Gary Doran

Advanced Stats Report: Washington State

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As we continue our Advanced Stats Report series, we look at the following graphs exhibiting how the Sun Devils’ and their second Pac-12 North opponent, the Washington State Cougars, match-up by the numbers.

Offensive Production

Points_Scored

  • In the three years 2012 to 2014, the Cougar offense has increased its average scoring per game each year, unfortunately, each year the Cougars’ average scoring per game is less than the conference average for that year
  • In 2014, the Cougars averaged scoring about two touchdowns and two PATs more per game at home than they did on the road

Pts_Scored_Qtr

  • When ASU and WSU meet up, the third quarter may be a low scoring affair, as both teams score their fewest points in that quarter
  • In the first half of all their games in 2014, ASU scored almost 100 points more than the Cougars

TDs_Scored

  • In 2014, the Cougars scored a rushing TD once every 48.6 rushing attempts and scored a passing touchdown once every 17.1 pass attempts
  • In 2014, the WSU offense scored only five passing touchdowns in the first quarter and 40 in the other three quarters

Plays_Run

  • In 2014, the Cougar offense averaged nearly ten plays a game more than the Sun Devils

Yards_Gained

  • In 2014, the Cougar offense averaged gaining roughly the same amount of yards per game against unranked teams as with ranked teams, (518.7-515.8)
  • In conference play in 2014, only California gave up more yards in their game against WSU than what ASU allowed, ( 812-622)
  • In 2014, the WSU offense only scored one rushing touchdown when the Cougars were ahead in the game

Run_Gained

  • In third down situations in 2014, the Cougar offense only ran the ball 34 times, but ended up losing a total of six yards in those 34 carries

Pass_Gained

  • In 2014, as the Cougar offense moved down the field, their yards per pass attempt got smaller and smaller
  • In 2014, the Cougar offense averaged almost twelve yards per pass attempt when the ball was between their own goal line and their own 20 yard line
  • In 2014, the WSU offense average only 5.7 yards per pass attempt on 33 fourth down passes

Completions_Made

  • In 2014, the WSU offense averaged roughly the same passing percentage in the first, second and fourth quarters between 63 and 65 percent, however, in the third quarter, their passing completion rate jumped up to over 73 percent
  • In games in 2014 when the Cougar offense was between their own goal line and their own 40 yard line, they completed 73 percent of their passes, in the rest of the field, they only averaged completing 61 percent of their passes
  • In game in 2014 when the Cougar offense was in their opponents’ red zones, the completion rate dropped to only 55 percent

Interceptions_Thrown

  • In 2014, half of the interceptions thrown by the WSU quarterbacks happened when the ball was situated around midfield, yet only a quarter of the passes were thrown in that area
  • In 2014, twelve of the interceptions thrown happened in the first half of the WSU games, while only six were thrown in the second half

3rd_Downs_Made

  • In 2014, the WSU offense converted third down opportunities at about the same rate with their seven unranked opponents as with their five ranked opponents, (41.8%-41.1%)
  • In their Apple Cup game in 2014 against rival the Washington Huskies, the WSU offense only converted one third down opportunity in ten tries

RZ_TDs_Made

  • In their loss to Nevada in 2014, the WSU offense only scored one red zone touchdown in six different tries, while in their game against ASU last year, the Cougars scored four red zone touchdowns in five tries

Defensive Output

Points_Allowed

  • In their road games in 2014, the Cougar defense allowed an average of 35 points per game, whereas in their home games last year, they allowed an average of over 42 points per game
  • In the first five games in 2014, the Cougar defense allowed an average of about 30 points per game, while in the last seven games, the defense allowed about 45 points per game

Pts_Allowed_Qtr

  • The WSU defense allowed more points to be scored in each subsequent quarter in 2014 (1st 107/2nd 109/3rd 116 4th 131)
  • In 2014, ASU scored about the same amount of points in the fourth quarter as the WSU defense allowed in that quarter, (130-131)

TDs_Allowed

  • In 2014, the Cougar defense allowed only one rushing touchdown on either a third or fourth down play even though they faced 61 running plays on those downs
  • In the six home games in 2014, the Cougar defense allowed 23 passing touchdowns, while only allowing ten passing touchdowns in their six road games

Plays_Faced

  • The Cougar defense faced a perfect 50/50 mix of run to pass plays in 2014, (run-430/pass-429)
  • In 2014, the Cougar defense faced roughly the same number of plays in the first half as they did in the second half, (426-433)

Yards_Allowed

  • In 2014, the Cougar defense allowed an average of 70 more yards per game in those games played at home as compared to those played on the road, (home-478/road-407)
  • In the 2014 season, only Nevada gained fewer yards in their game against the Cougars than ASU, (Nev-324/ASU-330)

Run_Allowed

  • In the first three quarters of their games in 2014, the WSU defense allowed an average of 4.33 yards per carry, whereas in the fourth quarter that averaged dropped to 3.48, almost a full yard per carry drop
  • In their games against OSU and ASU in 2014, the Cougar defense allowed only 2.3 yards per carry, while in the other ten games they allowed an average of 4.4 yards per carry

Pass_Allowed

  • In the first five games in 2014, the WSU defense allowed and average of 7.0 yards per pass attempt, while in the next three games in October they allowed an average of 8.8 yards per pass attempt and in the last four games in Nov, they allowed an average of 9.4 yards per pass attempt
  • In the first half of their games in 2014, the WSU defense allowed an average of 7.4 yards per pass attempt and an average of 9.4 yards per pass attempt in the second half

Completions_Allowed

  • In their home games in 2014, the WSU defense allowed opponents to complete 67 percent of their passes, while only allowing 61 percent of passes to be completed on the road
  • In the second quarter of their games in 2014, the WSU defense allowed only 55 percent of opponents passes to be completed, while in the third quarter the WSU defense allowed 75 percent of opponents’ passes to be completed

3rd_Downs_Made

  • In the game against USC in 2014, the WSU defense only allowed two third down conversions in eleven tries
  • In opponent third down situations in 2014, when the opponent ran the ball they converted a first down only 31 percent of the time

 RZ_TDs_Allowed

  • In the three games WSU won in 2014, they surrendered four red zone touchdowns, whereas in the 9 games they lost, the WSU defense allowed 29 red zone touchdowns
  • In the four games WSU played in Nov 2014, when opponents entered into the Cougar red zone, they scored about 75 percent of the time

TFLs_Made

  • In 2014, the WSU defense registered the most TFLs in a game against the National Champion runner up Oregon Ducks with eleven
  • In 2014, the WSU defense averaged 7.7 TFLs per game against ranked opponents and only 5.7 TFLs per game against unranked opponents

Sacks_Made

  • Roughly two out of every three sacks registered by the WSU defense in 2014 came from the linebacker position
  • About half of all the sacks registered by the WSU defense in 2014 happened in the game against Oregon

Interceptions_Made

  • The WSU defense did not intercept an opponent pass in the second half of their twelve games in 2014
  • In 2014, the WSU defense only intercepted one pass in conference play where the defense faced a total of 330 passes

What the Numbers Say

The Cougars certainly can move the move through the air, but only through the air. They have proven the ability to complete passes, gain yards and first downs through the air, but don’t seem to find the end zone at the same rate. Their rapid passing attack seems to cool off somewhat as it nears opponents’ goal line.

The Washington State defense needs to improve dramatically, especially in pass defense, in order for the team to become competitive. Another factor in the Cougars’ poor overall win-loss performance is that the defense does not register many takeaways. Over the past three years, the defense has gotten 51 fewer turnovers than its offense has lost.

About Gary Doran

Gary Doran

Gary graduated from ASU many years ago. After careers working in banking, finance and the financial administration of academic research funding, he is now interested in utilizing his passion for numbers towards two things he thoroughly loves; Arizona State University and college football. He is looking forward to finding the “stories” buried within the numbers on a football stat sheet. He has gone to ASU football games all the way back to the days of Frank Kush and the WAC. He has been married to an amazing ASU graduate for almost forty years, and they currently live in Ventura, CA. Although this may disqualify him from talking football, he and his wife enjoy the practice of yoga and dancing the Argentine Tango. Ole!

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