Washington St. vs

Central Mich

at El Paso
Fri, Dec 31
CBS
9:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 295
Odds: Central Mich +7, Total: 57.5

Game Analysis

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Lean – Central Michigan (+7)  26   Washington State  29

Central Michigan applies to a 62-9-1 ATS bowl underdog situation that has applied to straight up double-digit dog winners Middle Tennessee State and Texas Tech. And, after adjusting for Washington State’s missing players the math leans a bit with the Chippewas.

Washington State’s offense improved when Jayden de Laura took over at quarterback for the ineffective Jarrett Guarantano, as de Laura has been 1.0 yards per pass play better than average while Guarantano was 1.5 yppp worse than average on his 137 pass plays. The Cougars’ attack was 0.8 yppl better than average with de Laura at quarterback but they’re not likely to be that good in this game without both veteran starting tackles and their top two running backs. Star right tackle Abe Lucas opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft and left tackle Liam Ryan had surgery and won’t play in this game. Those two each started 42 games for the Cougars and not having them both could cause some issues with less experienced linemen being forced to play while others play out of their normal position (I value them at 1.5 points combined). Running back Max Borghi (880 yards at 5.5 ypr) has opted out to prepare for the NFL combine and #2 back Deon McIntosh did not travel with the team. That leaves #3 RB Nakia Watson as the #1 back for this game and Watson has averaged just 3.9 ypr on 146 career runs, including just 3.4 ypr on 72 runs since the beginning of last season. That’s a significant drop in the rushing numbers and I suspect that Washington State will throw the ball more often, which will help make up for a bit of that loss. Central Michigan defends the run well (0.1 yprp better than average) but de Laura should post good numbers, even in the rain, against a Chippewas back end that’s allow 7.1 yards per pass play this season to quarterbacks that would combined to average 6.2 yppp against an average defense. Central Michigan does get after the quarterback, however, as they averaged 3.1 sacks per game, and that pressure could be an issue for the two new tackles. I project405 yards at 6.15 yards per play for Washington State in this game.

Central Michigan’s offense also improved after a quarterback change this season, as Daniel Richardson (+0.6 yppp) was a huge upgrade over opening game starter Jacob Sirmon, who 2.4 yppp worse than average on 137 pass plays. Central Michigan won 6 of their final 7 games after Richardson took over as the starting quarterback, with the lone loss being by just 1 point (38-39 to N. ILL). The Chippewas’ attack is 0.2 yppl better than average with Richardson at quarterback but the Cougars defense is 0.5 yppl better than average with a very slight adjustment for starting CB Jaylen Watson opting out to pursue his NFL dreams. I don’t Watson is NFL caliber, which is why the adjustment was just 0.1 yppp, which is the minimum adjustment for a starting defensive back. I project 363 yards at 5.33 yppl for Central Michigan in this game.

Overall, the math favors Washington State by just 6.2 points and the situation strongly favors Central Michigan. I’ll lean with the Chippewas plus the points.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Washington St.
  • Central Mich
WSU
Offense
Defense

Rush

  • Run Plays 28.7 32.1
  • Run Yards 148.6 173.9
  • YPRP 5.2 5.4




Pass





  • Pass Comp 22.1 20.0
  • Pass Att 34.2 33.3
  • Comp % 64.6% 60.2%
  • Pass Yards 267.8 213.9
  • Sacks 1.9 1.8
  • Sack Yards 14.7 11.7
  • Sack % 5.3% 5.0%
  • Pass Plays 36.1 35.0
  • Net Pass Yards 253.1 202.3
  • YPPP 7.0 5.8

Total

  • Total Plays 64.8 67.1
  • Total Yards 401.7 376.2
  • YPPL 6.2 5.6

TO


  • Int 1.1 1.2
  • Int % 3.2% 3.5%
  • Fumbles 0.3 1.1
  • Turnovers 1.4 2.3
 
  • Points 28.4 24.3
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