Charting The Game: A Few Interesting Personnel Notes From Week 1

Whenever I rewatch a football game, I'm always amazed at how much I missed while watching it live. There is so much activity on any given play, it's easy to miss things. From a great block to an unique formation, a lot goes unnoticed on the first viewing.

With that in mind, I decided to chart WSU's games this season to see what interesting notes I could discover. Charting every play could obviously lead to the the discovery of a tendency or two and while I find it comical to think an opposing coaching staff would ever rely on data from a blog such at CougCenter, I'll still err on the side of caution and limit these posts to a few bullet points rather than large sums of raw data.

Offense

  • The WSU offense ran 61 plays against BYU and five players played every snap. Jeff Tuel took all the snaps at quarterback while Wade Jacobson, Elliott Bosch, Jake Rodgers and John Fullington played every snap along the offensive line.
  • Speaking off the offensive line, WSU made a change on the final drive of the first half with Matt Goetz subbing in for right tackle Dan Spitz. Goetz played 32 snaps at right guard with Rodgers shifting out to right tackle.
  • Of the Cougars 61 plays, they were in 10 personnel (1 RB, 4 WR) on 45 of them. WSU used their 20 personnel (2 RB, 3 WR) package on the other 15 plays.
  • When Mike Leach hired Jim Mastro as running back coach, some thought it would signal the addition of the pistol formation to Leach's Air Raid offense. WSU did feature a little bit of pistol, lining up in it on three plays.
  • WSU rotated three running backs with Carl Winston seeing the most snaps with 44. Freshman Teondray Caldwell was next with 23 snaps while Leon Brooks was on the field for nine offensive snaps.
  • The Cougars threw more than they ran, but the playcalls were fairly mixed. The longest string of consecutive pass attempts was nine and it was over two drives.
Defense
  • Depth has consistently been brought up as WSU's biggest question mark and the game against BYU didn't do much to calm those concerns. When Darryl Monroe, Chester Su'a and Eric Oertel were on the field at the same time, the Cougar defense wasn't half bad. When even one was on the sideline, there was a significant dropoff. The three were on the field together for 26 snaps and a different combination was used on 52 snaps. Note: each combo below recorded one sack which is why each is one snap short.
Sua/Monroe/Oertel Other Combination
Passing 7-12 for 79 yards, 58 percent, 6.6 YPA 18-25 for 224 yards, 72 percent, 9.0 YPA
Rushing 13 attempts for 43 yards, 3.3 YPC 26 attempts for 96 yards, 3.7 YPC
Total 4.9 yards per play 6.3 yards per play

  • BYU dropped back to pass 39 times and WSU blitzed on 59 percent of them.
  • Deone Bucannon and Taylor Taliulu were iron men for WSU at safety. Each played the first 73 snaps on defense before yielding to the backups for the final five snaps of the game.
  • WSU used four different cornerbacks with Nolan Washington (46 snaps), Damante Horton (62 snaps) and Daniel Simmons (43 snaps) rotating. Tracy Clark played the final five snaps of the game.
  • Going into the game, I was interested to see how often Ioane Gauta and Toni Pole would be on the field at the same time. They ended up playing 19 snaps together with mixed results. With them both in, WSU allowed 2.8 YPC on eight rushing attempts compared to 3.8 YPC on the other 31 rushing attempts. However, with both in WSU allowed 10.5 yards per attempt on 11 passes compared to 7.2 YPA on 26 passes with only one in. It will be interesting to see how much they play together going forward.
  • Travis Long played 68 of 78 possible defensive snaps and moved all over the field. He lined up at defensive end on 41 snaps, outside linebacker on 25 snaps and middle linebacker on two snaps. His 41 defensive end snaps included seven in a 3-4 alignment. Long also played 16 snaps on special teams just for good measure.
Freshman
  • WSU played eight true freshman against BYU. Here is how their snaps broke down:
Player Offense Defense Special Teams Total
Jeremiah Allison 0 1 6 7
Taylor Taliulu 0 73 13 86
Destiny Vaeao 0 26 4 30
Brett Bartolone 27 0 0 27
Teondray Caldwell 23 0 8 31
Gabe Marks 28 0 6 34
Feddie Davey 0 0 2 2
Kache Palacio 0 0 1 1
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