Solar-Sixers throw Dawgs into the abyss

The following grades the Huskies' positional effort for the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils. UW lost the game 27-17.

But first let me get my two cents in.

It's been a long, long time; that is 10-straight losses to ASU. UW's last victory over the Solar-Sixers was in 2001.

27 October 2001, Tempe, Arizona

With 7:12 remaining on the clock and trailing 31-30, Washington mounted a drive starting from its own 10-yard line. 14 plays later, UW had driven to the Arizona State 12-yard line behind the passing of Cody Pickett and the running of Willie Hurst and Rich Alexis. On a third and two from the ASU 12, Hurst was stopped on the Solar-Sixers 11, and ASU called a time out with 51 seconds remaining. On fourth and one, Washington lined up to kick a field goal; ASU jumped offside and what had been a seesaw battle until then was ended. With a first and goal to go, Washington ran the clock down to 3 seconds, and John Anderson kicked a 30-yard game winning field goal.

UW versus ASU: 15-19-0.

Against ASU this year, not being able to run the ball in the second half (10 net rushing yards) and four fourth quarter turnovers sealed UW's fate. In that half  I thought I was watching the Cal game all over again the way the Solar-Sixers dominated UW physically on both sides of the ball.

Washington held a 17-3 lead at the midway point, thoroughly dominating the statistics, so much so, that UW ended up winning the offensive line efficiency battle, 194.7 to 188.1.

The Huskies totaled 547 yards on offense, won possession time and posted 27 first downs to ASU's 19.

If young Jake Browning had connected with his receivers on the long routes they were open on, the outcome would have been much different; I doubt the listless ASU team I saw in the first half would have had the moxie to fight back in the second half had UW put more points on the board.

“It was just right there,” UW defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski was quoted as saying. “For three quarters, we were great. Fourth quarter, all of a sudden the wheels come off.”

UW's final four possessions ended in an interception, an interception, a fumble and an interception.

Click on this link for the statistics Stats Arizona State Game

Quarterback; Grade C -- True Freshman Jake Browning completed 28 of 52 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted three times. Jake's pass efficiency on the night was 117.7; his PE on the season stands at 132.4, which ranks eighth in the conference.

Offensive Line
; Grade B: The Huskies Offensive Line Efficiency rating was 194.7 compared to the Devils' 188.1. 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: 405 yards passing, 14.5 yards per completion, with a mix of 9 different receivers, seemed adequate enough. There were some drops on catchable balls.

Ball Carriers; Grade C: The Dawgs posted 142 yards rushing, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Myles Gaskin ran 18 times for 108 yards, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. The Dawgs accumulated just 10 net yards rushing in the second half, which put too much pressure on Browning.

Special Teams: Grade B Minus: Tristan Vizcaino kicked off four times, averaging 65.0 yards per kickoff, and had two touchbacks. UW averaged 42.8 yards per punt, with two downed inside the 20. Cameron Van Winkle booted one field goal from 35 yards out and missed a critical 45-yarder in the third quarter.

Defense; Grade B: The defense yielded 397 total yards. ASU punted on its first six possessions.

Coaching; Grade D: More study time at Suzzallo is in order, followed by a long sweaty session in the weight room, followed by a session watching all of the presidential debates, both Republican and Democratic, so the coaches can learn to lie to potential recruits with a smile on their faces. A nocturnal visit from the ghost of Gil Dobie awaits those coaches who are botching, bolloxing, and bungling their jobs on and off the field.

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 ASU, the OLE's were:

UW Offensive line efficiency = 114.08 + 4.2 *20.57 + 1*5.09 + 86 * 3/14 - 10 - 5 * 4 = 194.7

ASU  Offensive line efficiency = 136.92 + 3.3*20.57 + 2*5.09 + 77* 4/17 - 25 - 5 * 4 =  188.1

(*) 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

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