Dawgs out-muscled and outplayed

The following grades the Huskies' positional effort for the game against the California Golden Bears.

Click on this link for the statistics: Stats California Game

Quarterback; Grade D -- Once again Coach Chris Peterson gave true freshman Jake Browning the keys to his brand new 2015 Dawgmobile; for most of the game young Browning appeared to be in way over his head. He should have been yanked early in the game -- faster than an infected tooth --but, then, whom do you give the keys to?

The coaches might have inserted Jeff Lindquist at the end of the first half for a Hail Mary rather than taking a knee on the Dawgs' 41.

The Huskies turned the ball over five times; Browning was picked off twice, fumbled the ball away, and was sacked five times.

Jake completed 17 of 28 passes for 152 yards, and two picks, his efficiency rating being a mediocre 92.03. His PE on the season is 143.7, a number that ranks sixth in the conference.

Cal outgained the Huskies 481 yards to 259 yards, dominated TOP 39:49 to 20:11, and got off 92 plays to 55. On the whole they appeared to be the physically stronger team.

At one point in the game Browning's efficiency rating was minus 66.7, compared to Jared Goff’s 139.7

The Huskies played three freshmen on the offensive line: Trey Adams LT, Jesse Soesbee, RG, and Kaleb McCary, RT.

Offensive Line
; Grade B Minus: The Huskies Offensive Line Efficiency rating was 154.49 compared to the Golden Bears' 163.95. Whoever wins this stat usually wins the game. The OL is the most important positional unit on the team, which is why this stat tracks with wins and losses. (See the calculation below).

The Dawgs took a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, marching 81 yards behind Dwayne Washington's five consecutive rushes. On the game, Washington had 10 rushes for 109 yards, averaging 10.9 yards per carry. He also caught three passes for 19 yards.

The offense reminded me momentarily of the Huskies game against Hawaii in 2007, when they jumped off to a 21-0 lead, wielding a vicious ground game behind the running of Louis Rankin, Luke Kravitz and Jake Locker. During the three scoring drives back then the Huskies rushed 18 consecutive times.

Although Browning was flushed out of the pocket on numerous occasions, my grade for the OL is based on the first quarter TD drive. Obviously, my OL grade is too high.

One positive note: the UW OL has had just one false start so far this season, and that was at BSU early in the game.

Pass Receivers: Grade C: 152 yards passing, 8.9 yards per completion, and this without a touchdown pass is underwhelming.

Ball Carriers; Grade C: Only 107 yards rushing won't cut it in the PAC-12, Washington's impressive run total notwithstanding.

Special Teams: Grade B - minus: UW had 2 touchbacks out of 5 kickoffs, averaging 59.4 yards per kickoff, while netting 40.8 yards. The Dawgs averaged 38.0 yards per punt. Cameron Van Winkle booted a 36-yard field goal.

Defense; Grade C Plus: The defense yielded 481 total yards but held Cal to 139 yards on the ground (2.7 yards per carry). The defense was on the field for far too much of the game thanks to a feckless offense. CB Sidney Jones recovered a Cal fumble and ran it back 70 yards for a TD. The defense registered 5 sacks.

Coaching; Grade C: The coaches need more work in the weight room and some study time in Suzzallo. Otherwise, a haunting by the ghostly image of Gil Dobie, along with his paroxysms of anger, hangs over each of their heads.

Computing a hypothetical per game offensive line efficiency

Our hypothetical measure is a function of a team's passing efficiency rating, its rushing yards per carry, its rushing touchdowns, its offensive line's penalty yards and its sacks allowed. That is,

OLE = PEO + YPC * X + RT * Y - OLPY - 5 * SA

Where PEO = pass-efficiency offense; YPC = yards per carry; x and y = normalizing numbers; RT = rushing touchdowns; OLPY = offensive line penalty yards; SA = Sacks Allowed

In the game against California, the OLE's were:

UW Offensive line efficiency = 92.03 + 4.0*20.57 + 2*5.09 - 5 - 5 * 5 = 154.49.

Cal's Offensive line efficiency = 143.32 + 2.7*20.57 + 1*5.09 - 15 - 5 * 5 =  163.95

(*) The normalizing numbers X=20.57 and Y=5.09 were chosen so that YPC plus RT would be equivalent to a Passing Efficiency Rating of 100. X and Y are the averages for the Pac-12 stats involving YPC (X = 90/4.375) and RT (Y = 10/1.96) for the 2013 season. The numbers 90 and 10 were chosen so that YPC would have more weight in the computation than RT; the numbers 4.375 and 1.96 are the Pac-12 averages for YPC and RT. To guard against a meaningless rating resulting from a limited number of carries, the normalizing number x needs to be restricted. For one, if the number of carries is less than z then set x=1, with the value of z yet to be determined. Alternatively, the value of the factor ypc * x could be controlled in a similar way to the limits placed on the NFL's passer rating computation.

More specifically, the equation for OLE is a function of 10 metrics:

  • Pass attempts (PA)

  • Pass completions (PC)

  • Yards passing (TY)

  • Number of passing touchdowns (TD)

  • Number of interceptions (I)

  • Yards per carry (YPC; sack yardage figures into the calculation)

  • Rushing touchdowns (RT)

  • Offensive line penalty yards. (OLPY)

  • Sacks allowed (SA)

  • The values for x and y (Pac-12 averages for the 2013 season)

The complete equation is as follows:

OLE = (TY*8.4+PC*100+TD*330-I*200)/PA + YPC * X + RT * Y - OLPY - 5 * SA

Note that this hypothetical computation correlates with UW's won/lost record (9-4) for the 2013 season, with UW dominating the statistic in its 9 wins and losing the stat in its 4 losses.



Richard Linde can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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