It's too bad advanced football stats haven't made it to college football yet. There are so many unanswered questions that remain unanswered. Like tackles Chris Polk breaks play-by-play, or completions Andrew Luck makes going to his third read, or people who get lost in Sekope Kaufusi's hair.
And the Robert Woods thing.
USC head coach Lane Kiffin apparently decided that Robert Woods deserves to catch the ball. Over and over and over. I'm not sure how often Matt Barkley targets Woods, but I'd estimate it's between once every one time or twice every one time. One of those two.
Click on the times below to view the throws individually.
0:07: Woods comes in motion from right to left. Matt Barkley hands it off on a semi-zone read. If the freed defensive end meshes or crashes toward the running back (which Barkley ends up doing here, then Barkley does a little drop rolling toward his right and finds Woods in stride. When the blocking by the outside receivers sets up, Woods turns toward the inside before coming back outside. Thanks to poor Arizona tackling, Robert Woods is in the end zone pretty quickly, and Arizona's got that lead.
0:37: Just a little underneath route that Woods's skills turns into HUGE yardage. Woods reaches back for the ball from Barkley and still manages to get to the outside, then lowers his shoulder when the Arizona defender goes low to try and cut him out. Woods is able to bounce off the tackle and pick up more yards as a result.
(One complaint about Woods: When he gets in the open field does tend to let that ball hang loose from his body rather than grasping it firm to the chest. If a cornerback or safety is fast enough to come up on him from behind, they're going to force a crucial fumble at some point. Sure, that might not happen until Darrelle Revis is draped all over him, but still ...)
2:01: Woods is able to reach out from the throw from the throw just ahead of Barkley and adjust to make the throw. His adjustment to the throw is so impressive, considering he's still a true sophomore wide receiver.
2:04: Woods feints toward an inside route, getting the corner to turn his hips inside, before moving toward the outside and hauling in the fade route.
2:16: Woods busts the zone on a misdirection bootleg, running a straight out route at 15 yards in and hauling in the throw from Barkley before safety help arrives.
2:34: Woods runs straight downfield from the slot position, moves past the cornerback (who's in zone coverage), tries to draw the Arizona safety toward the corner route, then moves right toward the inside and hauls in the pass from Barkley on another great adjustment to a ball from Barkley that's high and a slight bit behind him. Definitely catchable though, and Woods hangs in for another score.
2:45: Woods on the seam pattern as the cornerback tries to deny any inside patterns. No problem, Barkley wedges that right between the corner coverage and the deep safety coming in on the hit. No problem for Woods to haul in, although it is again a bit high and needs some adjustment. Barkley's accuracy is still not quite all there, although it's getting better.
Woods shows a polish and maturity that hasn't been seen in the conference at the receiver position in the conference since DeSean Jackson. Woods can run a variety of pro-style routes, make great adjustments to the ball, regardless of the throw of the quarterback, and generally puts defenders on their heels. When USC returns back to bowl competition, expect him to make some legit Heisman noise next season.