If you aren't one of the nearly 500 subscribers to Cougar Sports Weekly, here's a snippet of what you missed this morning:
Consider this question, whose answer I would think is obvious: If I had told you before the game that Lobbestael was going to attempt to throw the ball 50 times -- without even knowing anything about SDSU's defensive schemes -- would that have made you feel more or less confident about WSU's chances against the Aztecs? That alone leads me to question whatever process it was that )offensive coordinator Todd) Sturdy used to determine throwing the ball so much was a good idea.
However, there's even another layer to this. Sometimes it's appropriate to consider results in the analysis, and the plain fact was that WSU was running the ball effectively. ... Of WSU's 70 plays, 44 of them were considered "standard downs" by Football Outsiders' definition, meaning either a run or pass is plausible. WSU ran the ball on just 39 percent of those downs, but had a 47 percent "success" rate. That might not seem great, but consider that "success" has lofty expectations: 50 percent of the yards to gain on first down, 70 percent of the yards to gain on second down, and 100 percent of the yards to gain on third and fourth down. Forty-seven percent is actually very good.
Juxtapose that with the passing game. Of the 27 passes on standard downs, WSU experienced success on just 37 percent of them, with more than half of the unsuccessful downs directly attributable to bad throws or bad decisions by Marshall Lobbestael. And no, those numbers weren't skewed by the bad fourth quarter; more than half of the offense's unsuccessful passes on standard downs came in the first half.
So, let's recap. The running game was efficient, the Cougars were facing a defense well-suited to stop the pass, WSU's trigger man was its backup quarterback ... and the offensive coordinator thought it wise to throw the ball 50 times.
That's pretty questionable in my book.
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