The third infographic from WSU Athletics is up and ready for analysis. Since that’s part of what we do, let’s get it!
There are some impressive upticks within these numbers from 2012 to 2013. The offenses made big strides in the right direction in total yardage and yards per play.
The number you don’t see is Sacks allowed. The Cougs gave up an NCAA leading 57 sacks. The Rams gave up 30, which was bad enough to end ranked 90th.
While the numbers still aren’t awesome (tied 80th with 27 allowed) they are a infinitely better than last season and you can point to that as part of the winning formula for WSU. When you consider the level of defense that the Cougs faced on a game by game basis (widely regarded as the toughest schedule in the nation), that’s actually an incredible stat.
Colorado State, meanwhile has done a pretty stellar job protecting their quarterback. They are tied for 39th with only 19 sacks allowed this season. They haven’t faced the same level of defense consistently, but every conference has their stars on the defensive end and the schedule includes 13 games and Alabama.
The defensive line is where the Cougars hold a distinct advantage, but in the long run it doesn’t mean much. The teams just go about getting defensive production in different ways. Colorado State gets most of their production in pressure and tackles from the second level, Washington State gets their pressure from their D-line.
When looking at an offensive gameplan for each team based on these numbers; both offenses are best against what the other team is set to give up most. The Cougs get the ball out fast against the blitz and the Rams run the ball right at that aggressive defensive line. That’s the match up to take a look at as the game unfolds.