Monday, December 8, 2008

Recapping the stats

Way back on September 22, I wrote this post:

Now that I've numbed you all to sleep with four days of numbers — hey, wake up! — I'm going to tie it all up with the statistical thresholds I believe the Badgers need to hit for 2008 to be a great season.

50 rushing attempts per game
245 rushing yards per game (4.9 yards per carry)
47% third-down conversion percentage
1.2 turnovers per game
30 points per game

35 rushing attempts per game
120 rushing yards per game (3.4 yards per carry)
215 passing yards per game
37% third-down allowance percentage
2.5 turnovers per game
16 points per game

If time permits, I'll compare each week's performance to these standards, and hopefully keep a running total on how we're doing. Of course, if we lose three of our next four, I'll start writing about recruiting and whether Dustin Sherer or Curt Phillips will be starting at quarterback in 2009.

We all know what happened -- lost the next four, talking about Dustin Sherer replacing Allan Evridge, and whether or not Curt Phillips can take the job next season. Sigh.

But how did the Badgers do in these stat categories? Let's see how it stacks up against my prescription for success.

44 rushing attempts per game - low
212 rushing yards per game (4.8 yards per carry) - low
39% third-down conversion percentage - low
2.25 turnovers per game - high -- double!
28.7 points per game - close

34.3 rushing attempts per game - close
133.2 rushing yards per game (3.9 yards per carry) - high
189.1 passing yards per game - low
38% third-down allowance percentage - close
1.8 turnovers per game - low
25.2 points per game - way high

So, as if it wasn't going to be painfully obvious, the Badgers fell short of greatness in just about every key statistical category this season. Turnovers were the biggest problem -- 16 lost fumbles, 25 overall!

What we ended up with was a slightly-better-than-average team with no wins over good teams. Here's hoping for more next year.

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