Notre Dame-USC: Stats behind two entirely differently constructed teams

If I’ve heard it once this week I’ve heard it at least 10,000 times.  Every writer, podcaster, fan, Twitter user, or whatever they might be who has discussed Notre Dame and USC has mentioned how opposite the two teams are built.  USC lights up the scoreboard while Notre Dame really doesn’t.

The teams are built about as opposite as the locations of the two schools.  Notre Dame has very little help from the transfer portal beyond their kicker and punter while USC has just 18% of their roster remaining from a year ago.  Lincoln Riley changed the culture and changed the way USC has acquired their talent, clearly.

So how do the teams match up strictly from a statistical analysis?  Here is how in numbers the Irish and Trojans are different.

Total Offense - Yardage

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame: 380.4 ypg (75th)
USC: 513 ypg (2nd)

Passing Offense

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame: 189.2 ypg (113th)
USC: 330.8 (4th)

Rushing Offense

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame: 191.2 ypg (36th)
USC: 182.2 ypg (47th)

Total 1st Downs

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame: 232 (59th)
USC: 288 (6th)

3rd Down Conversion Percentage:

USC: .543 (2nd)
Notre Dame: .447 (32nd)

Sacks Allowed

Notre Dame: 17 (39th fewest)
USC: 21 (55th fewest)

Scoring Offense

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame:  31.0 ppg (49th)
USC: 42.7 ppg (3rd)

Total Defense (Yardage):

Notre Dame: 317 ypg (17th)
USC: 406.1 ypg (96th)

Pass Defense:

Notre Dame: 186.8 ypg (16th)
USC: 257.8 (106th)

Run Defense:

Notre Dame: 130.7 ypg (40th) — Irish allow 3.83 ypc
USC: 148.3 ypg (68th) — Trojans allow 4.62 ypc

Sacks

USA TODAY SPORTS

Notre Dame: 33 (13th)
USC: 32 (T-17th)

3rd Down Defense - Conversion Rate Against

Notre Dame: .340 (40th)
USC: .420 (100th)

Scoring Defense

Notre Dame: 20.27 ppg allowed (27th fewest)
USC: 26.45 (68th fewest)

Blocked Kicks

Notre Dame: 7 (1st)
USC: 1 (T-61)

Blocked Kicks Allowed

Notre Dame: 0 (T-1)
USC: 0: (T-1)

Penalty Yardage

Notre Dame: 42.8 penalty yards per game
USC: 61.9 penalty yards per game

Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire