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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Examining a few numbers after the non-conference season

While a lot of things about this Husky team and season can be pretty heavily debated, what I don’t think can be argued is that Washington played about as true of an A-B-C non-conference schedule as is possible.

LSU appears to be a true A opponent, a top-five, national-champion contender; San Diego State appears a true B opponent, a mid-level FBS team that may sneak into a bowl; and Portland State was a true C opponent, a lower-division team that wasn’t expected to put up much of a fight and didn’t.

So, while I will always acknowledge that early-season college football stats can be misleading as heck, I thought it might be worth looking at some of Washington’s numbers now that it has indeed passed through its A-B-C schedule to see if there’s anything that can really be learned.

The two best places to view there stats are UW’s page on the official NCAA stats site (here), and the Pac-12’s official stats (here).

To review a few of the major stats:

— UW is ninth in the Pac-12 and 85th nationally in scoring at 25.3 points per game (and obviously, the LSU game brought that down, though the Portland State also helped bring it up, sort of the point of waiting until after they play teams A, B and C to bother looking at these stats much);

— The Huskies are eighth in the conference and 51st nationally in scoring defense at 22 points per game;

— UW is 11th in the conference and 107th nationally in total offense at 313.3 yards per game;

— And UW is fifth in the conference and 38th nationally in total defense at 341.7 yards per game.

To compare those numbers to 2011, last year UW averaged 33.4 points a game on offense and allowed 35.9 while gaining 409.8 on offense and allowing 453.3.

None of that is probably much of a surprise given what we’ve seen so far — an offense that has some work to do to get to the level of a year ago, and a defense that looks improved.

The area of the team that has appeared the most concerning through the first three games is the ability to run and stop the run, and the stats bear out some reason for anxiety. UW is eighth in the conference and 97th nationally running at 113.7 yards per game and is 10th in the conference and 79th nationally defending the run at 174.7.

Those will be especially key against a Stanford team averaging 149.7 yards on the ground and allowing just 45.
More of a surprise offensively is UW standing 11th in the Pac-12 and 98th nationally in pass offense at 199.7 yards per game and 10th in efficiency (UW is second in pass defense at 167 yards per game but only eighth in pass defense efficiency).

UW’s special teams are sort of a mixed bag as the Huskies are third in kickoff returns at 22.4 per game but 11th in punt returns, last in net punting and 11th in kickoff coverage.

In a couple of other notable numbers:

— UW is third in third-down conversions at 41.9 percent (the Huskies converted 46 percent last year) and ninth in stopping third-downs on defense at 41.0 percent (last year UW allowed 49 percent).

— UW ranks fourth in fewest penalty yards per game at 66.7;

— UW is fourth in the Pac-12 in turnover margin at plus-three;
Keith Price’s pass efficiency rating jumped markedly after Saturday and he is now at 126.9 for the season, ninth in the conference. He set a UW school record last year at 161.09.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ 20 catches rank fourth in the conference and his 211 yards is 10th;

Thomas Tutogi is UW’s leading tackler with 19th, which ranks tied for 23rd in the conference.

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