Hockey pet peeve: "when a teammate tips a puck in on you, which is exactly how my first collegiate goal against happened. Thanks, Copper."
I posted this a couple of days ago as a comment in a thread, but it got buried pretty quickly, so now that I can post diaries I thought I'd post it again.
I wanted to look at the breakdown of Rich Rodriguez's previous offenses, and in particular the main QB's run-pass balance and the fraction of runs by the QB. I'm only looking at RR in Div 1A (so Tulane OC, Clemson OC, WVU and Michigan), and I'm skipping the mess that was the 2008 offense. Data comes from the year-end statbooks for each team.
Here is the overall production chart. QB is the main QB (from what I could tell) - in 1999 Brandon Streeter got a lot of playing time (mostly passing), and in 2001 Rasheed Marshall got a decent amout of playing time.
|Year||Team||QB||Pass Plays||Pass Yards||Rush Plays||Rush Yards||Total Plays||Total Offense|
|2001||West Virginia||Brad Lewis||357||1811||475||1992||832||3803|
|2002||West Virginia||Rasheed Marshall||279||1753||714||3687||993||5440|
|2003||West Virginia||Rasheed Marshall||252||2034||600||2762||852||4796|
|2004||West Virginia||Rasheed Marshall||259||1993||590||3034||849||5027|
|2005||West Virginia||Pat White||193||1398||625||3269||818||4667|
|2006||West Virginia||Pat White||233||2059||590||3939||823||5998|
|2007||West Virginia||Pat White||265||2067||628||3864||893||5931|
|2010 Proj||Michigan||Denard Robinson||285.6||2887.2||547.2||3892.8||832.8||6780|
|Year||Team||QB||QB Pass||QB Pass Yards||QB Rushes||QB Rush Yards||QB Total Offense|
|2001||West Virginia||Brad Lewis||237||1339||54||41||1380|
|2002||West Virginia||Rasheed Marshall||259||1616||173||666||2282|
|2003||West Virginia||Rasheed Marshall||215||1729||101||303||2032|
|2004||West Virginia||Rasheed Marshall||171||1426||130||684||2110|
|2005||West Virginia||Pat White||114||828||131||952||1780|
|2006||West Virginia||Pat White||179||1655||165||1219||2874|
|2007||West Virginia||Pat White||216||1724||197||1335||3059|
|2010 Proj||Michigan||Denard Robinson||230.4||2419.2||235.2||2172||4591.2|
Denard has already had more passing yards and almost as many rushing yards as 2005-era Pat White. If he averages just over 100 yards passing per game for the rest of the season he'll have more passing yards than any of RR's QBs other than Shaun King. If he kept on his current pace (unlikely), he'd end up with almost as many yards as 1997-era Shaun King. If he averages just over 60 yards rushing per game for the rest of the season he'll have more rushing yards than 2007 era Pat White. For total offense he would need to average just over 160 yards per game to best Pat White's best season, and just over 315 to match Shaun King. At this point it looks like Denard is the best all-around QB Rodriguez has had to date: almost as good a passer as King and as good/better a runner as Pat White.
Next I want to look at the breakdown of plays and yards between run and pass, and in particular the QB's share of production.
|Year||Team||QB||% Rush Plays||% Rush Yards||% of Runs by QB||% of Rush Yards by QB||% of Total Plays by QB||% of Total Offense by QB||QB % Rush Plays||QB % Rush Yards|
|2001||West Virginia||Brad Lewis||57%||52%||11%||2%||35%||36%||19%||3%|
|2002||West Virginia||Rasheed Marshall||72%||68%||24%||18%||44%||42%||40%||29%|
|2003||West Virginia||Rasheed Marshall||70%||58%||17%||11%||37%||42%||32%||15%|
|2004||West Virginia||Rasheed Marshall||69%||60%||22%||23%||35%||42%||43%||32%|
|2005||West Virginia||Pat White||76%||70%||21%||29%||30%||38%||53%||53%|
|2006||West Virginia||Pat White||72%||66%||28%||31%||42%||48%||48%||42%|
|2007||West Virginia||Pat White||70%||65%||31%||35%||46%||52%||48%||44%|
|2010 Proj||Michigan||Denard Robinson||66%||57%||43%||56%||56%||68%||51%||47%|
The first two data columns are the percent of all plays and all yards that come from all runs. The third and fourth are the percent of all runs and rush yards that come from the QB. The fifth and sixth are the percent of all plays and all yards that come from the QB. The seventh and eight are the percent of the QB's total plays and yards that come from his runs.
RR has historically varied a fair amount in how much of his offense comes from running the ball - this year we're about average for what he's done in the past, and less run-oriented than for example 2005 West Virginia. However, our rush offense is by far the most QB-based of any previous offense, far outstripping the one-man show of 2000 Woody Dantzler, and 2007 Pat White. If we look at total offense, this year's team is more QB-focused than any of the Clemson or WVU teams, but actually on par with the Tulane teams. Looking at Denard's run-pass balance he's actually right around Pat White's typical split, though he is certainly more run-focused in his production than any of RR's other quarterbacks.
This is just a high-level overview. I can't break down the kinds of running or passing plays RR is using from this data. The offense certainly feels very different than the Pat White-era WVU teams in formation and play style, and the YouTube highlights of Woody Dantzler I've seen have the QB iso type feel that we're seeing a lot from this year's team. I think the main message is that even within his system RR will adapt his style, both at a high level and at the formation/play level, to match his talent - which is what he should do.
Alright, so I knew I loved the Rodriguez hire when it was made, and I've been a supporter all along, and now that support is bearing fruit. I mean, really, it's been 5 weeks since we heard anything about a hot seat, and for good measure. I think we'll beat state, but even playing them respectably close should be enough to keep things quiet for now, since it seems like state is pretty good this year.
But I was just reading an article by Andy Staples (as linked in mgo.lico.us), and there were some figures I guess I hadn't realized.
The first time a QB passed for 2000 and rushed for 1000 yards in a season? Rodriguez. Pass for 300 and rush for 100 in a game? Rodriguez? And a million other stats that Pat White and now Denard have set since? All Rodriguez.
I don't know, I guess I knew most of this, but seeing all the stats in one spot, I was suddenly just struck by the idea that we hired a freaking evil genius to run our football team. You have no chance, Mr. Bond. Our schemes and techniques are far too advanced. MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Really, lets just hear it for our evil mastermind. I can see him sitting in a pseudo-futuristic alcove now, gently stroking a Persian cat, watching video of some as yet undiscovered HS Sophomore QB, performing cold, concise mental calculations about how he can turn that kid into the first 4000 - 3000 performer.
Remember in 2008 when words like "Denard" and "Tate" didn't exist in our vocab since our top 2 QBs were none other than the gentleman below?
This picture provides perspective for the challenge our D faces. Aren't you glad RichRod didn't listen to the critics and put Threet/Sheridan under center in a pro-style offense? How invaluable was it that our OL and WRs learn the spread offense in 2008 to prep for what we now have in 2010?
While I do concede some things can be tweaked on D (like Roh looking lost on zone coverage vs. his strength of rushing the passer), we have to give RichRod time on defense. He made a swift move to fire Schafer for a reason. The jury may still be out on GERG and that's fine. But RichRod has brought in solid, young talent on D. If he can develop Lloyd's players (see Jr. Hemingway and Jonas Mouton), this D will grow up in time.
Regardless of how the D performs this Saturday or this year, I am positive we will have Denard/Roundtree/Lewan type all-stars on our D soon. Here's to hoping that young talent shines against Sparty this weekend.
(A note: As much as I savor beating ND every year, I often view them as a sort of peer. A powerhouse of old that has stood the test of time. Many of the axioms applied to them can be applied to us. And so, I think it is important as we find success, that they do too.)
So, I just had a revelatory experience, and it has set my wheels turning, and great gouts of black, sooty smoke are now pouring from my ears and nostrils as the long dormant steam engine of my brain slowly creaks, whines and moans its way to life; its cold, dead boiler furnace stoked to a flaming heat once more.
Among my other duties here at work, I run the shipping and receiving desk. One of my coworkers just came up and placed a book into a large padded envelope, sealed it, and weighed it for postage. It occurred to me that he was, at that moment, standing literally in direct opposition to progress. In a day in age where information storage has boundless capacity but takes zero space, media mixes with complete freedom, and any idea, anything without actual mass can be transported to any destination faster than the speed of thought, to mail a book is just... I'm not even sure how to describe it. It goes way beyond ludditeism. It is archaeic. It is the old man standing on his porch yelling at whippersnappers, only the whippersnapper is THE FUTURE.
And yet, he had a good reason for this ancient communication process. He had sold the book (on the internet, oddly enough), and was sending it to the purchaser. And I have no doubt that the purchaser was convinced absolutely that this book contained the answer to their problems, and that having it mailed to them was by far the best way to get it. And that is where ND enters the picture.
We have a common frame of reference, as Michigan fans. For years, we ruled upon the field and off of it. Not one could compare. We dominated with National Championships and Michigan Man bloodlines. We were immortal in the way that the kings of old were immortal. Nepotism. Our progenitor was the program, and properly chosen and raised, it would continue. And so slowly, like the kingdoms of old, we decayed. National Championships and undefeated seasons became Rose Bowl wins and 11-1 seasons, which became Big Ten Co-Championships and 9-3 seasons. But things were fine, because we were immortal. We had our book, we were mailing it, and because that had always worked, that would continue to work.
Then, somewhere along the line, someone with great wisdom and foresight said, "Wait... just because the program has been founded in Nepotism doesn't mean it is the same as it always has been. When it becan, it wasn't about the control, but about the results. And if we're doing it the same way, but only achieving 2/3rd's of what we were, then this is not the same.
So, we took and we cut up the book. We scanned it into the computer. We edited it, and searched for up to date information. Then, we sent it out by email, complete with pictures and videos and sound files and automatically updating graphs, complete with Quarterback Runs and Spread Passes and a modernized playbook. And it was painful. And it still is painful. But because of it, we are on our way back to the true roots of the program. To dominance and National Championships.
So to ND fans out there, who I see as our hated, evil brothers in some weird way, I say if you want to get back to the true place where you started, look what you've got in your hand. It's a book, old, hardcover, titled "Knute & Tradition". The leather binding is cracked and worn. The pages are stained and dog eared. When you read it, it is the same book as you've always been reading, but the message doesn't seem quite as clear or forceful as it used to. So you know what you need to do. Instead of mailing that book to the next generation of ND fans, head to that scanner and fire up Wikipedia.
Hey everyone, vote for Rich Rodriguez as Coach of the Year. We can't let Mark Dantonio stay ahead of him with more votes!