Three key stats explain Cougs’ 0-2 start

CONNOR HALLIDAY leads the nation in passing and two Cougar receivers, Vince Mayle and Isiah Myers, are also among the most prolific in the land. But three statistics at the other end of the 124-team FBS scales speak volumes about why Washington State is 0-2 to start the season. One of those stats is on offense, one on defense and one is a combination of the two.

1. The Cougars’ offense is ranked 103rd in red zone efficiency. WSU has been to the red zone 12 times this season and come away with just 5 TDs and 3 field goals for a total rate of .667. This is not a new development for WSU. Last season the Cougs ranked No. 93 in red zone efficiency, but the rate was much higher, at .784.

2. The Cougar defense is ranked No. 86 in total defense after surrendering 410 yards per game and 5.58 per play after two weeks. That’s actually an improvement from 2013, when the Cougars were 102 in total defense at 458 yards per game and 5.98 yards per play. Hand-in-hand with the Cougars’ still-underwhelming total D ranking this season is this sub-stat: the Cougars have only managed nine tackles for loss, tying them for 90th in the nation.

3. The Cougars rank 104th in turnover margin, having lost the ball four times – three INTs and one fumble – but having generated just one turnover (Tana Prtichard’s INT against Rutgers). That adds up to a minus-3. The Cougars finished the 2013 season ranked 68th in turnover margin, at plus-5.78.

NOTABLE:

  • WSU senior linebacker Mitch Peterson is tied for No. 12 in the country (and tied for first in the Pac-12) in solo tackles with 15. He has 20 total tackles, which is 42nd-best in the nation.

  • Mayle is No. 3 in the country in receptions, with 20, and No. 19 in receiving yards with 210. Myers is tied for 15th in receptions (15) and he's No. 29 in receiving yards (196).

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