Every now and then a reply comes along in a thread and I worry that people won't see it.
This often happens on Huckleberry's threads because most of us aren't smart enough to even open them.
Anyway, this one really hit me as I am in the camp that feels like anybody complaining about Muschamp should stay away from sharp objects and probably not procreate. I've also added the video where Will goes off on the reporter. We've heard that this exchange sparked the putative locker room exchange between staff members. It doesn't bother me at all. I like it.
Anyway, here is the meat and potatoes:
Before folks buy into the contrarian viewpoint that’s beginning to float around, that Muschamp and our defense are part of the problem, please indulge me for a moment:
• We should consider taking 7 points and subtracting them from the Texas offense’s total, and reduce the “30 points” surrendered by the defense to 23. Sorry, but I’m not holding the D accountable for giving up an 11 yard touchdown drive. That’s on Greg Smith, which is to say that’s on Greg Davis, because we simply do not have a tight end that should be playing big-boy college football. I’d much rather see DJ Monroe on the field for the entire game than watch the garbage we get from Barrett Matthews (dropped a pass in the end zone) and Greg Smith.
• The defense surrendered 328 net yards to a team that came in averaging over 510.
• 158 of those yards came on 3 plays, all touchdowns. Finley had a 69 yard run, Williams had a 59 yard catch, and Kendall Wright had a 30 yd TD reception. So, roughly ½ of Baylor’s entire offensive output came on 3 plays.
• For the game, Baylor ran 62 plays for 328 yards, 5.3 yards per play
• Outside of the 3 big plays, Baylor’s offense ran 59 plays for 170 yards, 2.88 yards per play (which would qualify as an elite defensive performance)
Stay with me here, I’m coming to my point:
Below are some defensive stats* for this season. Something should stick out:
• Yards allowed per possession – 5th in the nation
• Yards per play – 2nd
• Yards per game- 5th
• Points per possession- 25th
• Points per play- 35th
• Points per game- 32nd
*The numbers are even more depressing if you look at the adjusted stats, which factor in the quality of the opponents each team has faced. If adjusted for the level of competition, our defense is 2nd in yards allowed per possession, 1st in yards per play, 2nd in yards per game, and 17th in points per game. Using these statistics, one could make the case that Texas has either the best, or second best, defense in terms of stopping an opponent.
The defense is allowing a meager 21.8 yards per possession, just over 2 first downs (adjusted is 20.41). Those are the numbers associated with suffocating, relentless, shut-down defense. That’s what we are doing on that side of the ball.
So what’s up with the discrepancy between our statistical dominance in yards allowed, and our mediocre performance in points per game? The Greg Davis offense is only a partial answer. Wretched special teams play, a stunning lack of discipline, as evidenced by penalties, and an abysmal turnover margin account for the rest.
Consider the following team statistics:
• Net punting – 76th
• Kickoff return – 114th (!) (Stunningly bad)
In conjunction with:
• Penalties per game – 96th in the nation
• Penalty yards per game – 100th
• Offensive turnovers per game– 102nd
• Offensive turnovers per play – 97th
• Offensive turnovers per poss. – 98th
Statistically, we are probably actually worse than we look. Think about it, I know you are aware this team sucks, but did you expect the numbers to be this bad? The defense is actually the only unit that you could argue is not completely broken, and why I think we are worse on paper than we have looked (which is still atrocious). In fact, this defense may be the best in the country, and is certainly a top 5 defense. Sure, there are a few issues, such as turnovers forced (Defensive turnovers per game – 90th), but part of that is plain bad luck (we are 2nd in the nation in fumbles forced per game, but we haven’t recovered even half of them), and part is situational (it’s much easier to collect interceptions when the other team is the one playing from behind; this hurts our offense and our defense, as we have played from behind the majority of the year). In other words, the other team doesn’t have to take many chances, but we do, and it shows: we are 96th in the nation in net turnover margin.
Anyway, I will grant that Muschamp should have done a better job protecting our safeties, as they are obviously the weak link on the defense. Blake Gideon is simply not good enough to handle above average skill players one on one. Christian Scott is too slow and compounds the problem by taking horrible angles. (Will probably misses Earl Thomas more than me, but not by much.)
But Will Muschamp should not be under the microscope. Talent and experience on the defensive side of the ball is deficient at key positions (DTackle, BOTH safety positions), and Muschamp has still been able to produce a top unit. If anything, this season only serves to reinforce his baddassedness. That’s right, his badassedness.
What would a Greg Davis offense look like without 2 talented, experienced receivers, and a lack of talent on the offensive line? The answer, as we all know by this point in the season, is, “Shit.”
Griping about our defense is akin to complaining that the girl you nailed in Bangkok, who turned out to be a guy, had funny breath. With all due respect to someone who would find themselves in this kind of predicament, “Dude, “it’s” got a dick, and “it” shouldn’t!”
My humble advice: Let’s worry about the dick, and then maybe later we’ll work on finding some Tic Tacs…