Posts tagged statistics

Mick Cronin vs. Huggins for COY

Today, Dick Vitale listed his top three choices for national coach of the year at this point in the season. He listed Jim Boeheim, Steve Fisher, and Mick Cronin. I can’t (or rather, don’t want to)  argue a bit with the first two choices. But Mick Cronin?! Are you freaking kidding me, Dickie V? First of all, Dickie V explains away what I maintain is the number one reason to yCronin is undeserving of such an award. In regards to the Cincinnati/Xavier fight he says:

Cronin made sure his team learned from it. He took charge right away after the game, saying how disgraceful it was and that actions like that would not be tolerated. Cronin talked about putting on the Cincinnati uniform being a privilege and the athletes involved would not be back unless they really gained from the experience.
I have to admit, Cronin talked a big game in the post game conference and I was very impressed. (Read the transcript here) Then he took a big crap on his promises  when he suspended Yancy Gates for six games. Six games. LaGarette Blount was suspended for 75% of his season for his cheap shot against Boise. Even if you think six games was fair or more than fair allow me to provide the strongest case against Cronin, actual on-court data Cronin’s team is 85th in the RPI and so far has played the 167th strongest schedule in the country. Bob Huggins’s Mountaineers are 14th in the RPI and have played the 4th toughest schedule in the country. Cronin’s team is returning 59% of its minutes from last year, and so far this year, 21% of its minutes have been played by newcomers. Huggins’s team is returning only 39% of its minutes from last year, and so far a whopping 46% of its minutes have been played by newcomers! (In case you’re curious, Syracuse returned 82% of its minutes and only 12% have been played by newcomers. Could certianly have a lot to do with their success) So in short, Huggins team is playing better against a tougher schedule, all with a much greater dependency on younger talent. Cronin shouldn’t even be discussed as Big East Coach of the Year without mention of Huggins, let along be mentioned with Boeheim as a possible National Coach of the Year.

WVU/Norfolk State - Safety in Numbers

A recap of the game as told through stats both in and out of the box score

6, 13 – passing yards and rushing yards for WVU in the first quarter (made even more impressive that WVU finished with 431 yards passing on the game)

89%, 19.25, 3 – Pass completion percentage, average yards per pass, and touchdown receptions thrown by Geno Smith in the 4rd quarter

371 – passing yards by Geno (a career high, the highest at WVU in 13 years (Marc Bulger 429 – Missouri 1998) and Smith’s third 300 yard passing game)

13 – first downs by WVU in the 3rd quarter

6 – of those first downs that were earned via Norfolk State penalty

10 – teams in FBS that haven’t allowed more than one touchdown this season in two games (although it was a special teams TD, it still counts against WVU as a TD, but they also did only play 3 quarters against Marshall) Central Florida, Florida St. – 0; Michigan St., Florida, Illinois, Texas, Arkansas, Temple, Kentucky - 1

236 – yards allowed per game by WVU’s defense (and remember, Marshall, 3 quarters)

2 – of the 10 teams who have only allowed 1 TD through two games are allowing more yards per game than WVU (Temple (272) and Kentucky (308.5))

0 – turnovers lost by the offense this year (only 4 other FBS teams can say that – Cincinnati, San Diego St., Texas A&M, and Wisconsin)

0 – turnovers caused by the defense this year (only 3 other FBS teams can say that – Nevada, North Carolina, and UAB)

17, 9 – number of carries, and the yards of the longest run by Vernard Roberts. A WVU back hasn’t had that many carries in a game without a run longer than 9 yards since Noel Devine carried the ball for 19 times with a long run of 9 against Cincinnati in 2008. In that time, 20 different ball carriers have had 17 carries or more and all had had at least one run of 10 yards or more

1 – lady whose day was made when Bruce Irvin gave her a big hug during the Mantrip  

18 – consecutive home wins against non conference opponents. Last loss was against Virginia Tech in 2005 (who was ranked #3 at the time). Will it make it to 19? What will LSU be ranked when they come to Morgantown?

WVU/Marshall 2011 - Safety In Numbers

A recap of the game as told through stats both in and out of the box score
(Oh my gosh, doing this for the second year in a row now makes it an annual tradition!)

14:36 – Remaining in the 4th quarter when the game was called due to lightning

34 – Points scored by Dana Holgorsen’s offense in just over 3 quarters in his first game against Marshall

27, 24, 24 – Points scored by Jeff Mullen’s offenses in 4 quarters against Marshall in 2008 (when he had Pat freaking White), 2009, and 2010

42 – Rushing yards for WVU - their lowest rushing output even if you project it out to 4 quarters in 132 games! – Virginia Tech 2001

332 – passing yards by Geno if you project his 3 quarters’ worth of stats out to 4 quarters

4 – times in a Jeff Mullen offense that the quarterback passed for over 300 yards in a game (Smith – Rutgers 2010, Marshall 2010; Brown – East Carolina 2009; White – North Carolina 2008)

0 – points scored by the Marshall offense

9 – different players caught a pass for the Mountaineers (happened only two times under Jeff Mullen – Rutgers 2010, Syracuse 2009)

Too many – times Geno had to run out of a collapsing pocket

More on Marshall
Sam’s game preview
Sam’s game recap
Scott’s recap of the fun during the rain delay

WVU UNLV/USF Short Week Safety in Numbers

A recap of the game as told through stats both in and out of the box score

3 – touchdown receptions for Brad Starks against UNLV

4 – receptions for Brad Starks against UNLV

– receptions for Brad Starks in 4 games leading up to UNLV

100 – yards receiving by Brad Starks against UNLV

-15 – yards attributed to Brad Starks in 4 games leading up to UNLV (10 yard illegal block penalty –Coastal Carolina, 5 yard false start penalty – Maryland)

12,6 – number of TD receptions and players who have caught a TD pass this season for WVU (Stedman Bailey and Starks with 3 each, Tavon Austin and Jock Sanders with 2 each, and Will Johnson and J.D. Woods with 1 each.  Noel Devine has caught 16 passes, but none for TDs) With 12 TD passes this season, WVU has already matched last year’s season total.

2 – more TDs that WVU has scored with a hurry-up offense.  By my unofficial count, 8or 9 of WVU’s TD drives have come in the hurry up offense (1 against Coastal Carolina, 2 against Marshall, 2 maybe 3 against Maryland, 1 against LSU, and 2 against UNLV)

0 – people who have given me a good reason why we don’t run the hurry up more.  Look, I know there’s a time to milk the clock, but that time is when you’re up by more than two scores in the 4th quarter.  We have a tough defense who I’m sure would much rather play with a lead than get to sit down for an extra couple minutes.

Looking ahead to South Florida tonight

180.4, 63.9 – Passing and rushing yards per game for B.J. Daniels in 2009 (in games in which he was a starter)

136.8, 37.2 – Passing and rushing yards per game for B.J. Daniels so far in 2010

2-3 – WVU’s record against South Florida all-time

7-0 – WVU’s record on Thursday at Mountaineer field (WVU is 5-1 in their last six Thursday games. Wins against Colorado in 2009, Auburn in 2008, Louisville in 2007, at Maryland in 2007, and at Pitt in 2006.  Their only loss was at Colorado in 2008)

Playing UNLV

Before I go any further (Editor’s Note: but you haven’t gone anywhere yet!), I’d like to note DJ Gallo’s fantastic description of Rich Rodriguez’s offensive gameplan at the University of Michigan. A lot of people like to believe that the man is some sort of genius, but he isn’t now and never was. His success at West Virginia University stemmed entirely from having a backfield consisting of White, Slaton, and Schmitt, as well as an experienced and well-coached offensive line capable of springing those guys.

People turned that team’s success into Rodriguez’s, but the only important memory anybody ought to have about the guy surrounds his 13-9 loss to Pitt. Faced with a team that all but publicly declared that WVU wasn’t going to beat them up the middle, Rodriguez’s scheme collapsed. He was incapable of doing anything other than running his offense straight into the middle of the field where it got repeatedly clobbered. What’s to be learned?

That coaches win and lose games. People like to lay it at the feet of players (“If only we had better/different players!”) but it’s the coaches who send in the plays, and its the coaches who make the decisions. Why bring up these points, painful though they might be for all of us only a few years removed from what was one of the most devastating Mountaineer losses imaginable? Because against a team like UNLV, West Virginia ought to utterly dominate. We ought to score 50. We ought to not worry about winning but instead about how many different backups we can get on the field.

And yet, like any WVU game, I sit here writing this feeling not entirely confident. “We ought to win,” I think, “…but what if the coaches steer clear of what’s been working? What if they try to preserve our talent for later in the season by running the slow offense, the one in which we keep sending our talented fast backs straight into a collection of defensive players? What if? Oh god. No. No!”

That’s life as a Mountaineers fan. But here’s a sobering reality: the Mountaineers have scored 12 offensive touchdowns this season (four against Coastal Carolina, two against Marshall, four against Maryland, and two against LSU). Of those 12, five were scored via conventional football and by that, I mean the slow plodding offense that encourages every fan to look at the television aghast and wondering, “What in the hell is the point of all the speed if we’re going to do this horseshit!” Those five touchdowns came during the course of 11 of the 16 quarters of football we’ve played so far this year. In the other five quarters, we’ve scored seven touchdowns, all running our hurried up offense (two in the hectic 4th quarter against Marshall, four in the first three quarters against Maryland, one at the beginning of the 3rd quarter against LSU). Although our sample size is small and I’m one of the world’s most pathetic statisticians, it seems to me that one thing is clear: we score more points in less time running our fast offense. Our offense, by comparison, becomes impotent when doing anything else.

For fun, Scott and I are going to track Saturday’s game to see when we score and how. If we win by a lot and easily, I can guarantee you it will be because we ran our fast offense. Imagine if we ran our hurry up offense for the entire game. Imagine what we’d be capable of. If the game is closer than it ought to be, it will be because we abandoned what works for what doesn’t, an entirely inexplicable decision sure to frustrate.

Although I’m not one for predicting scores, I’ll got 48-10 if we’re playing fast and 21-10 if we’re playing slow. For God’s sake, play fast.

WVU/Maryland - Safety in Numbers

A recap of the game as told through stats both in and out of the box score

4 – passing touchdowns by Geno Smith.  The most by a WVU quarterback against a BCS conference opponent since Brad Lewis in the 2000 Music City Bowl (5 against Ole Miss – 12/28/2000)

2 – touchdown receptions each by Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, marking the second time two receivers have had two touchdown receptions in the same game with Bill Stewart as head coach (Arnett, Sanders against Villanova – 8/30/2008).  This never happened once in 86 games under Rich Rodriguez.

7 – years since a freshman has had two touchdown receptions in one game before Stedman Bailey did on Saturday (Chris Henry – 3 times in 2003)

345 – total yards by WVU in the first half

124 – total yards by WVU in the second half

61.7 – percent of Maryland’s total offense came on two passing touchdowns of 60 and 80 yards long

8:46 – time of the penultimate drive for WVU in the game that, despite only netting 3 points, really sealed the deal for the Mountaineers

8 – consecutive runs for Ryan Clarke in that 8 minute scoring drive

And now some bonus numbers on the performance of the team so far.

8 – both the number of turnovers lost thus far on the season for the Mountaineers AND the number of teams in FBS (out of 120) that have lost more than 8 turnovers

Minus 4 – turnover margin for the Mountaineers on the season.

1 – other team in the top 25 in addition to the Mountaineers that has lost the turnover battle and each of their three games (Penn State – and they’re 2-1 with a loss to Alabama)

26 – rank in all of FBS of WVU’s total passing offense.  The highest WVU has finished at the end of the past three seasons was 90th in 2009 (104th in 2008, 114th in 2007)

43 – rank of WVU’s total rushing offense.  The lowest WVU has finished at the end of the past three seasons was 24th in 2009 (15th in 2008, 3rd in 2007)

8 – rank of WVU’s rushing defense nationally.

157.72 – Geno Smith’s passer rating through three games.  Good for 21st in the country, 18th among quarterbacks who have played 3 games, 4th in the country among quarterbacks who have completed 70 or more passes, 3rd in the country among quarterbacks who have attempted 100 or more passes, and 5th among sophomore quarterbacks.