Friday, October 07, 2011

25 questions about feral equines

What is their body of work?

It is pretty good.  They are 3-2 with one FCS win.  They played Illinois very tough and beat UConn on the road, and, in between, roasting their arch rivals over a flaming spit.  They are having a very good year.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

22.  This remains a very young team and a definite threat for the future.

Who are their statistical leaders?

Alex Carder is 10th in the nation in total offense and first in the MAC in passing efficiency.  Jordan White is tied for 2nd in receptions, 5th in receiving yards, and 5th in punt returns.  Dervon Wallace is #8 in kickoff returns.

What is their turnover ratio?

They are -1, which looks pretty good.


How is their QB Play?

Alex Carder is a very good QB.  As mentioned, he leads the MAC in passing efficiency and total offense.  He is completing nearly 70% of his passes and yet is averaging 11.4 yards per reception.  You rarely see numbers that high in combination.  He has 14 TDS over 4 INTs.   (Given the number of passes he has thrown, 4 INTs is pretty low.)  He runs too.  In fact, in terms of yards gained, he is the second leading rusher.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They are scoring 30 points per game at 5.9 yards per play.  These are good numbers, but not as you as you would expect, given their passing game.

Can they run the ball?

On paper, they are not that strong, only rushing for 88 yards per game, which is 113th in FBS.  However, that is partly an artifact of their playcalling, which is pass heavy.  Sack adjusted, they average 3.9 yards per game, which is still well below average.  Their top runner (Drake) does average 5 yards per carry.

Do they pass the ball?

They do.  See above.

How is their run/pass balance?

They pass on 61% of their plays, which is very pass heavy.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

3rd down....they are about 43%, which is just average.  They are, however, 8-8 on 4th down and if you add that, they convert on 55% of their 3rd and 4th downs, which is very strong.

Do they score in the red zone?

They are a neutron bomb in the red zone.  They have failed to score only once this season and average 5.7 points per trip on 4 trips per game.  There's no ranking for that...I suspect it is one of the best in FBS.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They allow sacks on only 4.4% of their passing attempts, which is very good.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

21 points per game is very good.  They do allow 5.3 yards per play, which is average.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They can.  Sack adjusted, WMU's opponents are gaining 5.8 yards per carry.  That is well above average.  If BG can manage to run the ball, they might be able to limit the number of possessions and have a shot.

Could they be passed on?

They are pretty solid...35th in FBS in passing efficiency defense.  They are only allowing 54% completions and 10.8 yards per reception.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They are 42% on 3rd and 4th down, which is average.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They are very good here, with 3.9 points per trip on only 13 trips in 5 games.

Do they pressure the QB?

They get sacks on 7% of the passing attempts, which is above average.

Special Teams:


At 39 yards per punt, they are 3rd in the MAC in net punting.  No blocks and no return TDs allowed.

Punt Return?

Very good.  They are 2nd in the MAC without a TD so far.


Mr. Potter is 8-11 with a long of 43.  Two of his misses are over 40, where he is 3-5.  He is a very solid kicker.


They are devastating here.  They average starting opponents on the 22 and they have 12 touchbacks this season.

Kickoff Return?

They average starting at the 33, which is very good.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

WMU is an 11 point favorite.  We are going to play a bunch of teams this year that we almost beat last year.  This isn't one of them.  WMU torched us 41-7 at the Doyt to wrap up last season.  It was 27-0 before BG had a first down.  So, clearly there was a gap between these teams as last year ended.  WMU is coming off a big road will be interesting to see how they react to that out there this week.  It is WMU's homecoming...would be interested to know what team's records are when they have Homecoming.

The basic dynamic is that WMU has to think this is a year they could do it.  They have to win games like this.  The last time BG played very poorly (Wyoming), they came back strong against Miami.  It will be interesting to see how that works this time.  Finally, WMU is a very good MAC team, which is what we want to be, so this game is a good measurement.

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