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Bye Week Stat Round Up: Offense

BSU LogoNormally on Tuesdays we regale you with fun little items like stat comparisons and the like for the coming Cardinal opponent. As this week is the challenging opponent Open Date State, there is no substantive data to pour over. Except our own. Hence, the offensive and defensive production… presented in fancy graph format. Ballin’.

Part 1: Offense
To call this season’s offense things like “productive” or “efficient” or “precision” would be a certain misnomer. However, that wasn’t entirely unexpected. The losses on the offensive line, the loss of a now-playing-in-the-NFL QB will certainly make the offense take a collective step back not to mention the massive target in Darius Hill at tight end and 4 starting offensive linemen. All that equals a significant step back. A 1-8 step back? Probably not, but I think most would argue (correctly) that this team is not a 1-win talent sort of team.

The offense has unfortunately bared the brunt of the fluke luck and injuries this season losing Madaris Grant and Seth White within the first few games, and losing QB Kelly Page soon thereafter. The same Kelly Page who was beginning to show glimpses of why he was a sought after prospect by some of the major BCS caliber schools like Oregon.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for this offense is that the offensive line so far has certainly lived up to expectations, which weren’t high to begin with. The lack of consistent dominant blocking and protection impacts virtually every aspect. With no protection of the QB, the passing game struggles to even get throws away. Those that are gotten away are rarely on target or not a reach for the receivers. That lack of a passing threat results in defenses pinning their ears back and bringing heat to pressure the QB or stuff the run, which has little blocking to begin with. It’s a vicious circle and one that BSU has found itself twisting in for virtually all of 2009.

The offense so far…

off prod

No, this isn’t the NASDAQ, but the passing attack certainly looks like it.

The last three games are virtual washes statistically, not only because of their ridiculous deviation from the median, but more so because BSU has become quite one-dimensional. Throwing up your 3 highest rushing totals since the start of the season is impressive. Doing it at the expense of the pass is quite another. While having a rush-heavy attack is certainly nothing out of the ordinary, and in fact, the thing most were pointing to as needed early in the season it is the aftermath of said switch off and the rationale given by Parrish that leads many to scratch their heads at best and get fired up at worst. Questions from a fanbase about a QBs ability, talent, and skill set are one thing… having your coach reference how hard you try but what you lack in his weekly press conference is totally different territory.

Looking forward, the passing attack is the key to success. Should Tanner Justice be able to prove Stan Parrish incorrect, and more importantly, should Stan Parrish have the faith needed in him to allow him to do so, then the offense may in fact find the balance needed to pull an upset in one of their three remaining games. If not, if Justice struggles or Parrish doesn’t allow him to succeed, then expect opposing defenses to stack the box, dominate the line, and this team to struggle to even compete.

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