Gain Or Be Outgained - A Season Summary

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on November 25th, 2012 at 8:56 PM


A discussion in another diary started to get me thinking about the differential in total yardage in wins versus losses this season, so I thought I might share some of this data, which I hope would be of interest to this community.

Now that all of the yardage data for the regular season is official, of course, a fair analysis is possible. In summary, on average, we did outgain teams by an average of 70.8 yards per game. What is more interesting, at least in my mind, is the swing between the wins and the losses. In the chart below, you will see that there about a 250 yard swing between wins and losses when it comes to yards gained.

Granted, twelve games is not a huge sample, but I believe it does provide a little insight into how we performed throughout the season. In three of the four losses, we were outgained (the exception being ND). In all but one win, we outgained our opponent (the exception here is Northwestern).

One positive to be garnered from this is the relatively small difference in our defensive performance in wins and losses. It is around fifty yards, as a matter of fact, and provides evidence of something that most people here already knew – the defense was definitely keeping us in games.

The performance on offense is more intriguing, with a swing of nearly 200 yards between wins and losses. Again, this would lend some credence to things that have already been said on the board about the offense and consistency, but the intent here is to merely report the findings for the edification of MGoBlog. 

Data? Data.


Alabama 269 446 -177
Air Force 422 417 5
Umass 585 259 326
Notre Dame 279 239 40
Purdue 409 213 196
Illinois 527 134 393
Michigan St. 326 304 22
Nebraska 188 326 -138
Minnesota 389 275 114
Northwestern 416 434 -18
Iowa 513 309 204
Ohio State 279 396 -117
AVERAGE 383.5 312.7 70.8
AVG. IN WINS 448.4 293.1 155.3
AVG. IN LOSSES 253.8 351.8 -98.0
CONF. WINS 430.0 278.2 151.8
CONF. LOSSES 233.5 361.0 -127.5
STD. DEV. (W) 85.2 99.1 152.0
STD. DEV. (L) 44.1 89.8 95.3




November 25th, 2012 at 9:19 PM ^

Notre dame game, ironically, reminded me most of a RR era type game seemed to move the ball but total yardage didn't lead to us cashing in on points.

I'm very excited about the prospect of our defense in the future. I think al Borges is alright, but I hope everyone acknowledges that he's definitely been outside of his comfort zone the last two years. Next year will really indicate his competence.


November 26th, 2012 at 9:29 AM ^

for the savvy types out there--at what point do you start to openly question THEIR coaching? Because there's a difference between lack of talent and not being coached up/just missing assignments. In at least one of his analyses Brian seemed to think the kids just didn't know what they were doing. And I have seen some of the more thoughtful/knowledgeable posters suggest this, too. 

Especially if the talent is going to remain thin, the coaches have to be able to reach the kids. Hoke brought Funk with him to several stops: is he coaching effectively? 


November 26th, 2012 at 10:46 AM ^

I've heard people suggesting we need a new O-Line coach, too. I don't know much about it. I've also heard that our guys were recruited for a RR offense, so their strength set is not what they're being asked to do by this staff. Maybe this OL coach would be good for those who've always done his style of OL but not for those who have a different skill set.


November 27th, 2012 at 1:59 AM ^

I also have questioned the O lines coaching. Eventually I concluded that we have been making due with what we have. These guys were (mostly) recruited to get to the second level, in which I think they performed O.K. However, the inability for any of our inside linemen, and quite frankly, Schofield as well, to hold one on one blocks consistently against even the most mediocre of defensive linemen was a major flaw in our blocking schemes. I attribute this to a few things, but I think the number one reason is a lack of elite talent on our defensive line. I have always noticed that great players seem to bring up their teammates level of competitiveness. For example, Molk and Martin seemed to make each other better as the year went on last year. This something most exemplified in wrestling. When one top tier wrestler competes for several months against the same lower quality opponent, more likely than not the challenger will continue to get better until he hits the next level and begins to compete. I also felt that we did an O.K. job of shutting down some of the better defensive linemen we faced, and yet still struggled against some less talented players. Tangent ended.


November 27th, 2012 at 12:49 PM ^

If it were a coaching issue, it's hard to explain last year's performance.  They weren't a world beating unit, but they played better last year.  I think it's primarily a recruiting issue.  I love me some RR, i really do, but in 2010 it looks like we had one OL recruit (Christian Pace)…

09: We had three (one of which was Quinton Washington)  

I won't get into the Stars/speculation of talent business but you get the idea. 

You also get a sense for how important David Molk was to the OL (middle OL)