A closer look at WSU and turnovers

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Turnovers, especially interceptions, were a major discussion point for WSU last season. Let's dig a little into some numbers.

If you've been reading the ESPN Pac-12 blog lately -- which you should, it's pretty great -- you probably noticed Kevin Gemmell's multiple posts on turnovers. Breaking it down by division, Gemmell took a closer look at points scored and allowed off turnovers. The numbers for WSU are very interesting and possibly telling.

The series concluded on Thursday with Gemmell's preventing points after turnovers post, Pac-12 North style. The quick takeaway is WSU with its 35 turnovers committed, was worse at protecting the ball than any of the other North schools. Cal was second with 28 turnovers while Washington committed just 16 turnovers, less than half of WSU's total. More turnovers leads to more points after turnovers where WSU was the worst with 120 points allowed. That's a staggering number when you consider Stanford allowed just 15 points after turnovers. Oregon, Stanford and Washington combined to turn the ball over 53 times, yet allowed just 107 points off those turnovers. WSU wasn't very good at preventing turnovers or limiting the damage when they did happen.

For fun -- and because overall counting numbers don't always tell the correct story -- I took the data from Gemmell's posts and combined it with total play counts to create a table showing how frequently the Pac-12 teams committed and forced turnovers and how many points were scored as a result.

Team

Plays per TO committed

Points allowed per TO

Plays per TO forced

Points scored per TO

Arizona

60.1

3.3

45.0

3.9

ASU

56.2

2.3

28.5

4.4

Colorado

34.5

4.5

44.0

3.4

UCLA

68.4

3.9

38.1

3.6

USC

50.2

3.6

42.8

2.8

Utah

31.9

2.9

55.4

3.9

California

29.2

3.5

69.1

2.9

Oregon

58.8

3.2

35.9

4.2

OSU

36.4

2.8

31.9

3.7

Stanford

49.9

0.8

52.1

4.0

Washington

56.5

2.1

44.1

4.3

WSU

25.0

3.4

33.5

3.7

If you click around the table, you can see how WSU fared and oh my, the Cougars terrible at preventing turnovers. WSU turned the ball over once every 25 offensive plays. That's Pac-12 referee level of horrible. That's the series finale of Dexter bad. Basically, that's an awful number and I wish I could unsee it.

Half the Pac-12 turned the ball over once every 50 offensive plays or more, twice WSU's mark. The Cougars were slightly below average at preventing points per turnover, which becomes a bigger problem when you turn the ball over so frequently. Stanford was insanely good at limiting the damage, allowing just 0.8 points per turnover.

Defensively, WSU did a good job forcing turnovers, with their 1:33.5 mark the third best in the conference. They were middle of the road in taking advantage of those turnovers, however. The good news with these numbers, WSU has a lot of room to improve next season.

Football:

Preventing points after turnovers: Pac-12 North Division - ESPN
But the following stats should give you a snapshot of how teams fared when trying to stop an opponent from cashing in on a turnover.

Spring breakout player: Washington State Cougars Vince Mayle - ESPN

The case for Mayle: Mayle is a player who did contribute for his team last season. But this spring, he took the step from being a contributor to becoming a safety blanket for QB Connor Halliday.

Five Things We Learned From Mike Leach's AMA | Extra Mustard - SI.com

Mike Leach, head coach of the Washington State Cougars, did an AMA last night promoting his new book, Geronimo: Leadership Strategies of an American Warrior. We’ve assembled the five most important things we learned from Leach’s AMA

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join CougCenter

You must be a member of CougCenter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at CougCenter. You should read them.

Join CougCenter

You must be a member of CougCenter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at CougCenter. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker