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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A look at the Miami game, relatively speaking

This is the last week I'll get a chance to do one of these. We've won every week I've done one. Only wish I'd started doing them sooner...

(For more info on what these numbers mean, take a look at the Duke entry.)

State Offense VersuMiami Defense:

Rushing Offense
93Rushing Defense
Passing Offense
71Pass Defense
Total Offense
97Total Defense
Passing Efficiency
82Pass Efficiency Defense
Scoring Offense
87Scoring Defense

Average Delta in favor of Miami when we have the ball: 51.4. Relative to the rest of all Div. 1A programs, they are 43.2% (51.4/119) better defensively than State offensively.

State Defense Versus Miami Offense:

Rushing Defense68Rushing Offense7711
Pass Defense93Passing Offense81-12
Total Defense86Total Offense904
Pass Efficiency Defense72Passing Efficiency8412
Scoring Defense68Scoring Offense48-20

Average Delta in favor of Miami when they have the ball: 5.0. Relative to the rest of all Div. 1A programs, they are 4.2% (5.0/119) better offensively than State is defensively.

At this point the numbers are pretty much chiseled in stone. That State moved fewer than ten slots in all of the offensive categories despite posting nearly 500 yards of offense against the Heels tells you something about how locked in these numbers are by now. 

Maybe someday the NCAA site will allow you to compare the national rankings of teams over a defined timerange, like over the last month, two weeks, any predetermined window size, etc. One can dream. But for now, this is what we have.

The overall numbers when State has the ball didn't change much from the Carolina game, though there are some notable figures in there. Miami sports a top-10 (8th) ranked pass defense which may give Russell Wilson fits. No doubt the Canes are awash in speedsters in the secondary. Their ability to close on the football and/or stay tight on the State receivers off the line may make things difficult in the passing game. The equalizing factor is Russell's scrambling ability. If the Canes corners take off in pursuit of the Pack receivers with their backs to Wilson, he may just take off for 8, 10 and 15-yard jaunts all night long. Randy Shannon will respect Wilson's playmaking ability and will adjust how he plays his corners accordingly.

On offense, Miami has struggled this season. They continue to flip flop quarterbacks in and out of the game; Shannon will tell you that it's to mix things up and give teams a different look. The skeptic in me says that if he truly had one quarterback that stood out it would be his show to run, and as such two QBs = zero QBs. That's borne out in a 84th ranking in pass efficiency, and coupled with a below average running game their total offensive numbers just aren't that good. 

State's defense played superb against the Heels, boosting their rankings across the board. But one thing to remember is that State possessed the ball so long in the second half and forced so many turnovers that Carolina's lack of production was as much a function of simply not having the ball than anything State's defenders did. So temperment of enthusiasm must be employed when looking at the stat sheet from last Saturday in thinking that suddenly the Pack are the Baltimore Ravens. Certainly if the Pack can convincingly win the time of possession battle again, however, that bodes well for the Pack's chances.

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