12 game stats - 2016 vs. 2015

Submitted by ST3 on November 28th, 2016 at 4:06 PM

I'd like to move on from the Columbus Screwjob, circa 2016, and focus on the improvement in the team from 2015 to 2016. (Yes, this is a coping mechanism, but we all have our own ways of dealing with the pain.) The biggest question going forward is how much the improvement is due to the system being implemented (year 2 of the Harbaughffense, importing Don Brown) and how much is due to the players just getting 1 year older. We did have a lot of seniors on the roster this year. Anyway, links to the stats are here:

2015 season http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/112815aac.html

2016 season http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/112616aac.html


* The first thing we see is a dramatic increase in points scored (yay.) We went from 367 (30.6 ppg) to 492 (41.0 ppg.) A TD and a FG better per game in 2016.

* First downs increased from 237 to 267. But the mix tilted more heavily to the run in 2016 as the Harbaughffense got closer to full implementation. We went from 85 rushing first downs in '15 to 138 in '16, an increase of 53 first downs.

* Rushing yardage increased from 1832 to 2679 yards and the per carry average increased from a measly 4.1 to a respectable 5.0. I know the criticism will be that we couldn't grind out first downs against Iowa and OSU when we needed them, but only the truly elite teams can impose their will on solid defenses and run the ball effectively when everyone knows that's what they are trying to do.

* Passing yardage decreased somewhat. I would attribute that to us playing well ahead of the opposition for large stretches this year, and the lack of deep balls to Chesson. He and Butt both saw their per game averages go down this season. We will miss Darboh, but there are opportunities for the young WRs to improve upon Chesson's production this year, and a gaggle of more experienced tight ends should mitigate the loss of Butt.

* Regarding QB play, the Total efficiency went from 133.75 to 143.23, a nearly 10 point improvement. Considering we were going with a first time starter this year versus an experienced, 5th year QB last season, that speaks positively to Jim's QB development skills. Can we get another 10 point increase from Speight next season?


*Oh man, Don Brown. The first thing one checks is sacks. Those increased from 30 to 44. But the major, eye-popping stat is the QBHs. We had 16 in 2015. This year? 52! Was our statistician more generous this year with QBHs? Our opposition had 13 last year to 25 this year, so maybe, but I think Wilton had a tendency to hold onto the ball longer than Rudock did and saw more pressure as a result.

* TFLs are less subjective than QBHs. They went from 82 to 115.

* But all those fancy stats don't mean anything if they don't show up on the scoreboard. Average points allowed dropped from 17.2 to 12.5, a 4.7 point per game reduction. (Hey, the offense showed more improvement than the defense did, at least using raw PPG as a metric.)

There's lot of other interesting stuff in there, so I recommend you take a look. In this time of infinite sadness at the missed opportunities and horrible Ohioness of the reffing, take solace in the fact that even though we only improved the regular season win total by 1 game, the team was dramatically improved over last year's squad in just about every metric. What will year 3 of the Harbaughffense bring? What will year 2 of Don Brown's defense bring? The Knowledge knows, but I don't. I do think the future is bright. If I know one thing about Harbaugh, it's that the result on Saturday is going to put steel in his spine, and he's already a pretty tough S.O.B.

Go Blue.




November 28th, 2016 at 4:24 PM ^

Me:  I gotta tell you, ST3, man. Earlier today I was really feeling shitty, man.  Really down in the dumps.  Lost a little money...

ST3:  Hey, you know what? Forget about it, huh? Forget about it.

Me: Yeah, fuck it man! I can't be worried about that shit. Life goes on man!



Indeed. Forward and onward.

The football program is in some pretty good hands.


November 28th, 2016 at 4:23 PM ^

I'd like to see how many WR screens we ran last year vs this year. It's got to be a pretty large difference. That's the main reason that 1st downs gained off running plays was up so much this year. 




November 28th, 2016 at 4:34 PM ^

Kenny Allen starts out making 4 of his first 9 FGs and then makes 12 straight - nice job indeed.  And that punting was excellent as well.  He is truly one of the true season standouts.


November 28th, 2016 at 4:44 PM ^

Average points allowed dropped from 17.2 to 12.5, a 4.7 point per game reduction

If we just look at  regulation time, the improvement is even more striking: from 16.9 to 11.4. 

Ghost of Fritz…

November 28th, 2016 at 5:23 PM ^

is all about taking another step up at the o-line position group. 

Everything else is a distant priority. 

Receiving corps will be fine.  RB group will be fine.  QB will be even better. 

D-line won't be quite as good (or quite as deep) but will still be very good.  LB position should be veru solid.  Lots ot great athletes for the secondary (especially if Clark returns).

Young? Yes.  But can be reload rather than rebuild. 

Can't wait to see if Onwenu is the real deal. Huge. Quick. Nimble.  If he learns the position well, he could be a real difference maker. 


November 28th, 2016 at 9:31 PM ^

a little if Clark returns. Hill/Long have as much potential as Lewis/Stribling. The speed between them should be top tier and they might struggle more in run support than pass D.They also will have quality time under the same secondary coach/tech. They will only learn it one way - the Hoke recruits were schooled in multiple approaches. Their bigger challenge might be the DL that won't generate 44 sacks and 52 QBHs. Still, add Watson and Washington and hopefully Darnay Holmes (we can hope for good things) and this group is more than talented enough.

Chi-City Wolverine

November 29th, 2016 at 12:46 PM ^

I think we will be fine with regards to the defensive line depth. We have some guys who redshirted and who weren't heavy contributors this year. Give them an off season to but on some weight and marinate in the defense. There is going to be some drop off, but i think we will be solid next year.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


November 28th, 2016 at 5:25 PM ^

Good post, ST3. Can't wait to see how year 2 of Don Brown's defense looks. While we lose 10 starters, we will still have some real good athletes on the field next season. Looking for Gary and Bush Jr. to have breakout years. Kinnel could be the stud of the secondary. I'm assuming McCray becomes defensive captain and Cole or Speight are offensive captains.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


November 28th, 2016 at 7:32 PM ^

In our past 24 games, we are a blocked punt returned for a TD, a failed third down conversion, and an unfortunate spot away from being 23-1, and 12-0 this year.