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Great Scott! Another QB from Corona
The 'Cats' defensive numbers were almost perfect predictors
Malamute, 23 October 2010

Controlling both sides of the line of scrimmage, the Arizona Wildcats thrashed the Washington Huskies, 44-14, on a balmy night in the desert.

Going into the game, Arizona's defensive numbers were as good a predictor of the outcome of the game as any. In fact, you could have taken its defensive numbers to the bank:

-- According to the latest NCAA stats, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in total defense, limiting its opponents to 285.14 YPG. Washington got 290 yards on the night.

-- The 'Cats lead the conference in scoring defense, yielding an average of 13.43 points per game. The Dawgs scored 14 points.

-- UA leads the league in rushing defense, yielding just 90.86 YPG. The Dawgs rushed for 98 yards.

-- The 'Cats are second in the conference in pass defense, giving up an average of 194.29 YPG. The Dawgs passed for 192 yards.

The Huskies' defensive numbers had a predictive quality to them also.

The Huskies' defense gave up 467 yards, which is a few yards above their season's average of 424 YPG. The Dawgs are giving up 202.71 ypg on the ground; the 'Cats rushed for 234 yards. The Huskies are giving up 221.29 YPG through the air; the 'Cats threw for 233 yards.

The Corona stats are the weirdest though.

The last time a quarterback from Corona Centennial played against the Huskies, Taylor Martinez of Nebraska, his passing efficiency (PE) on the game was 208.18. That occurred in the third game of the season when the Huskies absorbed a 56-21 thrashing.

Subbing for the injured Nick Foles, UA Quarterback Matt Scott, who like Martinez is also out of Corona Centennial, completed 18 of 22 passes for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns, with no interceptions, all of which computes to a passing efficiency rating of 200.78. 

Table 1. Why do quarterbacks out of Corona, California harbor so much ill will towards the Huskies?

Name

PE

Name

PE

Taylor Martinez

208.18

Matt Scott

200.78

Really, numbers aside, the bottom line is that Dawgs were thoroughly beaten on both sides of the line of scrimmage, just as they were in their loss to ASU two weeks ago. One can extrapolate from this notion and criticize the players, the coaches, and the game plan for the loss, but until the Huskies' offensive and defensive lines are markedly improved through the recruiting process, games like these will be the norm.

Losing in the trenches requires that the outmanned team play close to perfection to garner a win. Since playing to such a level is a long shot, grousing about particular elements of the game is a waste of time. Winning up front is 90% of the battle.

Note that Arizona fielded an all-senior offensive line.

An ailing Jake Locker was unable to get to the outside, where he is most effective in compensating for the Huskies' makeshift offensive line. He was sacked four times and netted -24 yards rushing. He was hurried and hounded all night.

Locker completed 17 of 29 passes for 183 yards, 1 touchdown and no interceptions. Significantly, his PE on the game of 123.01 boosted his career passing efficiency to a career high of 120.04. (See Figure 1).

After the Oregon State game, a fan asked me why the Huskies are so up and down and inconsistent. Essentially, I emailed the following back to him with no cohesiveness of content in mind:

-- In reality, Washington is in year two of a five-year rebuilding program. No shortcuts available. See the Mike Stoops' benchmark for resuscitating a moribund program, UA's, for instance.

-- The Huskies have played 14 true freshmen this season. The young players are still in a learning process. After plugging one hole, another pops up.

-- Fans have been pre-conditioned to expect too much from this team and its quarterback, thanks to the media which are always looking for stories that have legs. See Jerry Brewer's story on the game.

-- It's unrealistic to expect this team will go to a bowl this season since the five-year rebuilding process is in year two.

-- The schedule gets tougher the rest of the way: four on the road, with only two at home. The expectation of winning half of these games is unrealistic.

-- UW opponents will attempt to keep Locker and his receivers at bay -- using the Nebraska formula. ASU applied that formula, using its lateral speed to keep Locker in the pocket where he was at the mercy of his makeshift offensive line, which, like a chameleon, shows a new face every week. On the other side of the ball, UW's defense ranks eighth in the conference and ninety-eighth in FBS football.

-- Unfortunately, the season will continue to be up and down the rest of the way, with what seems to be inconsistency. So, hold onto your hat and enjoy the rollercoaster ride.

-- As Sark and company continue to bring better players into the program, the ride will begin to smooth out over the next year or two.

Figure 1. Locker's improvement in career passing efficiency over his last 20 games. (104.68 - 120.04). Call it the Sarkisian/Nussmeier effect. Toss out the Nebraska game and Locker's PE is 139.39 on the season, with a 60% completion average.

 

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Washington 7 7 0 0 14
Arizona 10 20 7 7 44


Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
11:33 UW TD Jake Locker 26-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse; Erik Folk kick. UW, 7-0
9:20 UA TD Matt Scott 17-yard pass to David Roberts; Alex Zendejas boot. T, 7-7
4:44 UA FG Zendejax 29-yarder. UA, 10-7
2nd Qtr
10:48 UA TD Keola Antolin 1-yard run; Zendejas kick. UA, 17-7
7:55 UW TD Chris Polk 7-yard run; Folk PAT. UA, 17-14
7:37 UA TD Antolin 78 yard run; Zendejas kick. UA, 24-14
1:54 UA TD Nic Grigsby 4-yard run; kick blocked. UA, 30-14
3rd Qtr
10:09 UA TD Grigsby 4-yard run' Zendejas kick. UA, 36-14
4th Qtr
11:09 UA TD Scott 21-yard pass to Juron Criner; Zendejas kick. UA, 4-14

 

Statistics UW UA
Total First Downs 19 23
  Rushing 8 8
  Passing 10 11
  Penalty 1 4
Total Net Yards 290 467
Net Yards Passing 192 233
Net Yards Rushing 98 234
Completions-att-int 18-33-0 18-22-0
Punts, yards, average 7-291, 41.6 2-88, 44.0
Sacks by (number, yards) 2-8 4-33
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 6-151-0 3-70-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 0-0-0 3-8-0
Kickoff Yards 3-199 8-519
Net Yards per kickoff 43.0 41.0
Average yards per kickoff 66.3 64.9
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 0 2
Third-down conversions 4 of 13 7 of 12
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 0-0-0 0-0-0
Penalties, no., Yards 9-94 5-28
Fumbles; number/lost 1-1 2-1
Time of Possession  28:46 31:14

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Arizona          
Matt Scott (200.78) 18 22 233 2 0
Bryson Beirne 0 0 0 0 0
           
Washington          
Jake Locker (123.01) 17 29 183 1 0
Keith Price (43.9) 1 4 9 0 0
           
UA Rushing No. yds tds long  
Keola Antolin 14 114 2 78  
Matt Scott 7 65 0 32  
Nic Grigsby 12 50 2 9  
Juron Criner 2 9 0 6  
Greg Nwoko 2 5 0 5  
Bryson Beirne 1 -4 0 0  
Team 5 -5 0 0  
           
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Jake Locker 6 -24 0 6  
Chris Polk 14 65 1 18  
Jesse Callier 8 36 0 12  
Zack Fogereson 2 10 0 7  
Keith Price 3 11 0 7  
           
UA Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Juron Criner 8 108 1 21  
William Wright 3 47 0 25  
David Roberts 3 43 1 17  
Taimi Tutogi 1 14 0 11  
Keola Antolin 1 11 0 11  
Travis Cobb 1 11 0 11  
Nic Grigsby 1 -1 0 0  
           
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
Jordan Polk 2 20 0 11  
Jermaine Kearse 4 47 1 26  
Chris Polk 2 18 0 10  
D'Andre Goodwin 5 51 0 24  
Jesse Callier 3 6 0 11  
Cody Bruns 1 43 0 43  
Austin Sylvester 1 7 0 7  
           
Punting        
UA No. yds avg long tb
Keenyn Crier 2 88 44.0 44 0
           
Washington          
   
Kiel Rasp 7 291 41.6 51 1
Attendance: 56,244          

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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