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Interactive Graphic: Previewing WSU vs. Oregon

Take a look at where the Cougs and Ducks compare nationally in host of categories and areas WSU can look to have success and where they'll need to avoid letdowns vs Oregon

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks come to town today.  They're good, we know it, and so do they.

The graphic starts with a look at how Mariota and Connor Halliday fare compared to the rest of the country in TD % (percent of their throws result in a touchdown) and Yards Per Attempt (here is the Deadspin article that makes a case for this metric being a better indicator of how likely a QB is to win than passer rating).  The table shows their completions for first downs and completions over 10 and 25 yards

Halliday is leading the country in passing yards and touchdowns, but you'll see that Mariota is in the upper echolon of the country in yards per attempt and touchdown percentage.  He really makes the most of his throws.

The bright side is that while Mariota is having an amazing year throwing the ball, the Oregon defense is having a difficult time stopping teams from moving the ball when they pass.  The good news for the Ducks, is that while teams have racked up first downs and yards, they have struggled to score through the air.

Oregon is also one of the most explosive running teams in the nation.  I took the total runs of 10+ yards and divided it by total carries to get "explosive run percentage."  All those long runs also contribute to a high yards per carry.  One of the surprising finds of this exercise is that WSU has actually done an OK job of limiting "explosive runs" as I have classified them here.

If the Cougs can limit the explosive carries of Run-TMFree, turn passing yards into points and force Mariota into his first interception of the season (unlikely, but it's game day, lets dream), WSU will have a shot.

Instructions for the graphic:

  • Filter's in the upper left will let you filter to a specific or multiple conferences
  • Lassoing or clicking on a logo will filter the table