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Dawgs "P" on Tree, Pummel Cardinal

Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington, Friday, Sep 30, 2016.. The following grades the University of Washington's effort, position-by-position, for its fifth game of the 2016 season, this against the Stanford Cardinal. UW (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) won the game 44-6.

The Huskies out-muscled the Cardinal, dominating both sides of the line of scrimmage. Besides p**ing on the Tree, UW kicked sand on its branches, giving it -- and its fans -- the feeling of a 97-pound sapling or weakling, whichever the case may be. To support this notion, UW won the offensive line efficiency battle: 362.25 to 116.2.

The margin of victory was the largest against a top-10 ranked team in school history; Stanford ranked 7th in the AP poll going into the game.

UW coach Chris Peterson (20-12 at UW) is guiding Washington along a treacherous road leading to national prominence, much like that manifest when Don James (153-57-2; 1975-1992) skippered the Huskies. Call this another signature win for coach Pete.

There will be a few hiccups along the way; the path to Pac-12 dominance is replete with quicksand or sink holes ready to swallow ambitious coaches attempting to separate themselves from the pack.

After losing to WSU last week, Oregon, next week's opponent, will be hungry for an upset win and looking for its 13th straight over the Dawgs. -- the game played in Eugene. First order of business for Washington will be to stop RB Royce Freeman, who is averaging 8.3 yards per carry. See the Border War.

Grades --

QB Jake Browning and his talented receiving corps were outstanding. The Husky defense came to play. Special teams were superb. The coaches were at their best. And the running game was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

: ""There is no official mascot at Stanford University. The 'Tree,' which is a member of the Stanford Band, is representative of El Palo Alto, the Redwood tree which is the logo of the city of Palo Alto. Since Stanford University and Palo Alto are almost inextricably intertwined in interests and location, it is a natural outgrowth of this relationship. The tree still exists and stands by the railroad bridge beside San Francis Quito Creek it is the site where early explorers first camped when settling the area."

Click on this link for the: statistics

Quarterback; Grade A  -- True sophomore Jake Browning completed 15 of 21  passes for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Browning's pass efficiency on the night was a super sensational 202.6, and is 196.3 on the season.

Offensive Line
; Grade A: The Huskies' Offensive Line Efficiency rating was 362.25 compared to Card's 116.2. 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 A: 210 yards passing, 14.0 yards per completion, with a mix of 6 different receivers, proved more than adequate.

Ball Carriers; Grade A: 214 yards rushing, with an average of 5.2 yards per carry, provided a nice balance between the ground and aerial games.

Special Teams: Grade A Minus: Tristan Vizcaino kicked off eight times, averaging 56.9 yards per kickoff, with one touchback. He averaged 40.5 yards on 2 punts. Cameron Van Winkle booted a 18-yard field-goal, giving the Dawgs a 16-0 lead in the second quarter. His first try-for-point on the night was blocked. Heisman hopeful Christian McCaffery ran a kickoff back 57 yards.

Defense; Grade A:
The defense yielded 213 total yards, with a trifling 29 on the ground. McCaffery netted just 49 yards on 12 carries; however, he finished  the game with 223 all-purpose yards. Stanford quarterbacks were sacked 8 times.

Coaching; Grade A: From Macbeth, William Shakespeare:

"So well thy words become thee as thy wounds;
They smack of honor both. Go get him surgeons."

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 the Tree, the OLE's were:

UW Offensive line efficiency = 202.6 + 5.2 *20.57 + 3*5.09 + 62 * 9/12 - 15 - 5 * 0 = 362.25

Tree's Offensive line efficiency = 136.13 + 1.0*20.57 + 0*5.09 + 57* 2/12 - 10 - 5 * 8 =  116.2

(*) 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 richardrlinde@gmail.com

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