Targets and Catches: A River ran through Southern Utah

William Mancebo

WSU's receivers took advantage of the matchup against Southern Utah.

After a pair of below average showings to start the season, I was hoping to see a strong performance from WSU's wide receivers against Southern Utah. The Cougar receivers came through and then some.

There are some impressive numbers in the chart below, although the best of all may be the zero drops. WSU had some drop issues against Auburn, cut it down significantly against USC and eliminated them all together against Southern Utah. Good to see.

WSU vs. Southern Utah

Player

Yds

Tgt

Cmp

Drp

1st

Int

TD

Target%

Catch%

Drop%

1st%

YPT

Rating

Bartolone

8

1

1

0

0

0

0

2.1%

100%

0.0%

0.0%

8.0

167.2

Cracraft

87

7

6

0

5

0

0

14.6%

85.7%

0.0%

71.4%

12.4

190.1

D Williams

101

4

3

0

2

0

2

8.3%

75.0%

0.0%

50.0%

25.3

452.1

Galvin

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0

0.0

K Williams

18

8

5

0

2

0

0

16.7%

62.5%

0.0%

25.0%

2.3

81.4

Marks

83

9

7

0

4

0

1

18.8%

77.8%

0.0%

44.4%

9.2

191.9

Mayle

14

3

2

0

1

0

1

6.3%

66.7%

0.0%

33.3%

4.7

215.9

Myers

45

6

4

0

3

1

1

12.5%

66.7%

0.0%

50.0%

7.5

151.3

Ratliff

31

3

2

0

2

0

0

6.3%

66.7%

0.0%

66.7%

10.3

153.5

Brooks

20

4

4

0

1

0

0

8.3%

100%

0.0%

25.0%

5.0

142.0

Team

387

46

34

0

20

1

5

95.8%

73.9%

0.0%

43.5%

8.4

176.1

I realize he was only targeted four times, but Dom Williams' 25.3 yards per target is still amazing. Two of his three catches went for long touchdowns. The only target he didn't catch was a very poor throw by Austin Apodaca.

Williams' game was impressive, but the player who stood out the most to me was River Cracraft. After struggling in the first two games, Cracraft produced in a big way against Southern Utah. Six catches on seven targets good for 12.4 YPT. Even more impressive, Cracraft's numbers weren't inflated by a one long catch, his catches went for 17, 17, 12, 3 and 17 yards. That is exactly the type of production WSU needs from its inside receivers.

The Y receiver position had an excellent game with Cracraft and Bobby Ratliff combining for 118 yards on 10 targets. A huge improvement from the first two weeks. WSU got next to nothing, however, from the H spot with Brett Bartolone and Rickey Galvin being targeted twice for eight yards. Leon Brooks got some run at that spot for the first time this season and caught four passes for 20 yards.

Kristoff Williams' YPT took a blow in large part because most of his eight targets came behind the line of scrimmage. WSU isn't great in the screen game right now, which means a lot of short gains or losses for Williams.

Marks continues to draw the most targets and responded with an excellent game.

The 8.4 yards per target as a group is slightly above average, but probably doesn't show how well the group played. If you remove Apodaca's seven pass attempts, the number jumps to 9.3 YPT.

WSU's 2013 season

Player

Yds

Tgt

Cmp

Drp

1st

Int

TD

Target%

Catch%

Drop%

1st%

YPT

Rating

Bartolone

39

11

6

0

2

1

0

7.4%

54.5%

0.0%

18.2%

3.5

66.1

Cracraft

101

16

9

2

5

1

0

10.8%

56.3%

12.5%

31.3%

6.3

96.8

D Williams

194

12

8

0

6

0

2

8.1%

66.7%

0.0%

50.0%

16.2

257.5

Galvin

47

12

7

0

4

1

0

8.1%

58.3%

0.0%

33.3%

3.9

74.6

K Williams

116

25

15

3

8

2

0

16.9%

60.0%

12.0%

32.0%

4.6

83.0

Marks

202

27

20

1

10

0

1

18.2%

74.1%

3.7%

37.0%

7.5

149.1

Mayle

14

5

2

1

1

0

1

3.4%

40.0%

20.0%

20.0%

2.8

129.5

Myers

78

14

8

0

6

1

1

9.5%

57.1%

0.0%

42.9%

5.6

113.2

Ratliff

103

9

7

0

3

0

1

6.1%

77.8%

0.0%

33.3%

11.4

210.6

Brooks

20

4

4

0

1

0

0

2.7%

100.0%

0.0%

25.0%

5.0

142.0

Team

914

135

86

7

46

6

6

91.2%

63.7%

5.2%

34.1%

6.8

126.4

The Cougars' outing against Southern Utah was good enough to jump the season YPT by more than a yard. While 6.8 YPT is still lower than WSU needs that number to be, it's a step in the right direction. The catch rate is also climbing up closer to ideal range.

With another game of data you can start to see a hierarchy among the receivers developing. Marks is the go-to guy, while Kristoff isn't far behind. Cracraft is getting the majority of targets at Y, while Bartolone and Galvin are close to even at H. Dom Williams remains a secondary piece, despite his ability to connect on big plays. We'll have to see if he gets more involved as the season goes along instead of being the guy Connor Halliday turns to for a couple of shots down field per game.

If WSU has another strong week against Idaho, the season numbers could look very promising heading into the game against Stanford.

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