Friday, October 11, 2013

25 Cowbell Questions

So this is their big tradition.  Cowbells.  With long handles
like on a kid's bike.  An infernal racket, from what I hear.
What is their body of work?

For many years they were SEC bottom-dwellers.  From 2003 to 2006, they did not win more than 3 games in any season.  This is Mullen's 5th season and they are certainly playing better.  They have 9, 7 and 8 wins over the past 3 years, which is pretty good for a team playing an SEC schedule.  For this year, I doubt they are too thrilled, though they only have one bad loss.  They are 2-3 this year with wins over Alcorn and Troy (Troy does not have the team they have had in the past).  Their losses are to high ranked OK State and LSU and then to Auburn, a road game but probably the one they wish they had back.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

25, which is a good number.

Who are their statistical leaders?

Nickoe Whitley is #6 in the nation in INT/G.
Jameon Lewis is #15 in kickoff returns.
Dak Prescott is #17 in passing yards per completion.

What is their turnover ratio?
Tradition was not welcome here.
This sign as much as said "this means you."

They are +4, which is good.  They have created 9 turnovers.


How is their QB Play?

They do.  They have 2 in fact.  Tyler Russell started the year as the #1 guy, got injured and then was replaced by Dak Prescott.  Prescott is an average passing QB but was leading the team in rushing.  With some struggles against LSU, Russell came back in and actually had better passing numbers and had a QB rating of 135 last year, as starter.  Prescott is listed as the starter, but anything could happen.

What was their scoring and yards per play?

They are scoring 32 points per game an 6.4 yards per play, both of which are good numbers.  They put up 62 against Troy.

Can they run the ball?

They have been good this year, if not great.  (And look, we recognize that these numbers were generated against LSU, Auburn and OK State and not Akron, UMass and Kent.  We look at them in their own context.  Just assume this comment applies for the whole post).  They are rushing for 4.9 yards per rush with Prescott getting 6.5 yards per carry.  The other RBs are in the mid to high 4s.

Do they pass the ball?

Prescott has not been that effective, completing only 53% in a spread offense, which is usually pretty high. He has gotten yards per completion, but only 3 TDs over 2 INT.  Russell is better with 63%.

How is their run/pass balance?

They run on 58% of their plays, which means they are using the more running based version of the spread.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

Not especially well at 36%.

Do they score in the red zone?

They are scoring just over 5 points per trip, which is very good.

I did not make this up
Do they protect the quarterback?

This has not been great.  They have given up 9 sacks in 161 (sack adjusted) attempts, which is 5.5% and not great.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

They allow 24 points per game and 5.7 yards per play.  The yards isn't too bad but the yards per play is a little high.

Do they defend the run effectively?

They are good against the run...4.2 yards per rush.

Can they be passed on?

They are in the upper part of the lower half of FBS in pass efficiency defense.  Most of their numbers are not that good.  64% completion percentage, 11.3 yards per reception allowed.  What has saved them is getting 5 INTs so far.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They give up 38% which is good but not great.

Do they defend in the red zone?

They are terrible.  5.6 points per trip allowed.

Do they pressure the QB?

They have 8 sacks in 160 passing attempts, which is 5% and represents pretty good productivity.

Special Teams:
Ring them bells, ye heathen
From the city that dreams
Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
’Cross the valleys and streams
For they’re deep and they’re wide
And the world’s on its side
And time is running backwards
And so is the bride

Read more:


Their net punting is 37 yards, which is basically average.  Guy has a huge leg but has given up 3 TBs and some return yards.

Punt Return?

They have 1 punt return yard this year.  Still, gotta believe he's capable of breaking one.


The guy is not good...5-9 FG and 4-7 inside 40...long of 40.


Good...opponents start on 23.  Bunch of touchbacks.

You were expecting Walken?
Kickoff Return?

Unit is good.  They start at the 29.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

One little odd side note.  This is the first time Mississippi State has played a team from the MAC, something I find pretty surprising.

This is probably the best team on BG's schedule and obviously we are playing in their stadium.  It opened with Mississippi State a 10.5 point favorite.  Obviously, BG wins these games every once in a while.  In fact, Coach Clawson has yet to nail a major upset in his time at BG.  You want my opinion, I would trade this game for a win over UT all day long.

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