Gary Doran

Weekly Stat-Pac: Offense Week 3

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Now it’s time for our first weekly Stat-Pac showcasing the conference offenses through Week Three. There are eight different graphs looking over many of the same measurable categories that were in the Defensive Stat-Pac earlier. Through Week Three, all the conference teams are moving the ball well offensively. Let’s see which teams are doing it just a little better.

It’s All About the Score

The first graph looks at the offensive scoring for each team. As a point of reference, Oregon led the conference in scoring last year averaging over 45 points per game. The Ducks were followed by ASU at almost 40 points per game and then the Huskies with just under 38 points per game. Again this year, through Week Three the same three teams are leading the conference in scoring in exactly the same order, Oregon, ASU and Washington. Looking at the graph, one has to wonder what happens in the second halves of the Washington and Cal games that both teams score so few points after halftime? Something else interesting, UCLA has not been an offensive juggernaut in terms of scoring. Remember, three of the twelve touchdowns scored by UCLA so far this year came from the defense, so the offense has only produced nine touchdowns in twelve quarters of football.

Pac-12 Week 3 Points

Offense by the Yard

The second graph is a look at how many yards each team’s offense is generating to date. As you would guess, the group has put up some gaudy numbers. The twelve conference teams have averaged over 500 yards per game through Week Three. That’s moving the ball! At the top of the conference currently are the Arizona Wildcats averaging more than 582 yards per game. An interesting note: if we remove USC’s first game against Fresno State, their total yards per game average would drop about 130 yards from 443 to 314 a contest; almost a 30 percent decrease, and would put them last in the conference in per game average.

 

Pac-12 Week 3 Total Yards

First Downs

The third graph is all about the number of first downs each team has gained thus far. The usual suspects are at the top of the list, but a real surprise is that the Colorado Buffalos are just four first downs below the conference leader, Oregon. Stanford is last in the average number of first downs its offense has generated along with many of the other offensive categories. Don’t mean to pick on the Trojans, but if we remove the Fresno State game, they would then be last in the conference in the average number of first downs, and would be the only conference team averaging under 20 first downs a game.

Pac-12 Week 3 First Downs

Third Time’s a Charm?

The fourth graph looks at the number of third down conversions each team has made. A big surprise again is the Colorado Buffalos who tied USC for the top spot here. The two Oregon school had opposite results on third downs, as the Ducks converted over 61 percent of their third down opportunities in three games, while the Beavers only converted 29 percent of their chances in their two games.

Pac-12 Week 3 3rd_Down

Average Yards for and Against

The fifth graph is actually a combination of offense and defense as it compares the average yardage per play that a team generates vs. the average yards the same team gives up. Even though the offense for the Cardinal isn’t wowing a lot of people with big numbers, the difference between how many yards per play it gets vs. the average yard the Stanford defense gives up is tops in the conference (6.8 yds. gained to 3.6 yds. given up = 3.2 yds. net). Utah is not far behind at a 2.9 yard per play difference (7.0 yds. gained vs. 4.1 yds. given up). A very big surprise is that the yardage per play for USC is actually negative (5.7 yds. gained vs. 6.0 yds. given up = -0.3 net yds.).

Pac-12 Week 3 Avg_Yard

Sack It Up!

The sixth graph is all about the sack. It shows the number of sacks each team has allowed. UCLA, by far is the leader in giving up sacks with more than double all but one of the other conference teams, which is USC. When you look at the number of passes a team throws against the number of sacks that team gives up, the Huskies and the Cal Bears are the best at protecting their quarterbacks. As far as the Bruins, UCLA quarterbacks have been sacked on an average of once every 9.3 passes. Surprisingly, the next closest is Stanford who gives up a sack once every 14.7 pass attempts. In case you were curious, the ASU offensive line gives up a sack once every 21.3 passes.

Pac-12 Week 3 Sacks Allowed

Turnover Beethoven

The seventh graph highlights the number of times each of team has turned the ball over. Stanford is leading the conference in this department, which is a surprise. It’s interesting to note that five out of the twelve conference teams have only lost the ball once so far this season. One of those five teams is the Sun Devils. Three teams have lost the ball in three straight games: Stanford, WSU and UCLA.

Pac-12 Week 3 Turnovers

Red Zoning Out

The eighth and final graph shows how many times a team has entered its opponent’s red zone, and then how many times that team has scored a touchdown. Tracking the number of touchdowns seems like a better measure of an offense’s effectiveness down at the opponent’s goal line, than allowing field goals to count too, since once the team is in the red zone, it’s already in field goal range.

The two teams that have made the most of their trips into the red zone are the Ducks and the Sun Devils. Two teams that haven’t been as successful scoring touchdowns from the red zone are the Beavers and the Cardinal. The Beavers were turned away without a touchdown in almost two-out-of-every-three chances, while the Cardinal was turned away roughly three-out-of-every-five chances. The Arizona Wildcats have only scored five touchdowns from the red zone, which is fewer than any other conference team that has played three games.

Pac-12 Week 3 Red_Zone

 

There you have it; eight different offensive measurements trying to help us gauge which Pac 12 offenses are doing well and which are not quite there. We will update the figures on a weekly basis to see what changes and trends emerge. Let us know what you think.

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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