Taking a look at how many snaps each USC player participated in during the Utah State game

Taking a look at how many snaps each USC player participated in during the Utah State game and what to take away from that information.

Couple of quick notes to go with the USC-Utah State participation breakdown chart:

- Players that were out with injuries: Noah Jefferson, Khaliel Rodgers, Jamel Cook, John Plattenburg, Vavae Malepeai, Toa Lobendahn.

- Players that were injured and did not finish the home opener: Marvell Tell III, Ronald Jones II.

- Suspended players that returned: Isaiah Langley.

- Players that were suspended: Osa Masina, Don Hill.

- Players that ejected from the game: Chuma Edoga.

- Players that made their USC career debuts: Keyshawn Young, Clayton Johnston, Cole Smith.

- USC used 61 players in the game with snap counts ranging from Zach Banner's 80 total snaps to four players getting just two snaps, including punter Chris Tilbey, which means it was a good day for the offense.

Corner Culture Continued

Isaiah Langley returned to the mix at cornerback, so it was interesting to see if the rotation would change at all. Langley was presumed to be the No. 3 cornerback behind Adoree’ Jackson and Iman Marshall after he took the majority of the first-team reps in the spring with Jackson out and in the summer with both starters not participating.

Langley played just three snaps. Instead, Ajene Harris and Jonathan Lockett got the substitution reps over Langley. Harris subbed in for Marshall after the offense’s only turnover, but was only on the field for one play because Leon McQuay III quickly picked off a pass to get the offense the ball back. Harris later subbed in for two separate plays on a long drive when USC went to nickel in the third quarter and he got the final 11 defensive plays of the game.

Lockett got a full drive at the end of the third quarter taking Jackson’s spot after his 77-yard punt return for a touchdown. He also played as the nickel back for the final defensive drive of the game.

Jack Jones’ Heisman campaign continues to be a slow progression. He played one drive in the fourth quarter and was beat for a 43-yard reception (with the assistance of a shove by the receiver that went uncalled).

Starters Only

For the second week in a row, there was very little defensive substitutions before the game was already in hand. There was a little bit more than the first week, but it was primarily the 12-man lineup of the starters and Leon McQuay III rotating in for a defensive lineman when going to a nickel package. 

Along with Ajene Harris and Jonathan Lockett, Josh Fatu got a lot of run in the second half, playing 26 snaps with only one coming in the first half. Matt Lopes took over for Marvell Tell III after an injury and played the final 37 plays. But the rest of the substitutions came on the final two drives of the game for the cornerbacks and final three defensive plays for the rest of the backups. 

Those final three plays were the only time we saw Quinton Powell or Olajuwon Tucker at linebacker or Ykili Ross at safety and the only developmental time for freshmen Connor Murphy and Jordan Iosefa at the outside linebacker positions or Christian Rector at defensive end.

Another guy that could have used the extra reps, defensive tackle Jacob Daniel, got only two plays on the penultimate defensive drive. Instead, all of those snaps went to junior college transfer Josh Fatu.

It’s continuing to look like defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast plans to treat his depth chart like he is still coaching in the NFL where starters only come out for injuries or blowouts.

At Its Best

When was the defense at its best? According to yards allowed per play, it was when Adoree' Jackson was on the field. The Aggies gained just 3.1 yards per play in Jackson’s 42 defensive snaps. Part of that is skewed by Utah State getting their biggest play and two of its five plays of more than 10 yards on two of the drives that Jackson wasn’t in the game. But it should also be noted that Jackson completely shut down one side of the field. Utah State didn’t throw in his direction, but on the first play he wasn’t in the game, they immediately targeted Jonathan Lockett.

Last week, USC had a lower ypp allowed when it was in the nickel. That reversed on Saturday. Leon McQuay III’s is one of the highest at 4.7 while defensive linemen Malik Dorton (3.4) and Rasheem Green (3.7) had two of the lower numbers.

Top Play Counts

For the second week in a row, Zach Banner tops the chart for most plays participated. He and Nico Falah were both used for a team-high 70 offensive snaps, but Banner participated in 10 special teams plays to Falah’s eight.

Offensive linemen Viane Talamaivao and Chad Wheeler (who didn’t even start) were the next highest before any defender shows up on the list, which means the offense was on the field a lot more than the defense.

Linebackers Cameron Smith and Uchenna Nwosu were the most used defenders at 64 plays each. After being suspended for the opener, Isaiah Langley played a team-high 21 special teams snaps.

More Offensive Subs

After primarily substituting just between drives in the Kickoff Classic in Arlington, the offense used backups more frequently against Utah State. For example, De'Quan Hampton and Jalen Greene both saw action in all four quarters and combined for 37 plays with 21 coming before the fourth quarter. Dominic Davis was also sprinkled in each quarter. Steven Mitchell Jr. and Deontay Burnett again played a similar amount of snaps (33 to 28). 

Tight End Triangle

The tight end position also saw a fairly similar number of total snaps between starter Taylor McNamara and backups Tyler Petite and Daniel Imatorbhebhe. Perhaps it was because of the ankle injury that McNamara suffered during the practice week, but he actually ended up playing less than either of his backups. Petite had 38 total snaps. Imatorbhebhe had 35 and McNamara had 33. Petite’s snaps all came on offense while McNamara played 10 snaps on special teams.

USC also used a lot of two tight end formations, particularly early in the game when they used two tight ends on four of the first five plays and eight of the first 15.

Speaking of having an extra blocker, Reuben Peters was finally deployed as a fullback for the first time. He played one snap in each quarter — first inside the 10-yard line and then twice on third-and-short plays.

JD Leads Reps, Ced Leads Production

At the running back position, Justin Davis saw the bulk of the action, playing 42 snaps to Aca'Cedric Ware’s 23. Ronald Jones II also saw 10 snaps before leaving the game with a rib injury. 

For the second week in a row, Ware had the best yards per play of the group at 5.7 compared to Jones at 4.9 with Justin and Dominic Davis both averaging 4.3 ypp.

De’Quan Hampton and Jalen Greene actually had the Trojans top two ypp at 8.3 and 7.7 while the offense sputtered more with Steven Mitchell Jr. on the field (3.8 ypp).

Head-to-Head

The left guard battle continues on between Damien Mama and Chris Brown. The two rotated back and forth switching in and out each drive throughout the course of the game through the fourth quarter when the backups were put in and Brown went to left tackle for two series.

The offense was more productive on a yards per play basis when Mama was in, gaining 226 yards on 43 plays (5.3 ypp) compared to 135 yards on 27 plays (5.0 ypp) when Brown was at left guard.

How about the other head-to-head position battle that Clay Helton says isn’t? Who was at quarterback when the offense produced a higher yards per play number?

Technically, Sam Darnold. But that’s only when you go to the hundredth of a yard per play. With Max Browne at quarterback, USC gained 302 yards on 58 plays (5.21 ypp). That number barely rises to 5.22 ypp when Darnold was in the game, but take away the two times Jalen Greene was lined up at QB and Darnold was out wide? Now it’s 5.05 ypp.

Offensive Line Backups

It was interesting who USC chose to use on the offensive line the final two drives. Clayton Johnston and Cole Smith made their Trojan debuts while Jordan Austin got in for only the second time in his career. Jordan Simmons, who had subbed in for one short drive earlier in the quarter, played the first drive at right guard before Richie Wenzel got into the game for the final two plays.

It looks like the plan is to redshirt four-star freshman E.J. Price. Instead of him checking in and taking over at left tackle, Chris Brown moved outside for the final two series. 

Formation breakdown:

  • Three receivers, one tight end, one running back: 57 plays, 324 yards (5.7 ypp)
  • Two receivers, two tight ends, one running back: 13 plays, 50 yards (3.8 ypp)
  • Three receivers, one tight end split out, one running back: 4 plays, 27 yards, (6.8 ypp)
  • Two receivers, one tight end, two backs: 4 play, 6 yards (1.5 ypp)
  • Three receivers, two running backs: 1 plays, -1 yard
  • Three receivers, one tight end, one running back split out: 2 plays, 16 yards (8.0 ypp)

Of the Trojans’ 81 offensive plays, 57 were run out of the shotgun, 17 used the pistol and there were seven plays where USC went under center.

USC vs. Utah State Participation Chart

Off/Def SnapsSTTotal Plays
1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Total
1 - Darreus Rogers 17 24 11 8 60 2 62
1 - Jack Jones 8 8 15 23
2 - Adoree' Jackson 15 9 14 4 42 7 49
4 - Max Browne 21 27 10 58 58
4 - Chris Hawkins 15 9 26 12 62 62
6 - Michael Pittman 3 3 15 18
7 - Steven Mitchell Jr. 11 9 11 2 33 33
7 - Marvell Tell III 15 9 4 28 1 29
8 - Iman Marshall 15 8 26 4 53 4 57
9 - JuJu Smith-Schuster 21 19 11 8 59 2 61
10 - Jalen Greene 4 4 2 8 18 18
10 - John Houston Jr. 0 15 15
13 - De'Quan Hampton 1 8 2 8 19 19
14 - Sam Darnold 1 3 19 23 23
14 - Isaiah Langley 3 3 21 24
15 - Isaac Whitney 2 2 2
16 - Dominic Davis 2 1 1 2 6 6
17 - Keyshawn Young 0 7 7
18 - Quinton Powell 3 3 13 16
19 - Michael Hutchings 15 8 26 12 61 61
22 - Justin Davis 17 12 7 6 42 42
22 - Leon McQuay III 11 6 17 11 45 17 62
23 - Jonathan Lockett 12 3 15 15
25 - Ronald Jones II 2 8 10 10
26 - James Toland IV 0 DNP
27 - Ajene Harris 1 3 11 15 2 17
28 - Aca'Cedric Ware 7 4 12 23 7 30
30 - Ykili Ross 3 3 9 12
34 - Olajuwon Tucker 3 3 2 5
35 - Cameron Smith 15 9 26 12 62 2 64
36 - Chris Tilbey 0 2 2
37 - Matt Lopes 22 15 37 37
39 - Matt Boermeester 0 15 15
40 - Jabari Ruffin 0 8 8
42 - Uchenna Nwosu 15 9 26 12 62 2 64
44 - Malik Dorton 4 3 15 6 28 28
45 - Porter Gustin 15 9 26 4 54 2 56
46 - Wyatt Schmidt 0 DNP
47 - Reuben Peters 1 1 1 1 4 11 15
48 - Taylor McNamara 5 12 4 2 23 10 33
50 - Toa Lobendahn 0 DNP
51 - Damien Mama 18 7 13 5 43 14 57
56 - Jordan Austin 11 11 11
56 - Jordan Iosefa 3 3 17 20
60 - Viane Talamaivao 21 28 13 5 67 8 75
62 - Khaliel Rodgers 0 DNP
64 - Richie Wenzel 2 2 2
66 - Cole Smith 11 11 11
68 - Jordan Simmons 12 12 10 22
70 - Chuma Edoga 4 4 4
72 - Chad Wheeler 17 28 13 8 66 66
73 - Zach Banner 21 28 13 8 70 10 80
74 - Nico Falah 21 28 13 8 70 8 78
76 - Clayton Johnston 11 11 11
77 - Chris Brown 3 21 14 38 8 46
80 - Deontay Burnett 17 11 28 1 29
82 - Tyler Petite 16 10 5 7 38 38
88 - Daniel Imatorbhebhe 7 7 5 12 31 4 35
89 - Christian Rector 3 3 4 7
90 - Connor Murphy 3 3 10 13
91 - Noah Jefferson 0 DNP
92 - Jacob Daniel 2 2 2
92 - Zach Smith 0 10 10
94 - Rasheem Green 15 7 18 7 47 47
96 - Stevie Tu'ikolovatu 15 8 14 37 37
98 - Josh Fatu 1 12 13 26 26

Here's also a tally of the snap counts for both games so far this season starting with offensive/defensive snaps followed by a chart of each players' total snaps for the season thus far:

Off/Def Snaps
Ala UtSt Season
1 - Darreus Rogers 47 60 107
1 - Jack Jones 6 8 14
2 - Adoree' Jackson 54 42 96
4 - Max Browne 49 58 107
4 - Chris Hawkins 57 62 119
6 - Michael Pittman 1 3 4
7 - Steven Mitchell Jr. 31 33 64
7 - Marvell Tell III 55 28 83
8 - Iman Marshall 54 53 107
9 - JuJu Smith-Schuster 50 59 109
10 - Jalen Greene 11 18 29
10 - John Houston Jr. - - 0
13 - De'Quan Hampton 15 19 34
14 - Sam Darnold 17 23 40
14 - Isaiah Langley - 3 3
15 - Isaac Whitney 8 2 10
16 - Dominic Davis 4 6 10
17 - Keyshawn Young - - 0
18 - Quinton Powell 6 3 9
19 - Michael Hutchings 57 62 119
22 - Justin Davis 36 42 78
22 - Leon McQuay III 38 45 83
23 - Jonathan Lockett 6 15 21
24 - Ajene Harris 7 15 22
25 - Ronald Jones II 22 10 32
26 - James Toland IV 1 - 1
28 - Aca'Cedric Ware 8 23 31
30 - Ykili Ross 6 3 9
34 - Olajuwon Tucker 6 3 9
35 - Cameron Smith 57 62 119
36 - Chris Tilbey - - 0
37 - Matt Lopes 8 37 45
39 - Matt Boermeester - - 0
40 - Jabari Ruffin - - 0
42 - Uchenna Nwosu 56 62 118
44 - Malik Dorton 22 28 50
45 - Porter Gustin 63 54 117
46 - Wyatt Schmidt - - 0
47 - Reuben Peters - 4 4
48 - Taylor McNamara 47 23 70
50 - Toa Lobendahn 55 - 55
51 - Damien Mama 39 43 82
56 - Jordan Austin 11 11
56 - Jordan Iosefa - 3 3
60 - Viane Talamaivao 55 67 122
62 - Khaliel Rodgers 15 - 15
64 - Richie Wenzel - 2 2
66 - Cole Smith - 11 11
68 - Jordan Simmons 11 12 23
70 - Chuma Edoga 30 4 34
72 - Chad Wheeler 36 66 102
73 - Zach Banner 66 70 136
74 - Nico Falah 11 70 81
76 - Clayton Johnston - 11 11
77 - Chris Brown 27 38 65
80 - Deontay Burnett 31 28 59
82 - Tyler Petite 8 38 46
88 - Daniel Imatorbhebhe 4 31 35
89 - Christian Rector - 3 3
90 - Connor Murphy - 3 3
91 - Noah Jefferson 21 - 21
92 - Jacob Daniel 1 2 3
92 - Zach Smith - - 0
94 - Rasheem Green 44 47 91
96 - Stevie Tu'ikolovatu 48 37 85
98 - Josh Fatu 8 26 34

Season totals including special teams:

Total Snaps
Ala UtSt Season
1 - Darreus Rogers 52 62 114
1 - Jack Jones 23 23 46
2 - Adoree' Jackson 65 49 114
4 - Max Browne 49 58 107
4 - Chris Hawkins 57 62 119
6 - Michael Pittman 24 18 42
7 - Steven Mitchell Jr. 31 33 64
7 - Marvell Tell III 67 29 96
8 - Iman Marshall 73 57 130
9 - JuJu Smith-Schuster 55 61 116
10 - Jalen Greene 11 18 29
10 - John Houston Jr. 14 15 29
13 - De'Quan Hampton 15 19 34
14 - Sam Darnold 17 23 40
14 - Isaiah Langley - 24 24
15 - Isaac Whitney 8 2 10
16 - Dominic Davis 4 6 10
17 - Keyshawn Young - 7 7
18 - Quinton Powell 14 16 30
19 - Michael Hutchings 59 62 121
22 - Justin Davis 38 42 80
22 - Leon McQuay III 66 62 128
23 - Jonathan Lockett 6 15 21
24 - Ajene Harris 23 17 40
25 - Ronald Jones II 22 10 32
26 - James Toland IV 4 - 4
28 - Aca'Cedric Ware 19 30 49
30 - Ykili Ross 14 12 26
34 - Olajuwon Tucker 15 5 20
35 - Cameron Smith 65 64 129
36 - Chris Tilbey 12 2 14
37 - Matt Lopes 8 37 45
39 - Matt Boermeester 5 15 20
40 - Jabari Ruffin 9 8 17
42 - Uchenna Nwosu 76 64 140
44 - Malik Dorton 23 28 51
45 - Porter Gustin 78 56 134
46 - Wyatt Schmidt 2 - 2
47 - Reuben Peters 17 15 32
48 - Taylor McNamara 70 33 103
50 - Toa Lobendahn 55 - 55
51 - Damien Mama 70 57 127
56 - Jordan Austin - 11 11
56 - Jordan Iosefa 23 20 43
60 - Viane Talamaivao 57 75 132
62 - Khaliel Rodgers 15 - 15
64 - Richie Wenzel - 2 2
66 - Cole Smith - 11 11
68 - Jordan Simmons 13 22 35
70 - Chuma Edoga 30 4 34
72 - Chad Wheeler 36 66 102
73 - Zach Banner 76 80 156
74 - Nico Falah 13 78 91
76 - Clayton Johnston - 11 11
77 - Chris Brown 29 46 75
80 - Deontay Burnett 32 29 61
82 - Tyler Petite 8 38 46
88 - Daniel Imatorbhebhe 10 25 35
89 - Christian Rector 19 7 26
90 - Connor Murphy 10 13 23
91 - Noah Jefferson 21 - 21
92 - Jacob Daniel 1 2 3
92 - Zach Smith 14 10 24
94 - Rasheem Green 44 47 91
96 - Stevie Tu'ikolovatu 48 37 85
98 - Josh Fatu 8 26 34
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