This post will look at the offense for Oregon St. as USC prepares to play in Corvallis this coming Saturday. The post will look at the play calling by OSU. Then it will look at the conversion rates. Third, it will look at the yards and points per quarter. Then finally, it will look at the gain histogram for OSU.
Overall, OSU is very balanced. This season, they have run the ball 268 times (49%) and passed the ball 284 times (51%). But let us look at the play calling by down.
Oregon St. tends to run the ball on 1st down nearly 2:1. However, they rely on the pass on subsequent downs. On 2nd down, they are almost 2:1 in favor of the pass and on 3rd down, it is closer to 3:1. Now let us look at the play calling by quarter.
OSU stays pretty balanced throughout the game. There is no particular trend as the game progresses. Not too much more of interest here.
First, let us look at the average distance to go and the average gain for OSU.
OSU stays fairly consistent. They gain 5.38 yards per offensive play on average. However, they have a very high average distance to go for 2nd and 3rd down. Most teams hover around seven yards to go on 3rd down with stronger offenses being around six yards to go. OSU, however, is sitting at 8.1 yards to go on both 2nd and 3rd downs. This may be caused by inconsistencies in the offense, particularly the passing game.
Let us look at the conversion rates by down.
OSU is converting nearly as many 2nd downs as they are 3rd downs, which is a bit odd. But I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising given that both downs average the same 8.1 yards to go. OSU ranks #81 in 3rd down conversions in the country, so let us take a closer look into 3rd down conversions.
OSU has converted 19/25 3rd and shorts, which is pretty good. However, they are worse at 3rd and medium at converting than they are on 3rd and long. They have only converted 4/26 3rd and medium downs while they have converted 20/57 3rd and longs.
Yards and Points per Quarter
Let us look at the yards per quarter first.
OSU typically is a strong starting team. They gain a good chunk of yards in the 1st quarter, then gain even more in the 2nd. It is worthy of note that for whatever reason, OSU also takes the most offensive snaps in the 2nd quarter. However, this is when the yards gained peaks with OSU gaining the least yardage in the 4th quarter.
Now time to look at the points per quarter.
The points per quarter matches this as well. OSU starts strong and actually has a fairly weak 4th quarter showing. They have been shut out in the 4th quarter six times this season. Four of these 4th quarter shutouts resulted in losses to OSU.
Let us look at the gain histogram for OSU.
First let us look at the rushing attack, lead by Jacquizz Rodgers. 50/268 rushing attempts (19%) were stopped for a loss or for no gain. 38 runs (14%) gained at least 10 yards and 20 runs (7%) gain 15+ yards. This year, Jacquizz does not seem to break open a huge percentage of home runs plays, but he does have a healthy dose of runs for 4-6 yards.
On the passing side of the ball, the first thing I notice is the spikes on either end of the histogram. The 21 passing plays for -5 yards are likely sacks and upon further inspection, OSU has allowed 25 sacks this season. This gives them a ranking of #101 in the nation and ninth in the Pac-10 with 2.78 sacks allowed per game. However, OSU does get a lot of explosive passing plays. 78 passes (27%) gain at least 10 yards and 34 passes (12%) gain at least 15+ yards.
One quick final note for Oregon State’s offense. They are very good at protecting the ball. They are tied for 1st place in turnovers lost. They have only lost seven turnovers all season long and do a great job at protecting the ball.