Targets and Deflections: Have yourself a day, Damante Horton

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The numbers are in and oh are they beautiful.

When WSU held Auburn to 4.95 yards per target, I thought that had a good chance to be the best mark of the season. I was sure USC and Marqise Lee would obliterate that number. How sure? Well, last week I said this:

I don't know what WSU has up its sleeve to cover Lee and the rest of USC's receivers, but if the Cougars hold USC to 4.95 yards per target like they did Auburn, I will gladly eat a hot dog covered in mayo on top of a shoe.

There's a saying about putting your foot in your mouth. Well, that statement will cause me to do that ... literally. And it will be topped with a hot dog and mayo.

WSU didn't just hold the Trojans below 5.0 yards per target, they held them below 2.0 YPT. Seriously, that really happened. Quickly, before we get to the happy totals, these numbers will look significantly different than the box score USC produced. The Trojans stat keepers -- possibly to help polish Lee's resume -- called a lot of screen passes runs. If it went for negative yards it was a run, if it gained yardage it was a pass. That of course is nonsense. If it was indeed a lateral, I charted it as a run, but the rest of them were properly accounted as pass attempts.

Also you can enhance your reading experience by playing this song in the background as you read. Nice work Trojans.

WSU vs. USC

Players

Yds

Tgts

Comp

Drop

INT

PD

Pen

Pen Y

1st D

TD

Target%

Catch%

1ST%

INT%

YPT

Rating

Brown

7

5

1

1

0

1

2

30

0

0

21.74%

20.00%

0.00%

0.00%

1.40

31.76

Carpenter

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Horton

-5

4

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

17.39%

25.00%

0.00%

50.00%

-1.25

-85.50

Monroe

5

2

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

8.70%

50.00%

0.00%

0.00%

2.50

71.00

Team

16

8

7

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

34.78%

87.50%

12.50%

0.00%

2.00

104.30

Sagote

8

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

8.70%

50.00%

0.00%

0.00%

4.00

83.60

Taliulu

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Washington

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Coen

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

10

0

0

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Palacio

4

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00%

100.00%

0.00%

0.00%

4.00

133.60

Pritchard

7

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00%

100.00%

0.00%

0.00%

7.00

158.80

Totals

42

23

13

1

2

2

3

40

1

0

100.00%

56.52%

4.35%

8.70%

1.83

54.47

We of course start with Damante Horton who turned in probably the best game this chart will ever see. Not only did he intercept two passes, but the only catch he allowed he blew up for a 5-yard loss. Negative YPT, negative passer rating. That was an epic performance.

Slacking on the other side of the field, Daquawn Brown allowed 1.4 YPT. I mean really, he couldn't limit USC to negatives too? Jeez, Mike Leach should probably cut him. Seriously though, even if you include the two penalties, Brown allowed 37 yards on seven targets, with a pass break up.

WSU faced USC and the Cougars' starting cornerbacks combined to allow two yards passing. Two freaking yards on nine targets. Pigs are flying, hell is freezing over, etc, etc.

USC ran a lot of screens, as you can see from the eight "team" targets. WSU blew up all of those screens, allowing 16 yards on eight targets. Quick clarification note, a screen is attributed to team if there are blockers out in front. If they throw it to a receiver one-on-one vs. a corner, the corner gets the target. I'm sure you were all on the edge of your seats wondering.

The rest of these numbers are glorious. WSU had twice as many interceptions as USC has passing first downs. All but a couple of USC's pass attempts were 10 yards or less and they still only completed 56 percent. I could go on and on.

Lee was targeted 12 times (drawing one penalty) with six of those targets being on screen/swing/short passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. Including the plays that were classified as runs, Lee gained 20 yards, eight of which came on short passes. Brown was targeted three times when matched up on Lee resulting in no catches and one pass interference call.

WSU season totals

Players

Yds

Tgts

Comp

Drop

INT

PD

Pen

Pen Y

1st D

TD

Target%

Catch%

1ST%

INT%

YPT

Rating

Brown

7

6

1

1

0

1

2

30

0

0

13.95%

16.67%

0.00%

0.00%

1.17

26.47

Carpenter

34

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

6.98%

33.33%

33.33%

0.00%

11.33

128.53

Horton

24

8

4

0

2

0

0

0

2

0

18.60%

50.00%

25.00%

25.00%

3.00

25.20

Monroe

10

4

2

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

9.30%

50.00%

0.00%

0.00%

2.50

71.00

Team

35

13

11

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

30.23%

84.62%

15.38%

0.00%

2.69

107.23

Sagote

8

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6.98%

33.33%

0.00%

0.00%

2.67

55.73

Taliulu

12

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

4.65%

50.00%

50.00%

0.00%

6.00

100.40

Washington

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

4.65%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00

0.00

Coen

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

10

0

0

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Palacio

4

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00%

100.00%

0.00%

0.00%

4.00

133.60

Pritchard

7

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00%

100.00%

0.00%

0.00%

7.00

158.80

Totals

130

41

21

3

2

3

2

30

6

0

95.35%

51.22%

14.63%

4.88%

3.17

68.10

I could see season numbers like this after Week 2 if WSU had opened against a pair of weak FCS teams. I would have never expected the Cougars would come out of USC and Auburn allowing 3.17 yards per target.

Brown has allowed seven receiving yards in two games.

It'll be interesting to see how long teams keep going with a heavy dose of screen passes against WSU. The Cougars are stuffing them.

I'm going to screen shot this table and save it as my desktop background, so I'll never forget it.

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