Cougs a red zone team, not just a red zone O

COUGAR FANS paying close attention to the statistics have no doubt heard this season about the Air Raid’s prowess in the red zone. Washington State's red zone prowess on D inside the 20-yard line has received far less ink. But as the numbers make plain, WSU's red zone defense carved out its own success story this season.

Indeed, Washington State is No. 2 in the Pac-12 in the red zone defense this season.   Last year, the Cougs were 10th in the conference.

Last season the Cougars’ red zone defense ranked 96th nationally out of 129 FBS teams. This season they have jumped into the nation’s top 50, at No. 49, under first-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.

Talk about your defensive turnarounds.

The Cougs allowed a red zone touchdown 57 percent of the time this season, after allowing a TD at a 62 percent clip last year.

Is there room for improvement? Certainly.  But the Cougs look to be trending strongly in the right direction.

Meanwhile over on the Air Raid side of things, WSU is No. 1 in the Pac-12 in red zone offense and second in the country (Navy); scoring on a sweet 94.5 percent of its trips inside the 20-yard line. 

Last year, WSU was ninth in the Pac-12 in red zone offense, and No. 82 nationally.

The Cougars scored a touchdown 65.4 percent of the time this season inside the red zone.  That ranks third in the Pac-12 behind USC (68.5) and Stanford (67.7), with both teams’ bowl games yet to be played.  Stanford ranks No. 5 in the Pac-12 in red zone scoring offense overall at 88.1 percent, with USC sixth at 87 percent.

Cougfan Top Stories