Well, with ASU coming up, we thought we'd take a look at some stats. We thought we'd go Inside The Numbers. Because we're trying to break down stereotypes here. Can ASU run? Can they stop the run? And how many yards will their seemingly below average QB get against us? 300? 400? Find out after the jump. GO BEARS!
TwistNHook: Let's take a look at ASU here. First up, passing. How can they replace Rudy Carpenter, their 4 year superstar:
The answer is not very well. 53.6% completion. 112 rating. That's somewhat below average. Not WSU level, but still not really great. The QB rating of the 4th quarter is actually the highest, but I think that that stems from the fact no Interceptions were thrown. 52.4% is not a great completion percentage. And even the 118 is not very great. Note that the first quarter has the worst rating at 105.
So, what does this mean? Look for whichever below average ASU QB that is starting to just light us up. If there is one thing we seem great at, it's making the Princes and Tuels of the world seem amazing. Up next? Sullivan! Or Osweiller! Or Rudy Carpenter in a Mexican wrestling mask.
|3rd Down, 1-3 To Go||5||7||4||57.1||30||1||0||64.57||11||4||0||0|
|3rd Down, 4-6 To Go||7||21||11||52.4||139||0||1||123.69||44||9||3||1|
|3rd Down, 7-9 To Go||6||13||8||61.5||97||0||1||149.60||23||4||3||0|
|3rd Down, 10+ To Go||7||27||4||14.8||47||1||0||22.03||21||1||2||0|
Take a look at these numbers...apparently Sullivan is most effective on 1st downs, adequate on 2nd downs, and dreadful on 3rd downs. However a lot of this is due to being in 3rd and REALLY LONG situations...4-27 on 3rd and 10+??? Guess that offensive line hasn't improved much...
So we might see a lot of zone defense in this one early on, to see if we can get that offensive line with just a 3-4 man rush and dare Sullivan to try and do exactly what you say, i.e., light us up. Plus it seems run and pass are both equally efficient on 1st and 10...
TwistNHook: Lets take a look at the rushing stats:
4.48 yards per carry. Not bad. Not bad at all. But take a closer look at the numbers. 3.52 in the first half. 5.37 in the second. In specific, 7.33 in the 3rd quarter. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED THERE!??
All the other quarters bare between 3.43 ypc and 3.64. Ok. So, where did this 7.22 come from? Maybe its a typographical error from cfbstats.com? Maybe ASU had some insane 3rd quarter somewhere where they just ran, ran, ran. They do have their long of 75 yards on a single carry in that quarter.
What does this mean? Assuming that these numbers are not a typo (and I'm still not entirely sure on that), watch out for that killer 3rd quarter. Also, besides that 3rd quarter, their numbers aren't very good. We're talking roughly 3.5 yards a carry. That'd be enough to get a 1st down every time and slowly march down the field, but at the collegiate level that is not great. Their numbers are slightly better in the first quarter, so it's important to jump on the running game quickly.
We've done remarkably well at holding RBs in check, save for anybody in the green and gold (and I mean anybody, I think Mark Ellis just rushed for 250 against Cal's D). I think that Cal can manage this running game, also. That puts more emphasis on their passing game. For the past few years, ASU has been a pass-first team. But now, their passing game has declined.
Avinash: It looks like ASU has a running back by committee approach going:
Basically the same formula they had the last few years with Nance, Herring and DeWitty in 2008, or with Herring, Torain and Nance in 2007. It seems to have had good success against everyone but Oregon State and Georgia this year. How do you think they'll fare against the Cal front seven?
TwistNHook: Let's take a look at their pass D.
This looks pretty strong here. I mean 110 QB rating against. 54% completion against. Although, again, oddly, the numbers are dragged down by 1 incredibly odd quarter. Here, it is the 2nd quarter where the QB rating of 96 and completion % of 48.4 are well below the norms for the other 3 quarters. What are they doing in the second quarter that is so successful?
They faced much more attempts in the second quarter. Why could this be? It doesn't make any sense.
Their worst QB rating against is in the 4th quarter, which might stem from situations where they were playing prevent D and giving up large amounts of yards. Looking at this, it appears ASU has a very solid pass D, but that it might not be quite as good as you think based off of an odd quarter. Yet another odd quarter.
Also, of note, they gave up a 99 yard pass play. Was that against WSU?
Avinash: The 99 yarder was Wazzu yes. They got a thousand turnovers and they needed a 99 yarder to get half of their points. Fun being a Cougar fan these days.
In 2007 ASU's defense seemed to play better and better by each quarter. But this season seems to be similar to last--it appears that trend only lasts one quarter. I'm guessing it has to do with too many night games and the alluring presence of Sun Devil sorority girls. Eventually you just lose focus at college on Saturday nights. And in Tempe? Come on, hard to do anything for sixty minutes without running into something blonde.
Thank goodness this game's in the day.
TwistNHook: Let's take a look at run D:
Wow-ee!!! 2.65 yards per carry against?!??! Damn. Just, damn. Is this where Burfict comes in? Look at that 2nd quarter rating there. 1.74 yards per carry against. These are redick good numbers and are really the strength of the team. This should be interesting, because this could be the best run D Cal sees all year.
And this could be the best run game ASU sees all year (unlikely, but I did use the word "could"). Getting Riley going is going to be absolutely key, because ASU is going to play Best/Vereen VERY harsh. I think our guys can punch ASU back in the mouth there, but it is not going to be easy. And if Riley can get the passing game going against a pretty good ASU Pass D than it'll make it easier for our guys to run the ball.
|Winning By 15+ Pts||3||41||65||1.59||0||37||4||3||1|
|Winning By 8-14 Pts||4||31||59||1.90||1||23||5||5||1|
|Winning By 1-7 Pts||5||40||69||1.73||0||18||8||3||0|
|Losing By 1-7 Pts||3||9||65||7.22||2||32||2||2||1|
|Losing By 8-14 Pts||3||29||148||5.10||2||33||5||4||1|
|Losing By 15+ Pts||2||31||103||3.32||1||26||6||4||2|
Interesting is that the Sun Devils run D plays absurdly well when they're up ahead, but when they're behind? BURNED. Apparently when the Furd and Oregon State took their leads on them, ASU's defense really didn't have enough bite to keep them at bay.
It seems like the formula is same. Cal needs to take the lead early, somehow, and then run the ball down their throats. That'll open up the passing game, and hopefully the floodgates.