Dawgs' D trumps Troy's

The following grades the Huskies' positional effort for the game against the USC Trojans. UW won the game 17-12. Photo Credit Lynn Borland.

Click on this link for the statistics: Stats USC Game

Quarterback; Grade C Plus -- Once again Coach Chris Peterson gave true freshman Jake Browning the keys to his brand new 2015 Dawgmobile. The road was bumpy, full of potholes and hairpin curves, but the youth managed to finish the journey ahead of the Sarkmobile driven by Cody Kessler and owned by head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Jake completed 16 of 32 passes for 136 yards, and one pick, his efficiency rating being a mediocre 79.71. His PE on the season is 130.0, a number that ranks ninth in the conference.

Browning, making his first road start against a Pac-12 opponent -- one that was ranked, no less -- looked poised and confident for the most part. Most importantly, he didn't give the game away.

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 155.46 compared to the Trojans' 141.45. 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).

Pass Receivers: Grade B-: 164 yards passing, 9.6 yards per completion, and one touchdown pass was sufficient enough to tread water in a game dominated by both defenses. The touchdown pass came on a trick play early in the second half -- a 27-yard pass from receiver Marvin Hall to Joshua Perkins.

Ball Carriers; Grade C: Only 135 yards rushing won't cut it in the PAC-12; however, Myles Gaskin ran for 134 yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. The Huskies rank eleventh in the conference in rushing offense.

Special Teams: Grade B - minus: UW had one touchback out of 4 kickoffs, averaging 64.5 yards per kickoff, while netting 40.8 yards. The Dawgs averaged 42.9 yards per punt. Cameron Van Winkle booted a 21-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, backed up on its own 10 yard line with a 4th and 18, clinging to a 17-12 lead, UW turned to punter Korey Durkee, who booted a 55-yarder that carried to the USC 35. Punt receiver Adoree Jackson was thrown for a three-yard loss by Deontae Cooper and Cory Littleton at the 'SC 32.

Defense; Grade A Minus: The defense yielded 346 total yards and leads the Pac-12 in total defense. The defense registered 5 sacks, a fumble recovery and two picks. Troy completed just one of its thirteen third down conversions.

Coaching; Grade A: A win in tinseltown against a ranked opponent is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

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 USC, the OLE's were:

UW Offensive line efficiency = 97.2 + 3.8*20.57 + 1*5.09 - 15 - 5 * 2 = 155.46.

USC's Offensive line efficiency = 86.57 + 4.9*20.57 + 1*5.09 - 26 - 5 * 5 =  141.45

(*) 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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