Monday, October 31, 2016

25 Questions that are not about the last 3 years

 What is their body of work?

So, NIU has been the conference's leading program for the last few years.  They have won the West six times in a row and played once in the Orange Bowl.  This year, however, things have not been so good.  In fact, if there's a coach who has his fanbase more irate at him than Mike Jinks, it is Rod Carey.  NIU did not play a P5 opponents, and yet lost all four of their non-conference games...Wyoming, South Florida, San Diego State and Western Illinois.  Since then, they are 2-2 in the MAC, beating Ball State and Buffalo and losing to WMU and CMU.  The Buffalo win was a 44-7 win.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 25.  Lot of juniors, though.  This is a youngish team.

Who are their statistical leaders?

Aregeros Turner is #13 in Kickoff returns
Kenny Golladay is #16 in receiving yards per game and #14 in receptions per game.
Anthony Maddie is #14 in rushing yards per carry

What is their turnover ratio?

(Most of the stats below are conference only).  They are even for the year.  (BG?  -5)


 How is their QB play?

BG won the MAC Championship last year with Drew Hare and like 3 other QBs injured.  One of those was Anthony Maddie, who has returned as the starting QB.  He is a typical NIU QB...dual-threat.  He's the #7 QB in passing efficiency and #5 in rushing.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are #3 in the MAC in scoring offense, scoring essentially what UT does.  They are 3rd in yards per play at 6.5, also essentially the same as UT.

Can they run the ball?

They lead the MAC in rushing with 6.2 yards per carry, and it isn't especially close.  This is a huge test for BG, which just struggled to defend the run against a weak running Miami team.  (Also, though Coach Jinks likes to talk about BG's defensive stats being tilted by "two games," BG is also last in the MAC in defense in conference games.

Do they pass the ball?

They are 7th in pass efficiency. They are 7th in completion %, with 7 TDs over 6 INTs and 11.9 per completion.

How is their run/pass balance?

They run on 57% of their plays, which is surprising given how strong their run game is.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They are good, 3rd in MAC at 46%.  (BG is last).

Do they score in the red zone?

They are OK at 4.5 per trip.  10 TDs, 4 FG, 4 misses.

Coach Jinks, I feel your pain
Do they protect the quarterback?

Yes.  They have allowed 2 sacks in MAC play.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

This is where you have a team that is not usually what they offer.  They are young on D.  #6 in scoring defense and yards per play allowed.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They allow 4.4 yards per carry, which is #4 in the conference.

Can they be passed on?

They are average here as well, #6 in passing efficiency.  They have allowed 60% completions, but 7 INT over 6 TD and 12.5 yards per completion.  This is an opportunity for BG.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

Yes they are #4 in the MAC.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They are good, probably above average, at 4.3 points per trip allowed.

Do they pressure the QB?

They have 11 sacks, which is 4th in the MAC.

Special Teams:

Who's a good boy?

They are 4th in the MAC in net punting with no blocks and no major issues on returns.

Punt Return?

They actually have a returner with over 8 yards per return, though they have only returned 6 (all games).


Their kicking is normally pretty good, but he's struggling this year at 7 of 12.  He's missed 3 inside 40, blocked once, long of 41.


They lead the MAC in this category, with teams starting on the 22.  Pray for touchbacks.

Kickoff Return?

They start on the 27, which is pretty good (note, national leader above, and this is all games.)

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

So, this is how we meet again.  BG and NIU played for the last 3 MAC titles, and now are playing for, well, not much.  A collective 3-13 between them, NIU would have to run the table to get to a bowl game from here and BG will not be in a bowl game.

What is there to say?  Both teams have something to prove...I'd say that NIU appears to be the better team to date but I also see that the game is considered a pick 'em.

BG has yet to win an FBS game, and getting a couple would seem to help turn what has been a debacle into a something that is less debacley.  Having said that, if BG didn't beat Miami at the Doyt, I'd be surprised to win this one on the road.

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