Gary Doran

Grading the Pac-12 Passing: Week 4

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It’s week 4 of our weekly Passing Metric Report. We have changed it up a bit by adding situational passing characteristic for each team from both the offensive and defensive standpoint.  Hope you enjoy the new format.

As a reminder, the metric helps to assign three different levels of “quality” to each type of completed pass, and then categorizes the completed passes into one of the three categories. So the use of this metric is only to measure the “quality” of the passes completed. Additionally, if a completion has more than one quality attributed to it, that completion only counts as a single quality entry. For instance, if a pass completion is for a touchdown that covered 30 yards, even though it had two quality outcomes, it still counts a one-quality completion.  As always, thanks to cfbstats.com for excellent data.

Here are the three metrics and what constitutes each:

Premium Completions:

A pass completion for a touchdown
A pass completion converting a third or fourth down play into a first down
A pass completion of 25 yards or more

Quality Completions:

A pass completion that gets a first down, but wasn’t for a touchdown, was less than 25 yards and wasn’t a third or fourth down conversion pass play.

Standard Completions:

A pass completion that did not get a touchdown
A pass completion that did not convert a third or fourth down
A pass completion that did not gain 25 yards or more
A pass completion that did not get a first down

South_Offense

SOUTH DIVISION OFFENSES

ARIZONA:

  • Over 70% of the pass completions for a first down for the Wildcats have happen in the first half, (30/42)
  • The Wildcats have only thrown eleven passes in the fourth quarter
  • In the Red Zone, Arizona is first in the conference in completions, passing yards, first downs made, and tied for first in Touchdown passes

ASU:

  • When the Devils are behind by seven points or less, they have thrown 19 passes and have not completed one first down
  • Only six of the 45 pass completions in the first half of their games have gone for 15 yards or more, (13%)
  • ASU has thrown the most third down passes in the conference, (43)

COLORADO:

  • In the second quarter, the Buffaloes have averaged 10.6 yards per pass attempt, while in the other three quarters they have averaged only 5.9 yards per pass attempt
  • The Buffaloes have only thrown one red zone touchdown pass so far this season
  • The only interception the Buffaloes have thrown this season also happened in the Red Zone

UCLA:

  • 16 out of 18 third down pass completions for the Bruins have gotten a first down, (89%)
  • The Bruins have completed 75% of their second down passes and only 51% on the other three downs
  • The Bruins have only completed 40% of their fourth quarter passes, (10/25)
  • The Bruins lead the conference with six interceptions thrown

USC:

  • Eight out of nine of the Trojan pass completions in the Red Zone have been for touchdowns
  • Only one of the 15 touchdown passes thrown so far have come in the fourth quarter
  • Overall the Trojans are averaging 10.6 yards per pass attempt and 14.6 yards per completions

UTAH:

  • The Utes are averaging 9.7 yards per catch on third down passes
  • Only three of the 133 passes thrown so far this year have come when Utah was behind in the game
  • The Utes have completed eight out of nine Red Zone passes, with four resulting in touchdowns

South_Defense

NORTH DIVISION OFFENSES

CALIFORNIA:

  • The Golden Bears have the most pass completions covering 15 yards or more, (34) and the most passing first downs, (59), in the conference
  • The California offense has completed 73% of its passes in the first half and only 59% in the second half
  • Only eight of the 102 pass completions by the Golden Bears have come in the fourth quarter

OREGON:

  • The Ducks have thrown more passes being behind in their games than they have while being ahead in their games, (56-53)
  • Roughly 64% of all the Duck’s pass completions covering 15 yards or more have happened in the first half
  • Only one pass completion for the Ducks has gone for 25 yards or more in the first quarter in 37 pass attempts

OREGON STATE:

  • The Beavers are completing only 44% of their passes on first down
  • The Beavers are only completing 46% of their passes in the second half
  • The Beavers have only thrown seven Red Zone passes and completed only three of them for a 43% completion rate.
  • The Beavers are last in the conference in pass completions

STANFORD:

  • The Stanford offense is only completing 44% of its third down passes, however, twelve of the 15 third down completions have gone for a first down
  • The Stanford offense has completed 79% of its passes when they are ahead in the game and only 57% when they are tied or behind in the game
  • The Stanford offense is three for three on fourth down passes with all three completions getting a first down and two of the completions covering 15 yards or more

WASHINGTON:

  • The Huskies have not thrown a touchdown pass in the first or fourth quarters in over 50 pass attempts
  • Only seven of the 119 passes thrown by the Huskies have been in the Red Zone with only three completions and one touchdown reception
  • Roughly a third of all the Huskies’ pass completions have covered 15 yards or more

WASHINGTON STATE:

  • The Cougar offense has completed eleven out of 12 passes between their own goal line and their own 20 yard line, while averaging 11.5 yards per pass attempt
  • The Cougar offense has completed 83% of its passes thrown in the first quarter
  • Four of the eight Washington State touchdown passes have come in the fourth quarter

North_Offense

SOUTH DIVISION DEFENSES

ARIZONA:

  • The Arizona defense has allowed 63% of opponent passes to be completed in the first half and only 52% in the second half
  • When the Wildcat defense has its opponents backed up to between their own goal line and their own 20 yard line, the Cats have only allowed 35% of the passes to be completed, with only two first downs on 17 pass attempts
  • The Arizona defense is tied with Oregon and California in giving up the most pass completions covering 25 yards or more, (10)

ASU:

  • The Devil defense has only allowed 33% of third quarter passes to be completed, (7/21)
  • The Devil defense has only allowed 40% of first down passes to be completed, (14/35)
  • 14 of the 29 passing first downs the Devils have allowed have come on third down, (48%)
  • Half of the touchdown passes given up by the Devils have come on third down

COLORADO:

  • The Colorado defense has averaged intercepting one out of every 15 opponent pass attempts in the first half
  • The Buffaloes have allowed 60% of opponent passes to be completed in the first half and only 45% in the second half
  • The Buffalo defense has faced more third down passes than any other conference team, (49)

UCLA:

  • The Bruin defense has not allowed a pass of 25 yards or more to be completed in the second half of their games
    The Bruin defense is allowing an average of only 4.9 yards per pass attempt
    The Bruin defense has faced seven fourth down passes and have only allowed two of the passes to be completed and only one of them to get a first down

USC:

  • The Trojan defense has only faced four passes when they were behind in a game, but all four were completed, with three of them getting a first down
  • The Trojan defense has only allowed 47% of opponent passes to be completed in the first quarter and only seven of the total 49 first downs
  • 47% of all the first downs allowed through the air by the Trojan defense happened on second down.

UTAH:

  • The Utah defense has allowed 67% of opponent passes to be completed in the fourth quarter, while allowing a 51% completion rate in the other three quarters
  • On average, about one out of every six completions the Utes have given up have gone for a touchdown on first down passes
  • About 94% of the passes the Utah defense has faced has happened when the Utes are ahead in the game

North_Defense

NORTH DIVISION DEFENSES

CALIFORNIA:

  • In 121 passes the Cal Bear defense has faced, they have intercepted nine of those passes and only allowed two touchdown receptions
  • The Cal Bear defense has intercepted five of the 40 third down passes or an average of an interception once every eight pass attempts
  • The Cal Bear defense has faced 32 second quarter passes and has only surrendered nine first downs, while intercepting four of the 32 passes

OREGON:

  • The Duck defense has allowed 70% of the first quarter passes it has faced to be completed
  • The Ducks have allowed twelve Red Zone touchdown passes, which is last in the conference
  • The Ducks are last in the conference in allowing 53 first down passes to be completed

OREGON STATE:

  • The Beaver defense is tied for first in the conference with WSU in the fewest number of first down passes allowed, (26). but the Beavers have played four games to the Cougars three
  • The Beaver defense is also first in giving up the fewest number of pass completions that cover 15 yards or more with only eleven
  • The Beaver defense has only allowed 35% of the third down passes to be completed, with only five of them going for a first down, while intercepting three of the passes and allowing an average of only 2.5 yards per pass attempt

WASHINGTON:

  • The Huskies defense has only allowed two touchdown passes in 139 pass attempts
  • Four of the five Huskies interceptions have happened on opponents’ third downs in 48 pass attempts they have faced
  • The Huskies defense has allowed only five first down passes in the fourth quarter

WASHINGTON STATE:

  • The Cougars have averaged allowing their opponents to complete two out of every three third down pass attempts
  • The Cougar defense has allowed only two completions to cover 25 yards or more in 55 pass completions
  • Only three of the 25 completions the Cougar defense has allowed in the first half have covered 15 yards or more

As always, let us know what you think of the passing metric and the new format.

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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