Utes bully Dawgs' Yutes

The following grades the Huskies' positional effort for the game against the Utah Utes. UW lost the game 34-23.

But first let me get my two cents in.

A rainy night made for sloppy ball handling. Utah won the turnover battle 4-3, which was a critical factor in the game.

The Utes got three turnovers in the first half. After Washington punter Korey Durkee dropped a snap in Huskies territory, the Utes had the ball on the Dawgs' 17 and took a 7-3 lead on Travis Wilson's 4-yard TD run. Gionni Paul intercepted Jake Browning's pass attempt on UW's next possession and returned the ball to the Washington 8. Devontae Booker scored two plays later for a 14-3 lead and two Utah touchdowns in 90 seconds.

Paul returned Dwayne Washington's second fumble for a 54-yard touchdown run to give the Utes a 21-6 lead at the 6:10 mark in the second quarter.

However, with 13:11 left to go, the Huskies had fought their way back from a 24-13 halftime deficit to narrow the Utes' lead to 24-23. Trailing by eight points and mounting a comeback drive, Browning fumbled the ball away at the UW 35. Andy Phillips booted a 36-yard field goal and an insurmountable 34-23 lead with :57 seconds remaining.

Although UW won the statistical battle, Utah bettered UW in offensive line efficiency, which continues to be the determining factor in UW's won/loss column. In the final eight minutes, the Utes' offensive line took over the game, paving the way for a punishing ground attack that featured Wilson and Booker.

On the night, Booker gained 150 yards on 34 carries, averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

Click on this link for the statistics Stats Utah Game

Quarterback; Grade C -- True Freshman Jake Browning completed 23 of 39 passes for 257 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted once. Jake's pass efficiency on the night was 117.7; his PE on the season stands at 136.3, which ranks eighth in the conference.

Offensive Line
; Grade B: The Huskies Offensive Line Efficiency rating was 182.7 compared to the Utes' 192.5. 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: 257 yards passing, 11.2 yards per completion, with 9 different receivers, seemed adequate enough.

Ball Carriers; Grade B: The Dawgs posted 124 yards rushing, averaging just 3.2 yards per carry. Gaskin ran 20 times for 93 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, while Dwayne Washington ran 6 times for 55 yards. Punter Korey Durkee's muffed snap cost UW 27 yards in its run stats, i.e., Durkee was credited with -27 yards rushing.

Special Teams: Grade B: Tristan Vizcaino kicked off six times, averaging 63.2 yards per kickoff, and had three touchbacks. UW averaged 35.2 yards per punt. Cameron Van Winkle booted three field goals (from 42, 39 and 49 yards out).

Defense; Grade C: The defense yielded 346 total yards; however, Utah ran for 191 yards.

Coaching; Grade C: More study time at Suzzallo is in order.

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 third-down conversions; its number of offensive plays; its offensive line's penalty yards and its sacks allowed. That is,

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

Where PEO = pass-efficiency offense; YPC = yards per carry; x and y = normalizing numbers; RT = rushing touchdowns; TDC = third-down conversions; NOP = number of offensive plays; OLPY = offensive line penalty yards; SA = Sacks Allowed

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

UW Offensive line efficiency = 117.66 + 3.2 *20.57 + 1*5.09 + 78 * 7/16 - 15 - 5 * 5 = 182.7

Utah  Offensive line efficiency = 98.08 + 4.2*20.57 + 3*5.09 + 70* 6/15 - 15 - 5 * 1 =  192.5

(*) 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 yuck * 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 12 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)

  • Third-down conversions (TDC)

  • Number of offensive plays (NOP)

  • 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 + TDC * NOP - 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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