This entry will list the raw numbers of Michigan's 2008 season versus the 2009 season thus far to demonstrate where the team has and has not improved in the Rich Rodriguez era. All stats are from mgoblue.com.OFFENSE (first number is 2008, second number is 2009)
- Points per game: 20.2 to 32 = +12
- Rushing yards per game: 147.6 to 208.3 = +61
- Yards per carry: 3.9 to 4.8 = +0.9
- Passing yards per game: 143.2 to 195.7 = +52
- Yards per pass attempt: 5.1 to 7.6 = +2.5
- Yards per completion: 10.4 to 13.7 = +3.3
- Yards per play: 4,4 to 5.9 = +1.5
- Yards per game: 290.8 to 404 = +113
- Total Turnovers: 30 to 22 = -8
- 3rd down conversions: 27% to 41% = +14%
- Sacks against: 22 to 23 = -1
- Total touchdowns: 31 to 42 = +11
DEFENSE (first number is 2008, second number is 2009)
- Points per game: 28.9 to 26.4 = -2.5
- Rushing yards per game: 137 to 158.3 = +21
- Yards per carry: 3.6 to 4.3 = +0.7
- Passing yards per game: 230 to 235 = +5
- Yards per pass attempt: 7.4 to 7.3 = -0.1
- Yards per completion: 12.8 to 12.1 = -0.7
- Yards per play: 5.3 to 5.7 = +0.4
- Yards per game: 367 to 393.3 = +26.3
- Total Turnovers: 20 to 13 = -7
- 3rd down conversions: 39% to 37% = -2%
- Sacks: 29 to 17 = -12
- Total touchdowns: 42 to 30 = -12
Based on this pure statistical break down the offense has made significant improvement while the defense has mostly regressed.
My personal opinion:
- While not unexpected, I think the improvement of the offense is pretty remarkable considering it has occured with two true freshman quarterbacks taking ALL of the significant snaps.
- Presumably, the mental mistakes will decrease over time (es[ecially the quarterbacks since they are the only offensive players in year one of this system) and the offense will continue to improve.
- The future of the offense is bright: both QBs back next year along with a heralded recruit, Shaw and Smith back at RB, all WRs back but for Matthews and Savoy, all TEs back, and almost all of the OL 2 deep returns.
- The defense is in some ways a mystery (veteran linebackers that seem to be getting worse) and in other ways not at all surprising (two walk ons playing significant snaps/occasionally starting and the overall attrition picture, see: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/decimated-defense and http://mgoblog.com/diaries/decimated-defense-part-ii-statisticating )
- Next year's defense could be some what better with a potential line up of: DEs Van Bergen and Roh, DTs Martin and Campbell, LBs Mouton, Fitzgerald, ?, CBs Warren and Turner, Safeties Woolfolk and Emilien.
- Part of my hope for the defense's future is stability in the coordinator that MAY lead to more consistent play and fewer massive mistakes.
- Even if the defense gets better, the depth chart still seems scary thin. I don't know who the back ups will be at most spots other than next year's freshmen and freshmen who redshirted this year (some of whom may start next year).
- Best case scenario: the offense is on its way to being a consistent beast and the defense is as well but a year or even two behind.