Non-Conference + Indiana, 2010 v. 2009

Submitted by HeismanPose on October 3rd, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Since the 2010 schedule is so similar to the 2009 schedule, I figured I'd compare where we are now to where we were a year ago.  The below numbers compare our four out of conference games and Indiana:

Passing Offense
2009: 198.8 yds/game, 24 passes/game, 60.4 comp %, 9 total TDs
2010: 240.6 yds/game, 24 passes/game, 73.1 comp %, 9 total TDs

Rushing Offense
2009: 284.4 yds/game, 46 rushes/game, 18 total TDs
2010: 324.4 yds/game, 46 rushes/game, 20 total TDs

Passing Defense
2009: 225.2 yds/game, 6 total TDs allowed
2010: 307.8 yds/game, 8 total TDs allowed

Rushing Defense
2009: 126.6 yds/game, 6 total TDs allowed
2010: 125.8 yds/game, 9 total TDs allowed

2009: 6
2010: 7

2009: 4
2010: 7

So the split is exactly the same on offense: 24 passes/46 rushes per game.  Same gameplan.  The offense is 80 yards better than last year (split evenly beetween the run and pass), though that has only translated to 2 additional TDs.  The defense is 80 yards worse, ALL OF IT attributable to the pass.  This has translated to an additional 5 TDs allowed. Same record each year: 5-0.  Close games with ND and Indiana.


This is...a bit sobering.  The good news (I guess), is that our many problems have been whittled down to one: the pass defense.  The bad news: we have no immeadite solution to that problem.  The next 7 games are gonna be tense.



October 3rd, 2010 at 1:57 PM ^

It is pretty crazy that we have the exact same amount of pass/rush attempts.. Really tough to tell if we will be that much better until we start playing better teams in conference.


October 3rd, 2010 at 2:09 PM ^

Intersting stats, but I don't agree with your implication that because our stats in non-conference games plus Indiana was similar in '09 and '10 that the rest of the season will be.  I don't think our main problem in 2009 was increased competition, but the lack of production from our offense. 

Points per game in non-conference + IU '09: 42.6

Points per game in conference - IU '09: 20.1

Whether that is the result of better defenses from the opposition or some other problem, I don't really think that this offense will face the same issue.  With Denard at the helm, this is arguably the best offense in college football.  You couldn't say the same thing last year.  I don't deny that there are going to be some tight games and I won't argue that we'll get more than 8 wins, but I truly believe that the offense will keep us in any game this year.


October 3rd, 2010 at 2:16 PM ^

Good point.  Forcier definitely lost a lot of steam after the MSU and Iowa games.


The other caveat is that our schedule was probably tougher this year.  UConn, UMass and Indiana have much better passing offenses than their 2009 counterparts.  Notre Dame is worse (with a new coach and without Tate and Clausen), but they still throw the ball a lot.  There's some hope that we will be able to limit Penn State, Illiinois and Purdue's passing offenses.  SOME hope. 


October 3rd, 2010 at 2:23 PM ^

1.  The competition we've faced this year is better than what we faced last year.  Last year, we faced an average MAC team (WMU), 6-6 ND, a horrible MAC team (EMU), a horrible I-AA team (DSU) and a 4-8 IU team.  All of these games were at home.

This year, we've faced a 3-2 Big East team (UConn), 2-3 ND team (which I think will finish better than 6-6, but we'll see) on the road, a good I-AA team (UMass), a bad MAC team (BGSU), and 3-1 IU (I think they'll finish a couple games better than last year, but again, we'll see) on the road. 

2.  Last year we were seriously derailed by offensive injuries.  I don't know why people keep downplaying this.  We played the whole conference schedule without our best offensive lineman, played about half of it without our best tailback, another half without our #2 tailback, and the last seven games with a gimpy QB who couldn't throw deep or with velocity.  These seriously affected our performance last year. 

3.  With Denard at QB, and with the OL and WRs a year older, we're simply better this year.  Last year's offense was never ranked anywhere near the national leaders. 

In short, relax - our O is legit and will win us some games. 



October 3rd, 2010 at 3:42 PM ^

To point #1 - comparison of Saragin ratings:

WMU - 57.31
ND - 75.31
EMU - 44.11
Indiana - 63.56
Delaware St - 39.65
AVERAGE - 55.99

UConn - 72.96
ND - 74.75
UMass - 67.62
Bowling Green - 61.29
Indiana - 65.87
AVERAGE - 68.50

So yeah, the competition has been significantly better this year.

To points #2 and 3, who is downplaying injuries and Denard? The numbers show that our offense is 80 yards/game better.  The issue is that our defense is 80 yards/game worse, which calls into question how much this team has improved, overall.  For the record, I'm a big RichRod supporter and I'm optimistic.       


October 3rd, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

The difference between the two teams is that this year's team has an identity - a dynamic offensive unit that can hurt your running or throwing the ball.  Last year, it was all Tate magic and broken plays with a bad defense.  At least this year, every team on the schedule knows that they'll have to score 25-30 points to keep up, and that will cause them to press, to go for it on 4th down, and make the mistakes that can let the defense off the hook.


October 3rd, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

I haven't looked but I think one of the biggest differences between the 2 years is I'm yelling "HOLD ONTO THE DAMN BALL!!!" at the tv a lot less this year.


October 3rd, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

I think an "efficiency" metric (points or yards per possession) is likely a better measure of comparison. I think our defense looks worse, statistically, because of all the quick scoring by our offense. I'd bet our defense's performance isn't so terrible (relative to last season) when the number of possessions are accounted for.


October 3rd, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

I don't have stats for each possession, but I can show you this (again, including just the 4 OOC games and Indiana):

Total Time of Possession
2009: 141:51
2010: 144:52

Total Plays From the Line of Scrimmage
2009: 351 (231 run, 120 pass)
2010: 347 (228 run, 119 pass)

So the tempo on offense is almost exactly the same. RichRod is nothing if not consistent.


Edit: On Defense -

Total Plays from the Line of Scrimmage (Opponents)
2009: 335 (161 run, 174 pass)
2010: 378 (172 run, 206 pass)

So even though the time of possession is the same, the defense is seeing an extra 8 plays/game, 3/4 of which are passes.  That is significant.  This was heavily skewed by the yesterday's game - Indiana threw the ball 64 times.

grand river fi…

October 3rd, 2010 at 2:44 PM ^

I think an "efficiency" metric (points or yards per possession) is likely a better measure of comparison. I think our defense looks worse, statistically, because of all the quick scoring by our offense. 

I'm with you on this, but I think we'ld still see some sobering numbers.  The next 7 games are going to be tense, but with our offense we can at least expect some entertainment.  I wouldn't be surprised to see our numbers decline somewhat on offense, and improve somewhat on defense over the next couple of games, just because of the type of teams we're playing.  

I'd be happy with 3 wins over the next 7 games.  4 wins or a Win over OSU would be fantastic.

Clarence Beeks

October 3rd, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

Since the 2010 schedule is so similar to the 2009 schedule, I figured I'd compare where we are now to where we were a year ago.

Seriously?  You think the 2010 schedule (so far) is similar to the 2009 schedule to this point?


October 3rd, 2010 at 3:52 PM ^

Although a little sobering at least this year we have a solid back-up (or two) if the starter goes down.  I think that alone gives us an edge compared to this same point last year.