Heisman Trophy candidate Derek Carr at the helm.

Carr, the younger brother of former No. 1 overall pick David Carr, leads the country in passing yards and touchdowns, while completing 70.1 percent of his passes.

For a USC team that has struggled to defend the vertical passing game at times, the Trojans’ secondary will have their hands full with Carr and his favorite target: Davante Adams.

Adams leads FBS with 122 receptions and 23 touchdowns. He’ll likely be matched up with Josh Shaw, the Trojans’ top cover corner.

We’ll have more on the matchups here at Reign of Troy over the next couple of weeks, but for now, here’s a full stat breakdown:

Stat USC Fresno State
Scoring Offense 28.5 45.3
Total Offense 392.3 570.6
Rushing Offense 355.2 160.8
Passing Offense 218.1 409.8
Yards Per Play 6.01 6.67
Plays Per Minute 2.01 2.93
Plays Per Game 65.3 85.6
Time of Possession 35:25 29:12
First Downs Per Game 19.5 29.5
3rd Down Conversion 34.10% 44.51%
4th Down Conversion 46.15% 68.97%
Red Zone Conversion 91.67% 85.51%
Scoring Defense 21.3 29.1
Total Defense 341.2 425.8
Rushing Defense 126.7 147.7
Passing Defense 214.5 276.5
Opp. 3rd Down Conversion 34.04% 36.14%
Opp. 4th Down Conversion 36.84% 47.22%
Opp. Red Zone Conversion 63.41% 85.37%
Sacks 34 39
Sacks Allowed 33 11
Giveaways 15 20
Takeaways 21 21
Turnover Margin +6 +1
Penalties 6.5 5.3
Penalty Yardage 54.6 52.3

Topics: Football, Las Vegas Bowl, USC Trojans

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