Mike Leach talked after the game against the Boise State Broncos about the need to go and take games away from your opponent. Luke Falk, in particular, seemed to take that to heart as he eviscerated the Oregon State Beavers and Nevada Wolf Pack, completing 76% of his passes for 874 yards 11 touchdowns and nary an interception over his next two games.
His 10.2 yards per attempt vs Nevada was a career best and he threw touchdowns on 12% of this throws vs Oregon State, also a career best. Even with the stinker of a performance vs Boise State, he’s still at 8.2 yards per attempt on the season.
An opportunistic USC defense heads to Pullman currently limiting their opponents to a sub 50% completion rate and picking off every 20th throw. Falk has the offense in an efficient as hell rhythm, ranking 6th nationally in S&P+ passing success rate, but USC’s defense is ranked 14th in the same stat. Strength on strength.
That said, even though the Trojans are having success keeping teams behind the sticks, they’re 11th in the Pac-12 in % of plays of 20+ yards. WSU excels in efficiency, but struggles to be explosive. Hopefully Falk can find Tavares Martin Jr and Jamire Calvin for chunks of 20 early and often.
Below is The Luke Falk Stat Machine. It lets you explore two scenarios: One where Falk plays awesome and one where he doesn’t. It’s currently set to his 2017 averages and the USC side is set to their pass defense averages over the same time period. You can mess around with some of the stats to see what it looks like if Falk continues on the 9.1 YPA tear he’s on over the last two games or what his yardage would look like if USC pulls him closer to their 49% completion rate.
We were all fully introduced to Luke Falk vs USC on a cold day during a season to forget. Friday he has the opportunity to avenge that loss and leave UW as the only Pac-12 team he has played against that he has not beaten at least once. I’m hoping he turns that YPA up to 11, has himself a day and sets off an epic weekend in Pullman.
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