Tuesday, November 12, 2019

25 Oxfordian Questions

What is their body of work?

Weird stuff seems to happen when BG and Miami play
Miami is one of the MAC's original football powers...except for the last decade or so.  They were a real power when Terry Hoeppner left after 2003 season, but since then have had only two winning seasons and won 2 or fewer games 5 times.  Their current coach is from the Brian Kelly tree, but he's 22-24 over the last four years.  The Redhawks are 5-4 this year, but in the driver's seat to win the MAC East after beating OU last week.  If they beat BG and Akron, they will be in their first MAC Championship game since 2010.  They have won 3 in a row (OU, NIU, KSU) as well as wins over TN Tech and Buffalo.  Their losses are to WMU, Iowa, UC and OSU.  BG has won 4 of the last 6 in the series.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 24, which is typical.

Who are their statistical leaders? (Top 20 Nationally)

Sam Sloman is a stud kicker.  He's #8 in the nation in FG/game
Maurice Thomas is #6 in punt returns.

What is their turnover ratio? 

They are +4, all games.


How is their QB play? (MAC Only, from here on)

He's not bad, not great.  Their whole offense, in fact, is not great.  Gabbert is #5 in the MAC in efficiency.  He completes a very low percentage...53%, but they get 13.6 per completion, indicating higher risk passes.  He has 4 TDs over 3 INT.

What is their scoring and yards per play

They are 8th in the MAC in scoring offense and 10th with 5.1 yards per play.  BG is 11th in both.

Can they run the ball?

Not really, no.  They are 9th in rushing at 3.8 yards per carry, which is lower than BG's.  Their lead back is Bester, who gets 4.0 per rush, and Tyre Shelton averages 5.3.

Do they pass the ball?

As noted, they are good but not great.  They do have 3 WRs averaging over 19 yards per reception.

How is their run/pass balance?

They run a lot, 61%.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

Not to be forgotten.  This is from my senior year. BG was
undefeated, Brian McClure was injured and Rick Nieman
(seen here) was at the helm.  BG recovered two onside kicks
to cap a furious rally to win.  To this day remains the most
exciting sporting event I ever watched.
They are second to last at 29%, which is really bad.  That's worse than BG.

Do they score in the red zone?

They average 4.6 points per trip, which is poor (all games)

Do they protect the quarterback?

They give up sacks on 7% of their passing attempts...that's a little above average.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play

So, they're going to win the East and the offense isn't that good...must be the defense.  That would be correct.  Miami is #3 in scoring defense and #2 in yards per play allowed.  This will be a big test for a BG offense that lacks a lot of high-powered weapons.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are 5th at 4.5 yards per carry.

Can they be passed on?

Not easily.  They are second in the MAC.  They allow 54% completions at 9.9 yards per completion, both very good numbers.  They've allowed 5 TDs and 4 INT.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They are middle of the pack at 44%.

Do they defend in the red zone? (all games)

They allow 5 points per trip, which is pretty normal.

Do they pressure the QB?

They get sacks on 7.3% of their pass plays which is a little bit above average.

Special Teams:


They are 2nd in net punting at 41.5

Punt Return?

As mentioned, Maurice Thomas is a national leader with 13.5 per return and a 30 long, which means he's getting consistent production.

Placekicking? (all games)

You want to talk kicking.  Sam Sloman is the next coming.  He is 14 of 16 with a 53-yarder outdoors in November to put the OU game away.  We are not worthy.


Opponents start on the 24.

Kickoff Return? (all games)

No idea where they start but they also have Maurice Thomas returning here.  He's less effective on KOR.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

So, on paper you'd expect BG to really struggle to move the ball against Miami.  The Redhawks have it all right in front of them, but they're not great and they are coming off a big win.  You know, no surprise, you'd expect the RedHawks to be pretty big favorites, but this is one of those times that something weird could happen on a dark November evening in front of (likely) a relatively empty stadium.

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