Stats & Info: Washington State Cougars

The bowl winners will be ...

December, 19, 2013
12/19/13
10:25
AM ET
With bowl season upon us, we can project the winners of the 35 Football Bowl Subdivision bowl games using the Football Power Index.

FPI is a predictive measure of team strength that uses the elements of team offensive, defensive and special-teams performance (adjusted for opponent) that correlate most with future results.

We can use each team’s FPI and the site of the game (all bowl games are treated as neutral) to calculate the expected point differential in a matchup and the percentage chance of each team winning.

In prior years, FPI has done reasonably well in projecting bowl winners (taking the team with the higher chance as the “winner”), getting about 65 percent of games right since 2004.

There have been some lean years in the past, but FPI has been quite good in the three most recent bowl seasons, accurately projecting 70 percent of winners in those games.

FPI takes into account only a team’s on-field performance to date in the given season. It doesn’t explicitly take into account players who are out with injuries or for other reasons, coaching movement before the bowls or differing levels of motivation that are sometimes thought to exist in bowl games.

In the 2013 regular season, starting with games on Sept. 26, FPI accurately projected 74 percent of winners.

FPI believes there to be a very clear favorite (80 percent or more to win) in four of the five BCS matchups, with Ohio State and Clemson as the most evenly matched BCS opponents.


The projections for all 35 bowl games this season are below. A couple of things that stand out:

The two most-lopsided matchups, according to FPI, involve a Pac-12 team facing a Big 12 opponent from Texas. FPI has Oregon as 91 percent likely to defeat Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl and Arizona State as 91 percent likely to beat Texas Tech in the National University Holiday Bowl.

The most-even matchup, according to FPI, is Kansas State versus Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, with the teams separated by a little more than a point in FPI (the Wildcats are 53 percent favorites). The closest “high-profile” bowl game is the AT&T Cotton Bowl between Oklahoma State and Missouri, with the Cowboys 54 percent likely to win, according to FPI.

The Vizio BCS National Championship is the only bowl game with both teams ranked in the top 10 in FPI. Three other games involve two FPI top-20 teams: Wisconsin-South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl; Oklahoma State-Missouri in the Cotton Bowl and Ohio State-Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl.

Notre Dame defense reminiscent of Tide's

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
12:01
PM ET
Notre Dame has allowed six or fewer points in each of its last three games. No FBS team has had a four-game streak since Alabama in 1993. That Tide team held Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Louisiana Tech and South Carolina to six or fewer points early in that season. The streak was broken with a 17-17 tie against Tennessee.

Oklahoma State Goes for 30
Oklahoma State has scored at least 30 points in 22 consecutive games. If the Cowboys can reach the 30-point mark against Kansas this week, they will own the all-time record for consecutive 30-point games.

They currently co-own the mark with Hawaii, who had a 22-game stretch from 2006-07. In fact, two of the four longest all-time streaks are current. Oregon has scored at least 30 points in 19 straight games (tied with 1971-72 Arizona State for third most).

Vanderbilt Struggling Against Top Competition
Vanderbilt is facing its second AP top-five team of the season. The Commodores lost 48-3 earlier this season to fifth-ranked Georgia. It's not a situation where Vandy feels very comfortable. Overall, the Commodores are 0-46 on the field against AP top-five teams (was awarded a win against Alabama in 1993 due to forfeit).

To make things worse, 38 of those losses were by double digits and only four times did they score at least 20 points. Eight of the 46 losses have come against this week’s opponent Florida.

Duke Has Rare Bowling Opportunity
Duke can become bowl eligible this week with a win over Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils currently own the longest bowl drought among BCS-AQ teams, having not gone to the postseason since 1994. If Duke ends its drought, Washington State Cougars will now own the distinction, last appearing in a bowl in 2003.

But Duke will have to reverse some recent history to get there. The Blue Devils are just 4-72 since that last bowl appearance against the remaining six teams on their schedule this season (Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami) and hasn't beaten any of those teams since 2004.

Marcus Lattimore is a True Workhorse
In SEC games, Marcus Lattimore has run between the tackles on 76.3 percent of his carries. He has averaged 4.4 yards per carry on these runs with 48 percent of his yards coming after contact.

Lattimore gets even stronger in the fourth quarter, when he averages 5.5 yards per run inside the tackles with 3.3 yards coming after contact. He’ll face an LSU defense that allowed 52 yards on 12 carries in the fourth quarter to Florida’s Mike Gillislee last week, including 21 yards after contact.
Player of the Night – Faisal Aden
Faisal Aden scored a career-high 33 points off the bench to lead Washington State to an 81-69 win over Stanford. It’s the most points off the bench by a Pac-12 player since Cal’s Amit Tamir scored 39 against Oregon in 2002. Aden was a perfect 13-for-13 from the line. That’s the second-best free throw performance off the bench this season behind Duke’s Ryan Kelly (14-14).

Breakout Performance – Robert Thurman
California picked up a tough road win over Washington thanks to the unlikeliest of players. Robert Thurman had only played in 15 of 19 games this season, averaging 7.2 minutes and 2.4 points when he did appear. But with Richard Solomon ruled academically ineligible, the Bears called on the 6’10” walk-on. He responded with 16 points on 7-11 shooting from the field.

Second-Half Star – Harrison Barnes
North Carolina trailed Virginia Tech by five at halftime. But the Tar Heels quieted the Blacksburg crowd pretty quickly in the second half with a 19-0 run to take a 55-44 lead. Harrison Barnes had nine of those 19 points as part of a huge second half. The sophomore went 6-for-6 from the field on his way to 21 points after the break. Barnes finished with a season-high 27.

Woeful Performance – Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech had its worst scoring output in 30 years in a 70-38 loss to Virginia. It’s the fewest points by Georgia Tech since a 58-36 loss at Wake Forest in February 1982. What made Thursday even worse? The Yellow Jackets were at home. It’s their fewest points at home since 1980. Georgia Tech shot just 29.2 percent from the field and hit 1-of-15 from three-point range.

Ugly Stat Line of the Night – Tony Mitchell
It’s tough to win when your leading scorer doesn’t score a point, and that’s exactly what happened to Alabama on Thursday. Tony Mitchell went scoreless on 0-for-8 shooting from the field, as the Crimson Tide lost at home to Vanderbilt, 69-59. It’s the only time in 85 career games that he’s failed to score.
Marshall dishes out 16 for UNC
Kendall Marshall matched a career-high with 16 assists in North Carolina’s 84-78 win over Long Beach State on Saturday, equaling the team assist total for the 49ers. It’s the most assists in a game this season, and it's the most since Marshall himself had 16 last February against Florida State. Only three Tar Heels have ever registered more assists in a game: Raymond Felton (18), Jeff Lebo (17) and Ed Cota (17). North Carolina is 13-0 in Marshall’s career when he has nine or more assists.

Cooper finally gets his triple-double
On three different occasions, Ohio’s D.J. Cooper has fallen two rebounds shy of a triple-double. With a minute left on Saturday, he was one rebound short, before hauling in a Kevin Bailey miss with 40 seconds remaining. Cooper finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the Bobcats’ 72-54 win over Portland. He’s the first player listed under 6’0” to register a triple-double since Alabama A&M’s Trant Simpson in 2009. Ohio is 7-1 for the first time since 1969-70.

Kentucky loses despite efficient shooting
The top-ranked team in the country shot 55.6 percent from the floor and still lost?! That’s just one bizarre fact coming out of Indiana’s 73-71 win over Kentucky. It was the Wildcats’ highest FG pct in a loss since 2007. Kentucky’s Terrence Jones only attempted three shots, the fewest of his career. The Hoosiers won despite scoring only seven points in the final 7:45, all by Christian Watford. It was Indiana’s first win over an AP No. 1 team since beating Duke in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.

Young’s career night
IUPUI's Alex Young has more career points than any active Division I player. On Saturday, he scored a career-high 43 points in the Jaguars' 84-76 win over Western Kentucky. Young set a school record for a Division I game, eclipsing Odell Bradley’s total of 42, which he reached twice in 2004. It’s the most in any IUPUI game since Carlos Knox tallied 45 points against Drury in 1998. Young’s total is the most Western Kentucky has allowed since La Salle’s Ken Durrett scored 45 in January 1971.

Enquist, Cougars can’t miss
Washington State had its best shooting night in over 15 years in Sunday’s 93-55 win over Santa Clara. The Cougars connected on 67.4 percent of field goals, its best since 67.6 percent against Boise State in 1996. Brock Motum scored a career-high 27 points to lead the way, and Charlie Enquist connected on all seven of his field goal attempts. Enquist is now 28-for-34 on the season, an 82.4 field goal percentage. That’s the highest among all Division I players attempting at least three shots per game.
Here's some quick notes on the mid-afternoon action of a busy college football Saturday:

No. 1 Alabama 24, No. 10 Arkansas 20
• The Alabama Crimson Tide took advantage of two Ryan Mallett interceptions in the fourth quarter to rally and beat the Arkansas Razorbacks, remaining unbeaten.

• Arkansas led 20-7 in the third quarter, but gained just 48 yards the rest of the way with a pair of turnovers, allowing Alabama to rally for its 18th consecutive win (the longest active streak in the country).


• Mallett threw for 250 yards and a score and rushed for another in the first half as Arkansas led 17-7. He finished with 357 passing yards and three interceptions, a career high.

Mark Ingram had a 54-yd TD run in the first quarter. It's his third run of over 45 yards this season after having two all of last year. He finished with 157 yards and two TD.

Greg McElroy completed six-of-nine pass attempts in the fourth quarter and is now 17-of-23 in the fourth quarter when trailing in his career.

• Alabama is now 4-0 vs. Arkansas under Nick Saban and has won 17 consecutive SEC regular-season games.

• Arkansas falls to 0-12-1 in its last 13 games involving top-10 teams.

No. 2 Ohio State 73, Eastern Michigan 20
• The Ohio State Buckeyes scored on their first six drives and finished with their most points in a game since 1950, when they scored 83 vs the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Dane Sanzenbacher caught four TD, tying a school record he now shares with Terry Glenn (1995) and Bob Grimes (1952).


Terrelle Pryor threw four TD passes, ran for a TD and also caught a TD pass. He's the only FBS player in the last seven seasons to reach each of those totals in a single game. In fact, only three other players have thrown three TD passes while also catching a TD and running for a TD over that span. Most recently, Mike Kafka did it last year for Northwestern.

• Eastern Michigan has lost 16 straight, spanning the entirety of Ron English's tenure as head coach.

UCLA 34, No. 7 Texas 12
• The Texas Longhorns committed five turnovers and were outrushed by 206 yards. Texas suffered its worst home loss of the Mack Brown era (since 1998).

Johnathan Franklin rushed for 118 yards and a TD for the UCLA Bruins, who defeated a top-10 team on the road for the first time since a win over the 10th-ranked Arizona Wildcats in 1998. It is their first win over a non-conference top-10 team since 2000 (Michigan Wolverines) and only the fourth non-conference home loss for Texas under Mack Brown.

• In their last 2 visits to Austin, the Bruins have outscored Texas 100-15. 264 of UCLA's 290 yards came on the ground.

No. 16 Stanford 37, Notre Dame 14
Stepfan Taylor ran for 108 yards, while Andrew Luck threw for 238 yards and a TD (but throws his first two interceptions of the season) as the Stanford Cardinal win in South Bend for the first time since 1992. That day, the opposing coaches were Bill Walsh for Stanford and Lou Holtz for Notre Dame.

• The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have now lost 11 straight games vs. opponents ranked in the AP Top 25 (five straight at home). The last time Notre Dame beat a ranked team was Sept. 9, 2006 when it beat No. 19 Penn State, 41-17, in South Bend.

Dayne Crist threw for 307 yards, a TD and an interception (which was returned for a TD by Owen Marecic) and Michael Floyd caught eight passes for 112 yards for the Irish, who lose their 3rd straight game overall.

• At 1-3, Notre Dame is off to its worst start since 2007, when it began 0-5.

• Stanford has now defeated Notre Dame two games in a row for the first time in the history of the series.

No. 20 USC 50, Washington State 16
• Lane Kiffin improves to 4-0 as the USC Trojans' head coach, and becomes the fifth coach in USC history to start his tenure with four straight wins.

• The Trojans piled up season highs of 50 points and 613 yards.

• It's the first 4-0 start for USC since 2007 and its eighth straight win over the Washington State Cougars.

• Washington State has now lost 12 straight to FBS opponents.

No. 23 Penn State 22, Temple 13
• The Penn State Nittany Lions trailed 13-9 at the half, but shut out the Temple Owls in the second half on the way their 28th straight win over Temple.

• Penn State's 28-game win streak vs. Temple is now two shy of the FBS record for most consecutive wins over an opponent in a non-consecutive series (held by the Clemson Tigers over the Virginia Cavaliers). Penn State's streak of 16 consecutive double-digit wins over the Owls is, however, snapped.



Evan Royster ran for a career-high 187 yards on 26 carries (matching a career high) for Penn State. He had just 110 yards on 31 carries in his first three games this season. His performance moved him into sixth on the Penn State all-time rushing list. He's just 105 yards behind Tony Hunt for second on the list, and 183 behind Curt Warner for the school record.

• Senior kicker Collin Wagner had a career-high five field goals for Penn State.

• Temple drops to 1-14-1 all-time against Big Ten teams, with the only win coming vs. Wisconsin in 1990.

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