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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 13, 2009 at 9:29 PM

Reviewing UW’s statistical rankings

The updated NCAA stats are out, and I well realize that only two games is an incredibly small sample size to base much on.
On the other hand, this is a blog to discuss anything to do with UW football, so I think it interesting enough, even at this early stage, to pass them on as a form of creating, well, more to discuss. It’s also actually worth doing this year as opposed to last season, where it was an exercise in the incredibly obvious.
Here’s UW’s team page, showing the Husky leaders in each individual category as well as team rankings.
Here are some of the highlights, with comment:
— The Huskies lead the Pac-10 in just one category, passing offense, at 287.0 yards per game, which is also 20th in the nation. This is a huge improvement from last season when the Huskies averaged 163.8 yards per game which was the lowest for UW since 1990, when the Huskies ran and played defense so well they didn’t really need to pass. The improvement speaks obviously to the emphasis of new coach Steve Sarkisian, the maturity of Jake Locker and a similarly maturing receiving corps which is also bolstered by the addition of James Johnson. A lot of these early numbers could fluctuate greatly as the season progresses, but this is one I’m betting stays pretty consistent.
— UW is 36th overall in total offense at 436 per game — the Huskies averaged 263.2 a year ago, which had been the lowest since 1966.
— UW is 67th in rushing offense at 139 per game. That’s much better than a year ago, which was 99.3. But given that Idaho was one of the opponents, probably not as high as everyone would like, even if there has been more emphasis on the pass so far than you might have thought heading into the season. Still, testament to how bad UW’s running game has been for years, 139 would rank as the second best since the 2000 season if it holds up — the only one better was 203.1 in 2007 when Locker Louis Rankin ran wild.
— The two worst numbers on the board are also the most ominous — pass efficiency defense and pass defense. UW is 101st in pass efficiency defense and 96th in pass defense, allowing 260.5 yards per game. Each is also ninth in the Pac-10, I’m assuming to WSU, which gave up like 5,000 yards in the first 20 minutes of yesterday’s game to Hawaii. It would have been foolish to expect an immediate rise to the top of the statistical ladder in the secondary given the problems of the last few years, so some early struggles there have to be accepted. The hope is obviously that it gets better as the season wears on, especially if UW has really found the safety combination it likes now in Justin Glenn and Nate Williams. And if there’s a silver lining, it’s that the Pac-10 isn’t as strong in passing offense this year as it has been many other seasons. There is only one Pac-10 team among the top 40 in passing offense so far — the Huskies.
— Locker leads the Pac-10 and is 14th in the nation in total offense at 321.5 per game. He is also 37th in the nation and third in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency at 149.59. As noted yesterday, his career efficiency mark was 104.7 heading into this season, so obviously a huge improvement. And it’s on pace to be one of the best efficiency ratings in school history. Brock Huard has the record with a 159.761 in 1997.
Chris Polk is 48th in the nation and sixth in the Pac-10 in rushing at 85 yards per game. However, he’s having to work hard to get there. His average of 4.25 yards per carry is the lowest of anybody in the top 50 in the nation.
All for now.

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