Why the Offense Will Do Better

Like many of you, I noticed a couple of things about the game vs. BYU that I found very odd: Betty White scored as many points as Boise's offense, and a better passer rating than Riley Nelson (his was negative 4.5. I had no idea passer ratings could be negative). This lead me to think, will the offense do better? Well, historically, the answer is:


Now, I know what many of you are thinking: the offense is averaging 19.7 points and 355 yards per game, which is almost towards the bottom of the college football world. How could it possibly do better?

I shall answer this:According to many college and NFL coaches, Boise State has the most complex offense in the nation. This list includes Superbowl winning Head Coach, Jon Gruden. The system is hard to know, and therefore hard to run. Historically, Boise's average points per game goes up as the season goes on, which can imply that they understand the system better as the season goes on.

Now many of you will probably think: Well of course they score more! They schedule better teams early on, and the rest of the defenses are a lot worse!

Hmmm..... yes, the rest of the defenses are a lot worse.....or are they?


"They aren't!"

I looked through to figure out exactly how much worse the defenses get, and how much better Boise State does on offense. Since we are 3 games into the season, I decided to see how good opposing defenses are by categorizing them by the 1st 3 opponents vs. the rest of the season, and the same for the offense. I excluded games against FCS schools, since they are difficult to compare to FBS Teams. The defenses only get worse by a small margin. We'll go through by year, starting with 2011, and ending with 2007.


--------------------------Opposing Defenses Pnts. per pame/yards--------------------Boise's Pnts. Per game/yards

1st 3 games:-------------------26.5/365.3-----------------------------------------------------------38.6/486

Rest of Season:---------------30.9/376.9-----------------------------------------------------------45.9/481.7

Sorry if the lines bother you, but I'm too lazy to figure out how to make a graph, and tabs didn't work.As you can see, the final 10 opponents only gave up 4.4 points and 11.6 yards more, while the offense scored 7.3 points more, but 4.3 yards less. (To quickly clarify, the less yardage is due to more efficient offense. Example: you have 3 straight drives of 30 yards, all ending in punts. Then, you score an 80 yard touchdown drive. 10 less yards, but 7 more point= efficiency). While that might not seem like much, it does show that the offense's improvement was more the defenses declined. Also, the offense averaged 130 rushing yards their 1st 3 games. But they averaged 187 the rest of the season, despite playing defenses who were statistically better vs. the run


----------------------------Opposing Defenses Pnts. per game/yards------------------Boise's Pnts. per game/yards

1st 3 games:------------------25.9/394.1---------------------------------------------------------40.3/500

Rest of season:---------------29.3/401.9 --------------------------------------------------------46.5/522.3

This year, the defenses gave up 3.4 points and 7.8 yards more, while the offense scored 6.2 points and 22.3 yards more. Again, small, but still shows that the offense improved faster than the defenses. This year has the least amount of change in offense points-wise that we'll look at, but that was when Boise pretty much brought back everyone. Just to throw this in so you can brag, the 2010 team was arguably the best team in College Football history. Why? They're were the first and only team to be in the top 2 for yardage and points, for both offense and defense. And they only had 1 bad half of football all year. I'll stop before bad memories come....oh look, the Fiesta Bowl team! (the 2nd one!)


-----------------------------Opposing Defenses Pnts. per game/yards---------------Boise's Pnts. per game/yards

1st 3 games:------------------28.8/375.8---------------------------------------------------------39.3/427.3

Rest of season:--------------28.75/376.4--------------------------------------------------------47.3/463.6

This year, the defenses allowed roughly the same numbers, but scoring 8 more points per game. Now, this year did have some talent, but remember: The offense lost it's leading rusher, and 3 of their top 4 receivers from the previous season. Season improvements include, but not limited to: Routine 50+ yard passes to Titus Young, and the discovery of the Muscle Hamster.

Now before I go on, you should understand, that while giving up 3 points more and scoring 7 points more might not seem that significant, know this: Defensive points per game rankings are never more than 2 points apart, while offenses scoring 7 more points can move you from 25th to 10th in the nation (based off last years numbers). Now to Kellen Moore's Freshman Year!


------------------------Opposing Defenses Pnts. per game/yards------------------Boise's Pnts. per game/yards

1st 3 games:-----------------25/370-----------------------------------------------------------------31.6/409.3

Rest of Season:-------------28.9/364.9------------------------------------------------------------38.3/435.6

Again, little numbers, but big significance. Defenses gave up 3.9 points and 5.1 yards more, but the offense scored 6.7 points and had 26.3 yards more. Here, yardage is significant, because almost 27 yards changes it from a 58 yard field goal to a 31 yard one. Crap! More nightmares of field goals!

"Quick Robin, to the next season!"



-----------------------Defensive Pnts. per game--------------------------------------------------Boise's pnts. per game

1st 3 games:------------27.2/381.1---------------------------------------------------------------------------24/399

Rest of Season:--------31.3/391.1---------------------------------------------------------------------------47/478.9

Holy improvement, Batman! Defenses gave up 4.1 points more, but the offense had 13 more points and 79.9 yards more! The offense dramatically improved, and that was the season with most questions at the beginning. Gone were the feared receiving core of Drisan James, Jerard Rabb, Legedu Naanee, and Derek Schouman! Gone was game-cover model Jared Zabransky!

The offense started off this season bad. In his fist start versus an FBS team, Taylor Tharp threw 3 interceptions, no touchdowns, and a passer rating of 99. That was against Washington, who's defensive ranking that season was 103. Southwick's games against Michigan State and BYU don't seem that bad, now do they? But by the end of the season, he had 30 touchdowns with a 68.3% completion percentage. It's safe to say that the offense figured it out.

You also know why that season is significant? Get this: of the 5 highest scoring players on the team, 1 was a junior, 1 was a sophomore, and the other 3 were true freshman. With such little experience, they significantly improved. You could say those guys were some of the best Boise has ever had, but hey a freshman is a freshman. 3 of them were in high school the year before, and 1 of them only played in a handful of games the year before.

The years with the most returning starters (in descending order) were 2010, 2008, 2011, 2009, and 2007. That's the same order of who had the biggest change in points per game. So.... you can see how having new players involved will get better as the season goes. Why? Because they get the offense better!

Now about this year. As I said the before, the offense is among the worst in the nation. But, here is why the offense, is doing worse. First off, they lost some vital pieces from the year before: a go-to receiver, a safety vale tightend, a reliabe runningback, and a smart quarterback. All 4 of those are necessary for a good offense, all 4 are being replaced. In the past 5 years, at least 1 of those had always returned. Also, you should know how good BYU and Michigan State are on defense.

While it's only 3 games in, you can't really use this year's stats yet to define a team. But, here's some more information.

  • BYU's defense lost 3 starters from last year. Last season, they ranked in the top 25 for yardage and points. It's safe to say they are better this year, due to the large number of experience returning. They are, statistically, the 3rd best defense Boise has played the past 5 years. I should know: I've spent the past 2 hours looking every defense we've faced in that time frame. The best was TCU, who I combined from their 2008 and 2009 season, because they roughly had the same starters. Boise averaged 16.5 points in those 2 games. The 2nd best defense? Well..
  • Michigan State is the 2nd best, possibly THE best Boise's faced in years. Last year, Michigan State was top 10. They lost a total of 4 players on defense. No, not 4 starters, only 4 guys who even recorded a defensive stat left. 2 of those started, but they rotate tons of players like Boise.

Don't know about you, but I think it's very difficult to reload an offense when 2 of your first 3 games are against some of the best defenses you've faced in years. For the majority of the team, the next best defense they've played was Utah back in the 2010 bowl game, who was 27th that year.

So, this article is mostly to calm the fans down, not a message to the coaches. They know they need to fix it. In fact, I hope the team doesn't read this, because then they might not try as hard. No Boise State, no! You've got work to do!

Basically, the offense will get better. But it's kinda bugging me that the majority of the conversations here are about the offense. I wanna hear about other stuff, like running into the Burroughs brothers at Winco! Once you know the situation and some history, I think you'll feel better. If you want to know what I think is a simple way to help the offense, you can check out my last post. No, that is not a way to get more people to check out what I've written. Okay, maybe it is.

Comments? Thoughts? News on the whereabouts of Waldo? Let me know!

This content was not created by OBNUG and therefore may not meet our standards. On the contrary, it probably exceeds them.

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