Targets And Catches Week 3: Gabe Marks Steals The Show

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so you can look at this and call it good or read the next 1,300 words about wide receivers.

After a lackluster start to the season, the Washington State offense broke out to a certain degree in Week 3 and the wide receivers were a big reason why.

WSU's wide receiver group performed somewhere between mediocre and below average during the first two weeks, but that changed in a big way against UNLV. While Marquess Wilson had his first Marquess Wilson type game, Gabe Marks stole the show.

Before we get to the charts and see just how good Marks and Wilson were, I have a quick note. If you look at the boxscore for the UNLV game, you'll see Kristoff Williams listed with one catch for 20 yards. The only problem is, Kristoff didn't catch one pass for 20 yards. An Isiah Myers 20-yard reception was incorrectly credited to Williams. If you watch this GIF, you can clearly see it is Myers, not Williams making the catch. As a result, the official stats are wrong, the season stats are wrong and Myers got robbed of 20 receiving yards.

College scorekeeping can be atrocious at times. Most schools produce fairly accurate stats, but overall there are a lot of mistakes. Usually, the mistakes are a yard here or there, but player mixups are fairly common as well. The mistakes are often caught and corrected, but that doesn't appear to have happened in this case. I have correctly credited Myers with the catch in the chart below so if you notice the discrepancy, that is why.

Week 3:

Player Snaps Yards Targets Catches Drops 1st Downs Target % Catch % Drop % 1st Down % YPT YPR
Brett Bartolone 44 27 4 4 0 2 9.30 100.00 0.00 50.00 6.75 0.77
Bennett Bontemps 11 7 1 1 0 0 2.33 100.00 0.00 0.00 7.00 0.88
Rickey Galvin 27 0 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Andrei Lintz 7 0 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Gabe Marks 26 126 7 6 1 3 16.28 85.71 14.29 42.86 18.00 6.63
Isiah Myers 38 65 8 6 2 3 18.60 75.00 25.00 37.50 8.13 2.41
Bobby Ratliff 30 30 4 2 0 1 9.30 50.00 0.00 25.00 7.50 1.50
Gino Simone 5 0 2 0 1 0 4.65 0.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Dominique Williams 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Marquess Wilson 55 110 11 5 2 2 25.58 45.45 18.18 18.18 10.00 2.75
Totals 243 365 39 24 6 11 90.70 61.54 15.38 28.21 9.36 2.03

  • No choice but to start with Marks who produced some eye-popping numbers. The 18.00 YPT and 6.63 YPR (What's this?) are both out of this world good. If you aren't familiar with YPT, 8.0 is roughly average, double-digits are excellent, teens are elite and upper teens are Marquess Wilson vs. Arizona State good. Actually, Wilson had a 22.30 YPT that day, but you get the idea. Marks ran 19 routes, was targeted on seven of them and caught six of the targets. Gabe Marks get's open ... a lot.
  • Wilson produced his first double-digit YPT of the season. It's also the first time he's been in double-digit targets this season. The long touchdown was a big boost to his numbers and he would have been in Marks' territory if not for the two drops. Still, this chart is a lot more fun when Wilson is in double-digits.
  • After seeing a handful of snaps in each of the first two games, Dominique Williams did not play against UNLV. Instead, when Wilson came off the field, he was replaced by Bennett Bontemps.
  • Welcome back Bobby Ratliff. After catching his first pass of the year last week, Ratliff saw four targets against UNLV. With Rickey Galvin likely out with an injury, Ratliff has an opportunity to play and I fully expect him to take advantage.
  • Speaking of Galvin, he played 27 snaps before leaving with 2:40 to play in the third quarter. Galvin was blocking on a screen play and ended up at the bottom of the pile. He got up and jogged off the field, but did not return.
  • The group as a whole produced an above average YPT and YPR. The drops are a concern, although I will admit I'm a bit harsh in determining what is a drop. Essentially if the wide receiver gets two hands on the ball I call it a drop. Even with the drops the group produced at above average levels across the board.

Season stats:

Player Snaps Yards Targets Catches Drops 1st Downs Target % Catch % Drop % 1st Down % YPT YPR
Brett Bartolone 108 64 15 10 1 3 12.00 66.67 6.67 20.00 4.27 0.71
Bennett Bontemps 14 7 1 1 0 0 0.80 100.00 0.00 0.00 7.00 0.70
Rickey Galvin 108 68 12 9 0 3 9.60 75.00 0.00 25.00 5.67 0.81
Andrei Lintz 57 14 3 2 0 1 2.40 66.67 0.00 33.33 4.67 0.34
Gabe Marks 81 219 17 12 4 7 13.60 70.59 23.53 41.18 12.88 3.59
Isiah Myers 103 173 21 17 3 9 16.80 80.95 14.29 42.86 8.24 2.34
Bobby Ratliff 49 39 5 3 0 1 4.00 60.00 0.00 20.00 7.80 1.34
Gino Simone 21 10 6 3 1 0 4.80 50.00 16.67 0.00 1.67 0.59
Dominique Williams 22 25 4 2 0 1 3.20 50.00 0.00 25.00 6.25 1.56
Marquess Wilson 161 218 25 13 4 6 20.00 52.00 16.00 24.00 8.72 1.85
Totals 724 837 109 72 13 31 87.20 66.06 11.93 28.44 7.68 1.55

  • Wilson's YPT and YPR are essentially right in line with what you'd expect from the average No. 1 receiver. What's really encouraging about that is his catch rate is not going to stay that low all season. His catch rate as a freshman was 57.89 and 66.67 as a sophomore. That 52.00 is going to rise and when it does, his YPT and YPR are going to climb back into elite range.
  • Speaking of elite range, those numbers from Marks are a thing of beauty. He isn't likely to maintain those all season, but the future is very bright. One thing I've learned from writing this chart every week is true freshman receivers tend to struggle. Isiah Myers did last year and Brett Bartolone is this season. Wilson and Marks have been the two exceptions.
  • Mike Leach called Myers the most consistent receiver and he's right. Through three weeks, Myers has had a YPT of 10.0, 7.25 and 8.13. His catch rate is still high and I still expect him to regress some, but at some point it's going to stop being a fluke and start becoming a trend.
  • While Wilson, Marks and Myers have all been good for WSU, the Cougars are still looking for a reliable fourth receiver. Andrei Lintz has been a non-factor and now Galvin is hurt. Ratliff will get an opportunity to fill that role and if he produces like last season (8.49 YPT) the WSU passing game could really get rolling.
  • Raise your hand if you thought Brett Bartolone would be tied for the second most snaps played through three weeks. Okay put your hands down you lairs. I was probably as high on Bartolone as anyone and I didn't think he would play anywhere near this much. Talking to Kyle in January, i "went out on a limb" and predicted Bartolone would catch at least 15 passes this season. I should probably stop trying to predict stats.

That's all for this week. Wilson produced a 13.44 YPT on nine targets against Colorado last season. Can he top that this season? We'll find out next week.

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