Miami football: Stats show troubling start
What's Going Downey
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013 23:09
The season is still young, but things have not looked good so far for the Miami University football team. The RedHawks started the year looking strong, heading into the first half against Marshall University tied 14-14. Things have gone downhill quickly for Miami since that first half, both offensively and defensively.
A look at the statistics on NCAA.com reveals troubling information for the defense. Miami is dead last among FBS schools in total defense, giving up 633 yards per game. The ’Hawks rank 119th out of 123 FBS schools in scoring defense, giving up 46.5 points per game. The RedHawks rank 116th in rush defense, giving up 283 yards per game. The passing defense is even worse, as they rank 119th and give up 350 yards per game. Miami also ranks last in first downs allowed, having given up 61 first downs through just two games. However, the ’Hawks have actually been relatively successful in the red zone, as they rank 41st in the FBS.
The offensive stats are even worse. Miami introduced a new read option/triple option/run based offense against Marshall and the results have not been what the staff wanted. The RedHawks have averaged 86.5 yards on the ground, ranking 113th in nation. That is nearly identical to last season, when Miami averaged 86.6 yards per game. The passing offense has seen a major drop with the implementation of the new offense and the loss of Zac Dysert. The ’Hawks rank 118th in the nation and are putting up 94 yards per game through the air. Given the low rankings for rushing and passing offense, it should not be a major surprise that Miami ranks 122nd out of 123 teams in total offense. Only Florida International University has a worse statistical offense yardage-wise. Miami has averaged only 180.5 total yards per game. The ’Hawks struggle on third downs as well, ranking second to last in the FBS, ahead of only Penn State University, converting 10.3 percent of their third downs. They also struggle to pick up first downs, picking up just 17 so far. That is the fewest number of first downs among teams that have played two games. The red zone offense has not performed well either, tying for 115th in the nation. The RedHawks have not scored either, ranking 118th in scoring offense with 10.5 points per game. They have not scored an offensive touchdown since the first half of the Marshall game.
Miami has only 361 total yards per game. That is less than six individual quarterbacks have averaged passing per game. Also, 83 teams average more yards per game than Miami has total this season.
Taking a look at the Sagarin ratings is even more disheartening. The Sagarin ratings are incredibly complicated, but the best way I can describe it is as a BCS-type formula used to rank both FBS and FCS teams. Miami is 160th in the ratings. They are behind 41 FCS teams and are ahead of only six of the 125 FBS schools in the ratings. (NOTE: the difference between the 123 for the stats and 125 for Sagarin ratings is because Georgia State and UTSA are not included in the statistics)
Still, there have been positives. The special teams look remarkably better than last year, as Miami ranks 21st in net punting average. Junior Dawan Scott and redshirt freshman Fred McRae have each shown flashes as return men. Both appear to have the quickness and vision needed.
Miami has only played two games and a lot can change in the remaining 10 games. The team needs a confidence boost, and the upcoming game against the University of Cincinnati can provide that. An upset win over UC could change the outlook of the season, but Miami will need to show marked improvement.