Friday, December 19, 2014

25 questions for an inaugural event

What is their body of work?

It isn't great.  They are 6-6.  In common opponent land, they won @Kent, 23-13.  They also lost to Mississippi State and South Carolina, and to Navy by 2.  They have lost 4 out of their last 5, which puts them in a similar skid to the Falcons.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

32, which is a very senior-dominated team.

Who are their FBS statistical leaders?

Their kicker is #13 in FG%.  His name is Aleem Sunanon.

ALL Rankings below are Sun Belt rankings, all games.

What is their turnover ratio?

They are -4, 8 in the conference.

You are looking live....

How is their QB Play?

It is interesting.  On paper, Bridge doesn't look that good.  Their QB is #9 in the Sun Belt in passing efficiency.  He completes only 51% of his passes with 11.8 per completion.  He has 14 TDs and 6 INT.  But, he's getting serious interest from the NFL...he certainly has the kind of body they like.  He can beat you with his legs.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are not good.  In fact, at the end of the season they fired their OC and then hired (re-hired actually) the guy who lost his gig at UAB.  They are 9th in scoring offense and 10th in yards per play.

Can they run the ball?

They are a run-oriented team with a run-heavy play mix.  Overall, their yards per rush  is 7th in the conference.  However, they have 3 lead backs who averaged over 5 yards per carry.  Unless the Jaguars have seen zero game film, I would expect this to be their first line of attack.

Do they pass the ball?

They are last in the conference is passing efficiency.  Again, I'd expect to see them try to get the run game open and then try to create space for their quick WRs.

How is their run/pass balance?

They run on 57% of plays, which is a high run mix.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They are 10th.

Do they score in the red zone?

They have stalled for a high number of RZ FGs.  They average only 4.3 points per trip.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They have only given up 27 sacks, which is not a huge number, but remember there is a heavy run mix.  They have allowed sacks on 6.7% of sack plays.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They are good here, 2nd in scoring defense and 5th in yards per play.  It is odd to see a split like that, so maybe something will indicate what is going on.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are tied for 6th in yards per carried allowed.

The world's most historic bus.
Can they be passed on?

They are 5th in the Sun Belt in pass defense efficiency.  They allow only 55% completions, which is really good and conference best.  They have allowed 17TDs and only 6 INT, and do allow 12.6 yards per completion.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They are 7th in opponent 3rd down conversion, so average.

Do they defend in the red zone?

And here is what accounts for the split between the scoring and yardage rankings.  USA allows only 4.1 points per red zone trip, which is really good.

Do they pressure the QB?

They are 6th with 25 sacks.

Special Teams:


They are pretty good.  They are 5th in net punting.  They have been blocked once and allowed 1 TD.

Punt Return?

Nobody really gets too many punt returns anymore.  They had one good one.  No blocks, no TDs.


Dude is really good.  He's missed only 3 times, is 5-6 over 40 and has a long of 46 with one block.


They are 7th in this, too, with an average start at the 27.  No TDs allowed.

Kickoff Return?

Not especially good, starting on 25.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Camellia japonica
I wrote on this earlier this week.  This is a serious concern.  The stadium seats 25K and USA has been drawing 17K, so I would expect them to fill up most if not all of the stands in Montgomery.
Also, this is a huge big deal for USA and they seem pretty jacked up, while I worry our enthusiasm is not as good. To say the the least.

It is the last chance for our seniors to win a bowl game, but the team didn't rally around their last chance to beat Toledo or win at the Doyt, so I don't see that being much.

Both teams are playing poorly heading into the game.  BG is an average team in the MAC and USA is an average team in the Sun Belt, but given the overall karma going into the game, I am really worried about BG getting steamrolled.  Most of all, I worry that USA gets off to a fast start....

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