Monday, November 16, 2015

25 questions for when a monkey is on your back

What is their body of work?

It's pretty good.  They have been a top-flight program for years and have only failed to get past NIU, who they lost to this year as well.  They have a big win over Arkansas and beat everyone else in sight.  This is a very good team that is in danger of missing out again.  They can make it even if they lose to BG.  Also, their body of work includes five straight wins over BG.  Ignoring it doesn't make it better.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

29, which is a lot.

Who are their statistical leaders?

FBS Ranks

8th - Terry Swanson, rush yards per carry
16th - Cody Thompson, yards per reception

What is their turnover ratio?

In MAC play, they are -2, which is actually 11th in the MAC.  They have turned the ball over 10 times in 6 MAC games.

Offense:  (Unless noted all stats are MAC games only)

 How is their QB play?

Phillip Ely is a good but not great MAC QB this year.  He is 6th in pass efficiency.  He has completed only 57% of his passes with 7 picks.  He does average 12.9 per completion, which is good.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are 4th in the MAC in scoring and 3rd in yards per play.

Can they run the ball?

This is very much the strength of their team.  They are 3rd in the MAC in yards per carry and 2nd in yards per game.  They have an experienced and outstanding offensive line to support multiple running backs.

Do they pass the ball?

As noted, they are in the middle of the MAC in passing efficiency but 4th in passing yards per game.

How was their run/pass balance?

This is a running team.  They run on 56% of their plays.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

Second in the MAC, right behind BG.

Do they score in the red zone?

They are absolutely deadly in the red zone, scoring 5.6 points per red zone trip.

Do they protect the quarterback?

You could say that.  They have given up only 2 sacks in MAC play this year.


In past years, UT had a great offensive team and were not great (or bad) on defense.  This year that are a good/great offensive team but finally have put a defense on the field.

Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They are 2nd in the MAC in scoring defense (right behind BG).  They are 1st in yards per play allowed.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are 2nd in the MAC in yards per carry allowed, so they are good against the run.

Can they be passed on?

They are 3rd in pass efficiency defense.  They allow 57.8% completions with 9 TDs and 5 INT.  They allow 10.4 yards per completion.  This is a very different Rocket defense.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They are 7th in the MAC in allowed 3rd down conversions.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They are very good here, scoring 4.2 points per trip.

Do they pressure the QB?

Not really.  They have only 11 sacks so far which is 6th in the MAC.

Special Teams:


They are 8th in net punting.  Shortish punts but almost no return yards.  They have 13 kicks inside the 20 with 1 touchback.  No blocks against.

Punt Return?

They are good.  Corey Jones leads the MAC in punt returns.  He has a 9.9 yard average with a 48 long and no TDs, which means that he has made consistent yardage.  They also have 2 blocks.


He's just OK.  14 of 21 overall and 11 of 16 inside 40.  Long of 44 for the year and 1 blocked. (all games)


They start on the 26, with no TDs.  (all games)

Kickoff Return?

They start on the 26 which is typical.  (All games)

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

A few things.

Look, this is rivalry game.  UT has dominated it recently and for much of the year was thought to have the best team in the MAC.  Having said that, BG is probably playing as well right not as UT is.  This is an evenly matched contest that should be very close.

Oh...and UT has won five straight.  Has anyone mentioned that?

BG's game is based on the proposition that no one can stop it.  BG has continued to score, even against the best defenses in the MAC.  Their ability to keep it up will be the key element of the game against the Rockets.

BG has won the East, but I don't think that will be as issue.  Might be in Muncie, but not in this one.  UT badly needs a win.

Oh, and we could do this all over again in a couple weeks.  Enjoy.

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