End of season (almost) stats. The offense took a significant hit after the Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State games, but still finished with over 500 yards/game (a Michigan first) and over 34 points/game. The scoring offense was hampered by one of the worst turnover margins and THE worst field goal kicking in the FBS. If Michigan was just average in those two categories, they would probably have scored 40 pts/game. (EDIT: also hampering the offense was Michigan's strength of schedule, 2nd in the Big Ten. UM played the 5 toughest defenses in the conferece, but missed out on two of the worst (Minnesota and Northwestern). They also got stuck playing Purdue in a rainstorm.)
(EDIT 2: the meme that this offense fattened up against out-of-conferense opponents and didn't perform in the Big Ten does not really show in the numbers. Michigan averaged just under 31 pts/game in the Big Ten, even with the turnovers, total lack of kicking game, and tough schedule).
As it stands, the 500.9 yards/game is the most in Michigan history, crushing the previous school record of 466.9 set in 1992. The 34.33 pts/game is 6th in the "modern era," behind 1947 (39.4), 1976 (36.0), 1992 (35.9), 2003 (35.4), and 1991 (35.0). On a yards/game basis, this is the 2nd best offense in the history of the Big Ten, second only to 1994 PSU (512.7 yds/game), and just barely edging out 2005 Northwestern (they gained 6004 yards in 12 games - Michigan gained 6011 this season).
Conversely, the defense was the worst in school history by just about every measure. The 33.8 pts/game allowed demolished the previous low mark of 28.9 set in 2008. For reference, before RichRod came to town the worst Michigan defense was the 1962 unit that gave up 23.8 pts/game, exactly a full 10 points/game better than this team. On a yards/game basis, this year's mark of 447.92 was more than 50 yards/game worse than the previous low of 393.3 in 2009. The pre-RichRod low point was 389.9 in 2000.
Overall, I think it's worth it to give Rodriguez another year, but (obviously) the defense must improve significantly. The list of best offenses in Big Ten history is riddled with forgettable squads like 2005 Northwestern (7-5), 2005 MSU (5-6), 2005 Minnesota (7-5), 2003 Minnesota (10-3). Those teams all averaged near 500 yards/game.
Our schedule sets up nicely next year, with powerhouse Wisconsin and upstart Penn State off the slate entirely. Our two toughest games are both at home at the end of the season (Nebraska and OSU). I think RichRod will need to be at least 8-2 going into the Nebraska game and will need to beat both OSU and MSU. That means the defense and special teams must move up from the dregs to around 60th nationally. I know these are high standards but I really believe 9-3 (at least) and a trip to Indianapolis is the only scenario that will save our coach's job.
|RedZone - TD||75.00%||6th|
|RedZone - Score||82.69%||64th|
|3rd Down Conversions||46.30%||23rd|
|4th Down Conversions||52.17%||63rd|
|Pass Eff Def||140.65||97th|
|RedZone Def - TD||60.78%||60th|
|RedZone Def - Score||84.31%||78th|
|3rd Down Conversions Def||42.37%||84th|
|4th Down Conversions Def||69.57%||112th|
|Punt Returning (Yds/Ret)||5.38||98th|
|Kick Returning (Yds/Ret)||21.14||77th|
|Punt Return D (Yds/Ret)||9.78||81st|
|Kick Return D (Yds/Ret)||21.37||63rd|
|Pts Responsible for||180||19th|
|Pts Responsible for/g||15.00||22nd|