Quantifying Cougar D: Explosion plays

THE COUGAR DEFENSE through seven contests can be readily examined through two football terms: the first is one coaches have been using since the game was first played, the other is relatively modern.

Consistency and explosion plays, respectively.

And the newer one helps quantify the older one.

There have been times the Cougar defense has looked pretty decent … and other times where they’ve just simply been gashed.

Washington State's explosion plays allowed reveal just how much.

WSU* ranks t-95 out of 128 FBS teams with 95 explosion plays of 10-plus yards allowed.

*Note: It’s not entirely an accurate ranking – WSU has played seven games and the vast majority of teams above them have played six or even in some cases, five contests.

But even come Saturday night, when WSU will climb in this and other explosive categories during their bye week as other teams play, the Cougs won’t climb nearly far enough to rank them among the nation’s better defenses in limiting explosion plays.

And that’s the goal – an attacking, productive, consistent defense.

In the meantime, here are WSU’s current rankings in the remaining explosive play categories …

In 20-plus yard plays allowed, WSU ranks t-117, with 40 plays surrendered.

WSU has the same ranking in 30-plus yard plays surrendered, t-177, with 19.

The Cougs are t-120 in giving up 40-plus yard plays, with 12.

In 50-plus yard plays allowed, Washington State is t-122 with eight.

WSU is t-90 in giving up 60-plus yard plays, with three.

The Cougs are t-111 in surrendering 70-plus yard plays, with three.

Eighty-eight teams have not given up an 80-plus yard play, WSU and 31 other teams have surrendered one of those plays, so WSU is t-89 in this ranking,

WSU is not one of the 13 teams who have surrendered a 90-plus yard play, so that ties WSU for No. 1 in this category.

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