FanPost

First and Third Downs against BSU

In charting the game I have noticed something pretty interesting, which explains (or maybe effectively describes) why the Husky offense was so effective against Boise.

The Huskies' average gain on first down (exlcuding the final garbage time drive and the one yard TD run by Sankey in the first quarter) was 7.8 yards. The median gain was significantly lower at 6 yards (the Huskies had some big first down plays), but still pretty wonderful.

This was a very good thing, as the Huskies faced first and longer than 10 yards a depressing six times, but managed to convert those 1st and long situations into another first down five times. That is such a mix of good and bad news that it makes my head hurt. It was very bad to see the OL commit so many penalties. On the other hand, it was quite good news that they seemed to only make those mistakes on first down. It gave Sark and Price time to get those yards back.

The Huskies first down Success Rate (defined as gaining 50% or more of the yardage needed for another first down) was 54%, which is again pretty darn impressive considering that they faced a 1st and 22, a 1st and 19, a 1st and 18, three 1st and 15s. I don't have a first down success rate number at my finger tips for last season, but the Huskies ranked 84th nationally in that metric; I think it is safe to say it probably was under 40%.

You'd think with that kind of success on first down that the Huskies would have faced a bunch of 3rd and shorts. That is the way it usually works. Well, it didn't the other night. Excluding the last drive when Miles was in, the average yards to go on third down was 7.1. That is a challenging number, yet the Huskies managed to convert 10 of 13 non garbage-time third downs, an amazing 77%. Again, this is a good news/bad news situation. There is no way to expect that the Dawgs will continue to convert at a 77% rate on 3rd downs, especially not if they usually need 7 yards to do so.

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