As we move from the decidedly calm waters – post week 1, of course – of our early schedule to the maelstrom that is the back half, I thought it might be interesting to see how this year’s team compares to last's at this particular point in time. Interestingly enough, last season’s second half began with BYU as well. Without doing any research, you’d assume it’d be fairly difficult for this year’s unit to top last year’s school record setting offense and top ranked defense... but you also probably thought that Mormon video below was a work of satirical fiction too, which I can assure you it was not.
2009 Andy Dalton: 93/142 (65%) – 1223 Yards – 8 TDs – 3 INTs.
2010 Andy Dalton: 92/138 (67%) – 1177 Yards – 9 TDs – 4 INTs.
It’s pretty remarkable to see how close these numbers resemble each other. We’ve been so critical of AD version 4.0, but as you can see he’s on just about the same pace as he was last year, and has actually been slightly more accurate. The schedule was more front loaded last year with Virginia, Clemson and Air Force coming in the first six games, but there was also a layup game against Texas State and both years against Colorado State. Still, it’s clear that, at the current rate, Dalton will have just as many opportunities as he did last year to break any records that may be left standing in his way.
Edge – Push.
2009 Ed Wesley: 50 attempts – 273 yards – 1 TD
2010 Ed Wesley: 87 attempts – 612 yards - TDs
2009 Matthew Tucker: 46 attempts – 223 yards – 1 TDs
2010 Matthew Tucker: 75 attempts – 356 yards – 5 TDs.
2009 All Rushers: 287 attempts – 1350 yards – 17 TDs.
2010 All Rushers: 284 attempts – 1680 yards – 23 TDs.
Well this one was sure to change a bit in the offseason with the graduation of Joseph Turner, but wow do those numbers tell a story. For Wesley especially, considering with 26 more yards he will have eclipsed his entire total from last year and already has 3 more TDs. Tucker should post better numbers as well based on the averages, but not as dramatic as Wesley. But the most telling sign is when you look at the totals for all of our rushers, the attempts match up, but the yardage and TDs aren’t even close.
Edge – 2010.
For the sake of brevity, I will just take a look at our four main dudes – Jimmy Young, Jeremy Kerley, Antoine Hicks and Bart Johnson.
2009 Tax: 16 catches – 280 yards – 2 TDs
2010 Tax: 7 catches – 126 yards – 1 TD
2009 Kerley: 19 catches – 229 yards – 0 TDs
2010 Kerley: 23 catches – 237 yards – 4 TDs
2009 Antoine Hicks: 8 catches – 118 yards – 2 TDs
2010 Antoine Hicks: 4 catches – 66 yards – 1 TD
2009 Bart Johnson: 19 catches – 204 yards – 0 TDs
2010 Bart Johnson: 18 catches – 192 yards – 2 TDs
2009 All Receivers: 94 catches – 1236 yards – 8 TDs
2010 All Receivers: 95 catches – 1218 yards – 9 TDs
Pretty interesting to see the difference in numbers, especially for Jimmy Young overall and for Kerley in the TDs department. Clearly he’s a different beast altogether this season. Antoine Hicks’ production has dropped off, but he has to get looks before he can get back to where he was and before he can get looks he has to stop dropping the ball. Bart is as reliable as he’s always been, but now with more TDs! Overall though, the numbers are about the same. Definitely too close to call.
Edge – Push.
Overall Offensive Production:
2009 Frogs: 33.8 points per game, 431 yards per game, 25 TDs, 13 fumbles, 3 INTs, 138 First Downs, 7 sacks allowed.
2010 Frogs: 41.7 points per game, 483 yards per game, 31 TDs, 4 fumbles, 4 INTs, 152 First Downs, 3 sacks allowed.
Wow, for all the bitching we’ve done about our offense not being on track, they’re pretty much kicking last year’s greatest ever in the balls. I’ll sit down and keep my mouth shut.
Edge – 2010.
The best way to tackle – zing! – this one seems to be just taking a look at the overall numbers from last year’s defense at this time compared to what we have going now. I think we’re going to be very surprised at how well they match up.
2009 Frogs: 238 yards per game (81 rush, 157 pass), 10 TDs (3 rush, 7 pass), 72 first downs, 3 INTs, 20 sacks.
2010 Frogs: 230 yards per game (96 rush, 134 pass) 8 TDs (2 rush, 6 pass), 74 first downs, 4 INTs, 16 sacks.
So that whole, “When they lose Daryl Washington and Jerry Hughes, the defense is going to fall apart” thing? Well, apparently that does not apply here. Pretty awesome to see just how dominant we have been for the billionth year in a row. The run defense isn’t there – and those 2009 numbers are extremely impressive when you consider they had already faced Air Force and CJ Spiller at that point – but everything else is about the same. The numbers will shift a bit after playing Air Force and Utah, but so far, so good. Also, totally forgot we had EIGHT sacks against Virginia in the opener last year.
Edge – Push.
The biggest difference here is going to be that Jeremy Kerley has not returned 2 punts for scores thus far and his 15.2 yard average is not the 17.1 it was last year. Still, he’s given us great field position all year, and brought us back from being on life support in the SMU game. But on the bright side, Ross has made all 4 of his field goal attempts and only missed one PAT; at this point last year he was 6/7 and had missed a PAT. Kevin Sharples has clearly improved, as has Anson Kelton – we don’t need stats to tell us that. But still, the big return has just not been there yet. With half a season to go, I’d say the odds are in favor of it happening, but we probably are too greedy to expect Jeremy Kerley to do It each and every week. But, I'd say the ground we've made up in all three aspects of our kicking game balance the two out.
Edge – Push.
So while I copped out and ‘pushed’ quite a few of the head to head matchups, I don’t know who would argue with me either way. This team is just as good as last year’s in almost every aspect, save run defense and returns, and has actually out-performed them for the most part. Like I said though, the meat of the schedule comes now and the truth will come out for everyone to see, but you have to like our chances going forward. The worst Cougar team in recent memory comes to town this weekend, so let’s see if we can’t keep this train rolling. Go Frogs.