The most telling 2015 stat for WSU football

SOMETIMES THE most obvious answer can sound like a revelation. If Washington State is to show marked improvement in 2015 and go bowling, first and foremost they need to do two things. And they both center around how the Cougs come out of the locker room.

In terms of scoring, the Cougs last year did fairly well in the second and fourth quarters, outscoring opponents in both frames. But it still translated to a 3-9 season due to the deep holes they dug for themselves in the first and third quarters.

WSU was outscored 107-55 in the first quarter of games in 2014.

After bouncing back in the second quarter to outscore opponents 127-109, the Cougs fell flat coming out of the locker room at halftime, able to muster only 65 points to the opponents' 116.

The Cougs mostly played opponents even in the fourth quarter, slightly outpointing the opposition 135-131 in the final frame. But by then it was too late.

The points differential statistic on a season is always telling. One of the most interesting aspects is always that a team doesn't need a huge difference here to be successful - take Arizona and UCLA last year (see below).

But a team does need to be on the positive side of the ledger.

For the Cougars in 2015, the points differential improvement first needs to arrive in how they come out of the locker room.

Here's an encouraging bit of data to add to the equation. In five of his ten seasons at Texas Tech, Mike Leach teams posted points differential averages of between 11.3 and 20.6. And in his other five seasons in Lubbock, the Red Raiders put up a differential of no less than 7.0.

PAC-12 SCORING DIFFERENTIAL 2014
Oregon: 21.8
Stanford: 10.8
USC: 10.6
ASU: 9.0
Utah: 6.4
Arizona: 6.3
UCLA: 5.4
UW: 5.4
Cal: minus-1.6
Oregon State: minus-5.9
WSU: minus-6.8
Colorado: minus-10.5


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