Gary Doran

Weekly Stat-Pac: Offense Week 7


Here we are with week number seven in the books for our weekly Stat-Pac looking at the conference’s offenses. Last week saw another game come down to the wire with a missed field goal as time ran out on the Wildcats. It was also a week when the Oregon Duck flexed some muscle in racking up a 25-point lead over the UCLA Bruins in three quarters of play. Let’s see how the game changed the offensive rankings. Also, starting this week, we will begin putting in a small feature in the conclusion section looking at ASU’s next opponent. This week we highlight the Stanford Cardinal.

It’s All About the Score

There are four teams left averaging 40 points or more per game: Cal, Oregon, ASU and Utah. There are only two teams that have averaged less than 30 points, Oregon State at 28 points per game and ASU’s next opponent Stanford at only 26 point per game. Talk about slow starters; UCLA has only scored 22 points in the first quarter in six games so far. That averages to only 3.6 points per quarters. As far as completing a game, the Oregon State Beavers have only scored 16 points in the fourth quarter in their five games. That’s only 3.2 points per quarter. Not a great way to start or finish off a game. The Arizona Wildcats, on the other hand have scored more second half points than any other team at 145 points. They are one of only three teams to score more points in the second half as compared to the first half. The other two teams are the Washington State Cougars with 131 points and UCLA Bruins with 116 points.


Offense by the Yard

Arizona and ASU are neck and neck for the top spot in total yards per game, with the Wildcats at 557.0 yards per game and the Sun Devils only two-tenths of a yard behind at 556.8 yards per game. There are still five teams that are averaging over 500 yards per game with Washington State, Oregon and the Cal Bears. Washington and Stanford are now the two bottom teams in terms of yards per game at 372.5 and 389.2 respectively. The Washington State Cougars saw their total yards per game drop by 546 yards from playing against the California defense in Week 6 to playing against the Stanford defense last weekend.


First Downs

The Arizona Wildcats are again at the top of the conference in first downs per game at just under 30 per game, while the Stanford Cardinal gained the fewest first downs at only 19.8 per game. The Cardinal is the only team gaining under 20 first downs per game. On a per play basis, the Oregon Ducks gain a first down once every 2.7 plays, which leads the conference in that regard, with the Sun Devils right behind at 2.8 first downs per play. Utah and Washington both take the most plays to garner a first down at 3.7 plays per first down.


Third Time’s a Charm

Although several teams have converted more third down situations into first downs, Oregon has the best success rate in the conference in converting just under 50 percent of their chances. Oregon State is not only at the low end of the conference in only converting 21 third down situations into first downs, they have also only converted just about one-third of their chances. As a side note, the Beavers have also had the fewest third down chances in the conference too. Oregon State has only had 62 third down opportunities, while Washington State has faced 107 opportunities. Arizona and USC have faced the most third down situations per game at 17.7 per game each.


Average Yards for and Against

There are now three teams that have gained more than 1.0 yards per play on offense than they have given up on defense: Stanford at 2.4, Oregon at 1.8 and ASU at 1.1. USC and Washington both gained the same amount of yards per play as they give up. Oregon leads the conference in yards per play that it generates at 7.6, while Stanford is the stingiest giving up only 3.6 yards per play. Utah and Oregon State are the only two other conference teams to give up fewer than 5.0 yards per play. Colorado is now the only team giving up more yards per play than it generates at 5.5 vs. 6.1 yards.


Sack It Up

UCLA is still having trouble protecting its quarterback, where the offensive line gives up a sack once every 7.8 pass attempts. The next weakest offensive line at protecting its quarterback on a pass attempt basis is Oregon where there has been a sack once every 11.7 pass attempts. Colorado still leads the conference in protecting its quarterback in only giving up a sack once every 37.0 pass attempts. ASU is the next best at protecting its quarterback giving up a sack only once in every 28.6 pass attempts. Washington State was right behind the Devils giving up a sack only once every 27.5 pass attempts. Oregon was the only teams playing last week not to give up a sack. This came a week after giving up the most sacks for the season to Arizona.


Turnover Beethoven

Six games into the season for the Stanford Cardinal and they are averaging two turnovers per game. That is the most on a per game basis in the conference. The Cardinal turns the ball over once every 32.7 plays. At the other end of the scale, there are four teams in the conference that go over one hundred plays before turning the ball over. The four teams are Washington once in 438 plays, Oregon turns the ball over once in 138 plays, Utah once in 125 plays and finally, USC once every 120 plays. That is ball security. A nice trend for the Washington State Cougars is that in their first five games, they turned the ball over eleven times, however, in the last two games they have only turned it over once.


Red Zoning In

Through week seven of the season, six conference teams have scored touchdowns from their opponents’ red zone over two-thirds of their tries. There are only two teams that are successful in scoring red zone touchdowns less than half the time, the Stanford Cardinal and the Arizona Wildcats. Washington State still leads the conference in the number of red zone opportunities at 5.43 per game. Arizona is second with 5.00 red zone opportunities per game. At the low end, UCLA only has 3.17 red zone opportunities per game. Although the Bruins visit their opponents’ red zone the least number of times per game, they have the highest success rate once they enter the red zone at 78.9 percent. The Ducks are next at 75 percent.



There has been some movement and shifting of some teams in some of the categories, but for the most part, most have stayed in close to the same rank as has been the case for the last couple of weeks. Overall, a lot of the categories have compressed a little as teams are now playing conference teams with the talent level closer than some of the earlier non-conference games.

Next ASU Opponent

As you can see by the different categories, ASU’s next opponent Stanford doesn’t look like the same offense that the Devils faced last year. They have turned the ball over more often and they don’t seem to be making critical plays when needed. Here is a comparison of some categories comparing this year’s offense’s production to last year’s:

Red Zone touchdowns success rate……2014–46% 2013–58%
3rd down conversion rate………….……2014–38% 2013–50%
Avg yards gained per play……………….2014–6.0 2013–6.3
Avg score per game……………………….2014–26 2013–32
Turnovers per game………………………2014–2.0 2013–1.4

As always, if there is something you’d like to see us begin to track, please let us know.

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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