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Know Thy Enemy: washington Huskies

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Get to know the Mistakes by the Montlake

NCAA Football: Washington at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

2019 record: 5-2 (2-2)

Key Numbers + Info (2019 season)

OOC Opponents: Eastern Washington, Hawaii, Brigham Young

Points per game: 34.43

Points allowed per game: 19.57

Avg. yards per rush: 4.8

Avg. yards per rush allowed: 4.2

Avg. rush yards per game: 178.7

Avg. rush yards per game allowed: 146.7

Rushing TDs: 14 for, 10 against

Avg. pass yards per game: 244.43

Avg. pass yards per game allowed: 216.86

Avg per attempt: 8.31

Avg per attempt allowed: 6.38

Passing TDs: 13 for, 6 against

Collective Pass Completion Rate: 66%

Collective Pass Completion Rate Against: 59%

Leading Rusher: Salvon Ahmed (90 carries for 522 yards and six TDs)

Leading Receiver: Aaron Fuller (40 receptions for 558 yards and five TDs)

Leading Tackler: Myles Bryant (44 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack)

Analytics

Credit to Zane Murffit of Cougcenter.com for doing the Sports Source Analytics charts weekly. They are an immense help. Here’s a glossary to help you translate the numbers.

Win probability

credit: Florida Cup and /u/rcfbuser

As you can see in the image above, Washington has a win probability of 47.4% against Oregon. Also the link, is the explanation behind the formula of the win probability for all teams. Oregon’s win probability chart as seen below for comparison.

Oregon has increased its odds from a 10.3% to 12.5% chance of running the table in conference undefeated from last week. You taking those odds?

Washington Offense vs. Oregon Defense

Washington’s offense is the toughest that Oregon will have faced to date based on success rate. The Huskies’ success rate on pass and run matches the counting stats to a T. They are a pass first team clearly, ranking in the top 30 for yards per pass while barely ranking in the power 5 in yards per carry.

Oregon ranks in the top 5 in both yards per play and yards per pass attempt allowed so it’s a match-up of strength on strength. Washington has converted 37.21% of its third downs but Oregon has given up only 35.29% on defense.

Washington has to run the ball in order to have a chance to control clock against a surprisingly bendy Ducks run defense. The stuff rate isn’t surprising given the run attack that ranks below Colorado’s last week.

Oregon’s defense is simply unfair in the red zone and stopping the explosive play. The Huskies are barely above average in those categories.

They key match-up will be havoc rate as both teams rank in the top 20. It will be interesting to see which offense or defense can counter the other’s passing game.

Washington is a bit better than Colorado in terms of explosion plays ranking above average in the FBS in the pass game but well below average in the run game as the stats bear out.

Oregon jumped up eight spots from last week to tenth in the country in stopping the explosive pass play. That will certainly put to the test against a hot and cold cannon armed Jacob Eason and the cadre of Huskies receivers.

As predicted, the Ducks defense still ranks as the top defense in stopping touchdowns inside their 40 yard line. The Huskies are significantly worse than the Buffaloes in this area.

As you can see, first and second down will be a strength on strength match-up as both teams rank among the best in the country on those downs. Second down will be a battle between top ten squads. Washington has a third down success rate of 37% while Oregon stops them on 35% of those.

Oregon Offense vs Washington Defense

As you can see, Oregon’s rushing offense should have a bit of a better time of things against Washington’s lowly ranked defensive metrics in that category. The run game success rate jumped an insane 24 places from the week prior to Colorado after a rather successful outing. It will be interesting to see how the pass game fares against a much better pass defense than the one Colorado presented.

Oregon’s offense is averaging 6.53 yards per play while Washington’s defense is averaging 5.26 yards per play given up. The Huskies’ run defense is an issue as they have allowed nearly 5.1 yards per carry while the Ducks go for nearly 5.5 per rush.

Where the Huskies can try to stop Justin Herbert is in the pass game. Oregon is 33rd in the country passing for 7.54 yards per attempt while Washington allows 5.42 ypa, also ranking 33rd. The Ducks need to set up the run to pass to avoid attacking a very talented secondary. Let’s hope the coaches did some analytics work and does this.

Oregon converts 40% of its third downs and the Malamutes are allowing a 37% conversion rate to their opponents.

After a rather successful week exploiting the Buffs’ weak passing defense, the Ducks are tenth in explosive pass plays. The Huskies will present a stiffer challenge to Herbert and co. in that this category as they rank almost 60 places higher than Colorado in every passing metric.

Where the Ducks can exploit them is in the run game, where Washington is 99th in the FBS in rushing explosion plays allowed. Both teams are equally up to the task in attacking and defending inside the 40. This is the area of the field that the game will be decided.

If you look at this chart, the game clearly will be decided on first and second downs on Oregon’s offensive chances where they are dominating over the Huskies’ average to below average defensive numbers. Where the defense can attack and attempt to neutralize the Ducks’ attack is on third down but allowing over seven and a half yards per passing attempt will get them in not ideal situations defensively.

Oregon

Rank % of plays 10+ yards Rank: #2

% of plays 10+ Yards: 24.15%

% of plays 20+ Yards: 6.25% (8)

% of plays 30+ Yards: 2.56% (9)

% of plays 40+ Yards: 1.14% (8)

% of plays 50+ Yards: 0.85% (8)

Washington

Rank % of plays 10+ yards Rank: #6

% of plays 10+ Yards: 22.00%

% of plays 20+ Yards: 8.50% (3)

% of plays 30+ Yards: 3.75% (4)

% of plays 40+ Yards: 1.25% (7)

% of plays 50+ Yards: 0.50% (10)

Key players to watch

1. Jacob Eason 6’5 235 QB Junior

  • He fits the profile of what you want in QB physically with the arm and somewhat of a pocket awareness. He’s very inconsistent as a passer. Can make any throw in the book like a Ryan Tannehill. Eason is a Blaine Gabbert with better pocket awareness.

2. Salvon Ahmed 5’11 189 RB Junior

  • The heir apparent to Myles Gaskin finally has the job to himself. A speed demon that heavily relies on his athleticism to get by as he doesn’t have much functional strength. A weapon out of the backfield. Could be interesting if he goes pro or not after just one year of having the primary back job.

3. Myles Bryant 5’8 180 DB Senior

  • Size wise, he compares to the Rams’ standout cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. He plays a lot bigger than what he’s listed at. Due to size, he won’t be S3 or even S5 but will still play a bit as the nickel at the next level. Lateral agility is a plus and instincts are as well. Versatile athlete with great speed. He’s one of the top DB prospects in the conference.

4. Aaron Fuller 5’10 187 WR Senior

  • One of the better returning receivers in the conference. A great route runner that has knowledge of what depth to use in each route. Lateral quickness is a delight. Frame needs work, however as he’s slightly built.

5. Trey Adams 6’8 327 OT Senior

  • Adams went through a tough 2018 season due to injury and losing his left tackle spot to current Atlanta Falcon Kaleb McGary. He’s now fully healthy for a 2019 comeback tour. A huge mountain that’s hard to move but leverage is an issue due to height. Medical history is scary due to a 2017 ACL and the 2018 back injury.

6. Nick Harris 6’1 287 C / G Senior

  • Harris is the best center in the conference. He’s position versatile as well. Work ethic and motor are a plus. Footwork is an issue that he needs to correct. If that 287 weight is real then he needs to add a few more pounds to take on the bigger defensive linemen he’ll face at the next level.

7. Hunter Bryant 6’2 239 TE Junior

  • He’s an athlete with a long medical file. If healthy, he can pose a match-up issue for the secondary but he has been banged up a bit this season. A willing blocker but strictly used as a receiver.

Keys to an Oregon Win

  • Defense. This is the most complete offense that the Ducks have faced to date where all facets of the offense can hurt them. Andy Avalos will need to focus on finding the assignments instead of trying to out-talent the Huskies. Eason can make any throw he wants given a pocket so the pass rush will be key against a stout offensive line.
  • Offensive line. This isn’t the Huskies of yesteryear with big, physical defensive lines but they still have plenty of talent to give the Ducks OL trouble. As we’ve seen in games past, the line has been an issue at times this season, namely the rotating cast of right guards. Hanson had a bad snap last week. The Huskies can be had on the ground, can this OL provide the push?
  • Herbert. Can he go against archetype and actually throw a receiver open instead of throwing where the route is supposed to go? He needs to be wary of the talented Huskies secondary. It would be great if Herbert showed some emotive capabilities as well to rally his troops in a tough road environment.

Keys to an Oregon Loss

  • Turnovers. As the Huskies can go score for score, can the Ducks keep control of the ball and not blatantly turn it over like they did against Cal?
  • Marcus Arroyo. The concern is that the coaching staff might read too much into the analytics and run the ball too much and get predictable. He needs to call a perfect game. I just don’t know if it’s in his toolbox to do it on a consistent basis. Washington might feature the best defense that the Ducks face all year besides Auburn.
  • Mentality. Oregon is 1-0 in “true” road games this season. I’m counting Auburn as a neutral site game even though it was basically Jordan-Hare Stadium in Arlington. Husky Stadium is whole another animal than Stanford. Can they continue to shake off the woeful and downright worrisome not tough road mentality that plagued them last season?

What are the odds?

The WestGate Superbook has Oregon as 2.5 favorites. The O/U is set at 49.5. Money line is Oregon -140 Washington +120

DraftKings has Oregon as 3 point favorites. Their O/U is set at 50.5. Money line is Oregon -141 Washington +116

William Hill has Oregon as 3 point favorites. O/U is 50 even. Money line is Oregon -140 Washington +120

Keep in mind that Oregon is 3-3 against the spread and that they have been UNDER in every game but one.