Texas A&M-Commerce is 1-2 for the first time since 2012, and unranked for the first time since week 5 of the 2014 season. Everyone is asking why.
Well, luckily I took statistics in college, at The College of Business at Texas A&M-Commerce, then took it again while getting my MBA at The Graduate School of Texas A&M-Commerce. Looks like this might just have come in handy.
So, 3 games in, we are 1-2. Why? Well, I can tell you what is NOT wrong. In the immortal words of Jim Mora….”DO NOT BLAME THAT ON THE DEFENSE.”
During the first 3 games of 2019, we faced GNAC Champion Western Oregon led by a Harlon Hill nominee that finished 7-4, and Eastern New Mexico team that finished 8-3 and led the nation in rushing offense and won the Heritage Bowl in postseason, and then dropped a 24-17 game at Colorado State Pueblo that ended up being 11-2 losing in the NCAA playoffs in the second round. They lost to Colorado-Mines, whom we pummeled in the second round 22-3.
This season, we have faced the # 12, # 15, and # 1 teams in the country. We barely snuck by the first, which has dropped from the polls and is now 1-2, we totally blew a 23 point lead, and then lost to Midwestern, now # 15, and were leading the NUMBER 1 TEAM IN THE COUNTRY AND DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS near the end of 3 quarters before the wheels feel off.
So far, this is what has happened.
On defense in 2019, we played 3 good teams, but probably not quite as tough as this current stretch. Lets look at the 2019 stats.
2019 Versus Western Oregon, Eastern New Mexico, and Colorado State Pueblo–
Average Points Given up-26 Points per game
Average Yards given up-280 yards per game
Total Points Given up-89
Opposing 3rd Down Conversions-43%
Opposing 4th Down Conversions-67%
2021 Stats Versus CSUP, # 1 West Florida, and # 15 Midwestern State–
Average Points Given Up-24 Points Per Game
Average Yards Given Up-312 Yards Per Game
Opposing 3rd Down Conversions-40%
Opposing 4th Down Conversions-66%
Total Points Given Up-65 total points (I did not count the pick 6 against MSU, that is an offensive misnomer we will get into later)
So aside from the average yardage being about 30 yards more per game, which is not much relative to a 3 game stretch, the defense is actually BETTER this year than it was starting in 2019 with an experienced group and also are better in every category, and will get better every game.
Now let’s take a look at the offensive numbers.
First 3 Games of 2019-
Points Per Game-32
Yards Per Game-334
3rd Down Conversions-40%
4th Down Conversions-60%
Passing Yards Per Game-243
Gross Rushing Yards Per Game-120
Yards Per Play-4.63
Passing Completion Percentage-69%
Opposing Points off turnovers-6
Now, Let’s take a look at this year’s offense.
Points Per Game-20
Yards Per Game-289
3rd Down Conversions-28%
4th Down Conversions-25%
Passing Yards Per Game-163
Gross Rushing Yards Per Game-163
Yards Per Play-4.6
Passing Completion Percetange-50%
Opposing Points off Turnovers-28
- Ladies and Gents, We have found our problems.
- We are not scoring.
- We are not moving the ball.
- We are not passing the ball effectively.
- We are not converting on 3rd down or 4th downs.
- We are turning the ball over and giving the other team points.
- Now, I know, some of you are saying, what about the second half collapses the past two weeks? Easy. Your defense is playing well. They are stuffing and holding high powered offenses below outputs 3 quarters into the game. However, your offense is not doing anything. They cannot keep the clock rolling and the chains moving. The only category they are strong on is running, and the passing game is nonexistent. The offensive line is doing their job, but why are there no yards to account for it? The defense is EXHAUSTED having to back on the field and when you face a good offense like a West Florida and a Midwestern State, they will score eventually. The defense is essentially carrying this team and what little offensive production is being had is almost completely due to the running game.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that we don’t know when Miklo Smalls will be back, but I know this much, we need to start scoring and scoring NOW. How much of it is lack of effort of execution? Are they trying to make too much happen and not making routine plays? And by the way, both West Florida and Midwestern have given up GOBS of offense to other teams, just not to us.
Read the statistics, and I think you will find your answer.