Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The biggest misconception that most people have about Boise is that they are strictly a passing team, which is likely because the only player you ever hear about is QB Kellen Moore. And while they are, admittedly, a more pass oriented offense, you can’t for a second overlook what has been an extremely successful ground attack for the Broncos this season. Just because cheerleader banging Ian Johnson is gone doesn’t mean the rushing yards left with him. In fact, Boise features a three headed rushing attack much like the Frog’s, although that third head doesn’t get near the number of attempts as the first two. We talk a big game about what our three guys have done this season – and rightfully so – but the Boise ground game has done a ton of damage, ranking 20th in the country. Let’s take a closer look.
Jeremy Avery - JR, 5-9, 173.
197 carries, 1130 yards, 5.7 YPC, 6 TDs
Doug Martin - SO, 5-9, 201.
113 carries, 723 yards, 6.4 YPC, 14 TDs
DJ Harper- JR, 5-9, 198.
44 carries, 284 yards, 6.5 YPC, 3 TDs
Joseph Turner- SR, 6-1, 225.
140 carries, 732 yards, 5.2 YPC, 11 TDs
Matthew Tucker - FR, 6-1, 210.
104 carries, 667 yards, 6.4 YPC, 8 TDs
Ed Wesley - FR, 5-9, 185.
99 carries, 630 yards, 6.4 YPC, 4 TDs
A big oversight in evaluating our run game is leaving Andy Dalton off of this list. I am doing this because he’s not a running back and I already mentioned his numbers yesterday, but his 107 attempts, 500+ yards and 3 TDs warrant a small mention here because the zone read is such a big part of our offensive game plan. However, it’s plain to see that Turner, Tucker and Wesley hold up just fine on their own. Still, it’s kind of surprising that Turner, our leading rusher by attempts and yards, falls 400 yards short of Boise’s Avery. Avery also factors into the Boise passing game and, with Austin Pettis’ presumed absence, is going to have to be the biggest focal point of our defensive efforts. For that matter, Doug Martin and his 14 TDs are going to need to be locked in on as well. As I said earlier, most people hear Boise and think Kellen Moore and the big passing numbers he puts up, but with two guys averaging over six yards per carry, you absolutely cannot overlook what Boise does to you on the ground.
As I said, the Boise ground game ranks 20th in the nation at 194.5 yards per game while TCU ranks 5th at 256.5. Despite this gap, it’s still hard to just straight up give TCU the advantage. First off, we don’t have anyone that gets nearly the attempts and yards that Jeremy Avery does. Joseph Turner, our leading rusher, gets his fair share of touches, but we all know he’s more of the bruising type and not necessarily a home run threat like Avery. Wesley and Tucker are speedier, but they don’t get the ball enough to put up the numbers. You also have Andy Dalton taking away quite a few carries each game which does add an additional threat because so many defenses are still foolish enough to open up the middle of the field for him, but at the same time if you gave Tucker and Wesley more carries with the space he gets, you’d have bigger runs.
What this is really going to come down to is overall numbers and the opposing run defenses – two categories where TCU dominates by a pretty fair margin. The Broncos rank in the middle of the pack when it comes to run defense at 126.85 yards given up per game. I’m pretty sure anyone who is reading this knows that TCU ranks second in run D, giving up only 80.50 yards per game. For the season offensively, TCU slightly edges the Broncos at 5.4 yards per carry as opposed to 5.3 and has six more ground scores – 35 and 29, respectively. We also run the ball 12 more times per game, although if we are able to keep their passing attack quiet with the lack of Pettis, you’d have to expect that number to increase. This is by no means expected or guaranteed.
This really isn’t as cut and dried as I’m going to make it sound, but quite frankly, TCU tallies more yards on the ground, goes to the run more often, and has a better run defense. For those three reasons I’m going to give the edge to the Frogs, but I wouldn’t expect us to come out and hold these guys too much in check.
Edge – Frogs.
This is likely the last preview before Xmas so don’t go jumping off any bridges between now and then in protest. Next week we’ll take a look at the defensive secondaries and special teams units for both sides and then wrap it all up with a prediction thread. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. Well, at least most of you. Go Frogs.
TCU senior Edvinas Ruzgas steps up with hot hand Star-Telegram
Trio of Frogs receive all-American honors from CFN GoFrogs.com
Frogs travel to Houston for Wednesday night showdown GoFrogs.com
BSU Broncos to face biggest challenge yet in TCU KTRV-TV
Mountain West teams continue to seek validation ESPN
Steelers sign Joey Galloway, long snapper National Football Post
Gary Patterson has been named AP coach of the year, making him the first coach from a non automatic qualifying conference to do so. Patterson edged out Cinci Dame's Brian Kelley and Alabama's Nick Saban, last year's winner.
TCU's Patterson named AP coach of the year AP