Gary Doran

Grading the Pac-12 Passing: Week 5

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As we head into the sixth week of the college football season, we have added a Top 5 and Bottom 5 in the conference graded by the quality of pass completions for the offenses and quality of pass completions allowed for the defenses. Just as a reminder, only eight of the twelve conference teams played this past weekend.

The passing 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.

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

Week 5: Percentage of Quality Pass Completions, (includes Premium & Quality Completions/Pass Attempts)

Offense_South

North_Offense

Top 5 Quality Completions                                      Bottom 5 Quality Completions
USC………….45.2%                                                            ASU………..31.3%
Stan…..….…42.1%                                                              Ariz………..31.8%
Cal……..……41.6%                                                              Colo………..31.9%
Wash………37.8%                                                               OSU…………32.0%
Ore…………37.0%                                                               UCLA………32.4%

Only one South Division team is in the Top 5 in quality completions, (USC), and four out of the five of the lowest quality completion teams are from the South Division

Week 5: Percentage of Quality Pass Completions Allowed, (includes Premium & Quality Completions/Pass Attempts)

DEfense_South

Defense_North

Top 5 Quality Completions Allowed                  Bottom 5 Quality Completions Allowed
OSU………….24.8%                                                           WSU………..37.7%
UCLA….……26.6%                                                            Ariz…….…..36.5%
Colo.………..28.4%                                                             Ore..………..35.8%
ASU…………29.5%                                                             Utah..………32.9%
Stan..…….…30.3%                                                             USC…..……32.7%

Stanford is the only team that is in the Top 5 for both offensive quality completions and defensively for limiting quality completions.  Arizona is the only team in the Bottom 5 in both categories.

Situational Passing Characteristics for each Pac-12 Team

Offense: Pac-12 South

ARIZONA:

  • The Wildcats completed 67% of their passes against three non-conference teams and only 44% against two conference foes
  • The Wildcats average completing two out of every three passes in the Red Zone

ASU:

  • ASU is last in the conference is completion percentage in the Red Zone at only 39%
  • In the fourth quarter, ASU completes its lowest percentage of passes, but gains its most yards per pass attempt
  • Only Washington State has thrown more passes than ASU

COLORADO:

  • The Buffaloes are next to last in the conference in yards per pass attempt at only 6.3
  • The Buffaloes are last in the conference in the average number of passes thrown per touchdown pass receptions 33.2
  • Colorado completes its highest percentage of passes on third down, 62%

UCLA:

  • The Bruins had six interceptions in the first 111 pass attempts and have had only one interception in the last 68 pass attempts
  • The Bruins are completing only 40% of their pass attempts in the fourth quarter

USC:

  • The Trojans have averaged throwing a touchdown pass once every nine pass attempts
  • When the Trojans throw a pass, 40% of the time it will end up gaining a first down, when they complete a pass, 55% of the time it will gain a first down

UTAH:

  • The Utes have completed 65% of their 71 passes in the first half and 81% in their 42 passes in the second half
  • Utah is tied for eighth in the conference in yards per pass attempts at 6.7 and sixth in the average number of pass attempts per touchdown pass reception

Offense: Pac-12 North

CALIFORNIA:

  • The Bears have only completed one touchdown pass in 30 pass attempts in the fourth quarter
  • The Bears have completed nearly 80% of their 53 pass attempts when they are trailing in the game

OREGON:

  • The Ducks have completed just 53% of their pass attempts in their two conference games, with four touchdown passes and three interceptions
  • The Ducks have completed 87% of their pass attempts when they are ahead by more than two touchdowns and 58% in all other situations

OREGON STATE:

  • The Beavers have thrown and completed the fewest number of passes and the fewest number of first downs through the air in the conference

STANFORD:

  • The Stanford offense has completed 79% of its pass attempts in their three conference games and 59% of the pass attempts in their two non-conference games
  • The Stanford offense has averaged completing 85% of its pass attempts when its ahead in its games and 60% when it is behind

WASHINGTON:

  • The Huskies have only completed 48% of their third down pass attempts
  • Almost 60% of the Huskies pass completions have gone for a first down

WASHINGTON STATE:

  • All three of the interceptions thrown by the Cougars have happened around midfield
  • Less than a third of the pass completions in the Red Zone have resulted in a first down for the Cougars

Defense: Pac-12 South

ARIZONA:

  • Over 78% of the pass attempts against the Wildcats in conference play have been completed, while only 56% of the pass attempts in non-conference play were completed
  • Arizona is tied for last in the conference with California and Oregon in giving up the most pass completions covering 25 yards or more with twelve

ASU:

  • Six of the seven pass completions against the Devil defense in their own Red Zone has resulted in a touchdown
  • Only 45% of the passes on first down against the Devils have been completed
  • In the first half of their games, the Devils are allowing 58% of the passes to be completed, however, in the second half; they are only allowing 47% of the passes to be completed

COLORADO:

  • The Colorado defense has allowed 60% of the pass attempts they have faced to be completed in the first half and only 45% in the second half
  • The Colorado defense is second in the conference in getting interceptions with eight
  • Of the 22 pass attempts Colorado has faced in their own Red Zone; only three have gotten a touchdown, three have gotten a first down and two have been picked off

UCLA:

  • When UCLA is behind in their games, they have allowed opponents to complete 63% of their passes, while only allowing a 40% completion rate when they are ahead
  • In 87 passes the Bruin defense has faced in the second half of their games, they have only allowed one to go for more than 25 yards, which was against ASU
  • The Bruin defense is the only team in the conference not to give up a pass completion of over 40 yards yet this season

USC:

  • The Trojans have only surrendered three touchdown passes in 150 pass attempts against them
  • The Trojan defense has only given up seven passes that have gone for a first down in the first quarter

UTAH:

  • Over 60% of the completions against the Utes in the second half of their games have gone for a first down
  • The Utah defense has intercepted four of the 39 passes they have faced on third down

Defense: Pac-12 North

CALIFORNIA:

  • Seven of the conference leading interceptions the Cal defense has picked off happened against their three non-conference foes
  • When they are ahead in their games, the Cal Bear defense has only given up one touchdown pass in 103 pass attempts they have faced

OREGON:

  • Five of the six interceptions the Oregon defense has gotten has come in the first half of their games
  • On average, one out of every eight completions the Ducks have given up has resulted in a touchdown

OREGON STATE:

  • In the 109 passes the Beaver defense has faced, it has only surrendered three pass completion covering 25 yards or more
  • The Beavers lead the conference in giving up the fewest first downs through the air at only 26

WASHINGTON:

  • In the 98 pass attempts the Huskies defense faced against non-conference foes, they did not allow a touchdown pass to be completed
  • The Huskies defense allowed 61% of their opponents’ pass attempts to be completed in the first half and 51% in the second half

WASHINGTON STATE:

  • The Cougar defense is last in the conference in the percentage of pass attempts they allow to be completed at 72%
  • The Cougar defense has faced 29 third down pass attempts against them and have allowed 15 of those passes to be completed for first downs.

 

Let us know what you think of the metric and the new bullet point format for the situational characteristics.

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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