Yards Per Target Averages Plummet After UCLA

When I was a kid, I loved to read a particular series of sports books. They all had crazy names like The Catcher With The Glass Arm or The Kid Who Only Hit Homers. If that author were to write a book based on the UCLA game, he would probably title it The Receivers Who Couldn't Run Deep. 

Since Marquess Wilson arrived on campus, big plays by wide receivers have been a common occurrence. In the first four games of 2011, WSU wide receivers combined for 21 plays of 20 yards or more. Against UCLA, they had one. Jeff has already covered the reasons for that, but for the purposes of this post, it caused for some really ugly YPT numbers.

Player Targets Catches Yards Drops 1st Downs YPT Catch% Drop% 1st Down%
Isiah Barton 9 7 76 0 5 8.44 77.78 0.00 55.56
Bennett Bontemps 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Henry Eaddy 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Jared Karstetter 9 2 19 3 2 2.11 22.22 33.33 22.22
Isiah Myers 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Bobby Ratliff 2 2 20 0 2 10.00 100.00 0.00 100.00
Gino Simone 1 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Kristoff Williams 1 1 4 0 0 4.00 100.00 0.00 0.00
Marquess Wilson 12 10 88 1 5 7.33 83.33 8.33 41.67
WR Totals 34 22 207 4 14 6.09 64.71 11.76 41.18

For the first time all season, the wide receivers combined to perform at below average levels. The combined YPT of 6.09 is by far the lowest of the season almost 2.0 YPT lower than the previous low mark. I don't have numbers for his entire career, but I would assume this is Jared Karstetter's worst career game. More drops than catches including one dropped touchdown.

Wilson posts a season low YPT but a season high catch rate. In the past, when teams limited the deep ball, Wilson was largely ineffective. Against the Bruins, Wilson proved he could still be effective despite not catching a pass longer than 15 yards. Also, bonus fun fact: UCLA initially sent out incorrect stats crediting one of Wilson's catches to Aaron Dunn. They fixed the issue after sending the official stats to various media outlets. So, currently on ESPN and other places, Wilson is listed with nine catches for 83 yards. I will not sleep until this injustice is corrected! (OK so I sent an email, but hopefully it's fixed soon).

Player Targets Catches Yards Drops 1st Downs YPT Catch% Drop% 1st Down%
Isiah Barton 39 26 317 4 17 8.13 66.67 10.26 43.59
Bennett Bontemps 2 1 10 0 1 5.00 50.00 0.00 50.00
Henry Eaddy 7 3 32 0 1 4.57 42.86 0.00 14.29
Jared Karstetter 41 24 254 4 14 6.20 58.54 9.76 34.15
Isiah Myers 8 4 51 0 3 6.38 50.00 0.00 37.50
Bobby Ratliff 20 14 156 1 10 7.80 70.00 5.00 50.00
Gino Simone 4 1 20 0 1 5.00 25.00 0.00 25.00
Kristoff Williams 10 7 113 1 4 11.30 70.00 10.00 40.00
Marquess Wilson 46 31 638 4 22 13.87 67.39 8.70 47.83
WR Totals 177 111 1591 14 73 8.99 62.71 7.91 41.24

The UCLA game took it's toll on the season numbers dropping Wilson's season YPT nearly three points. The wide receivers as a group have now had their YPT decline in three straight weeks. Not necessarily a surprise as competition has gotten tougher, but also not a trend I want to see continue.

Barton continues to be very productive with his targets and Ratliff has rebounded nicely from a poor SDSU game. Barton and Karstetter depart after this season which will leave roughly 45 percent of the targets up for grabs. If Ratliff and to a lesser extent Williams can continue their steady play it will bode well for next year's passing offense.

Despite the down game against UCLA, Wilson's numbers remain in fantasy land. Averaging 13.87 YPT with a 67.39 catch rate? No, that can't be real.

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