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Baylor Football

How Rhule's progress in year two compares to the previous two decades

October 17, 2018
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When it comes to all sports, history has a hard time with comparisons. The philosophy is continuing to evolve season and season, and in some cases, from game to game. Even without drastic change to philosophy, rarely is the rebuilding of a program not needed after a coaching change.

For a Baylor that has endured a variety of different changes over the years, including six head coaches over the past 21 seasons, here is a look at the first two seasons of each of those six staffs in several comparisons. 


YARDS PER GAME

Though there are more advanced analytics to help compare and contrasts different schemes from different eras, one of the easisest ways to compare the same offensive scheme over consecutive eyars is yards gained. For the defense, yards given up is another quick review. Below is a quick look at the average plays and yards for the offense and defense in year one and two each of the previous six staffs.

  Offense       Defense      
Staff Plays Year 1 Plays Year 2 Plays Year 1 Plays Year 2
Roberts 67.1 335.9  66.4 276.9 68.9 437.8 71.0 441.3
Steele 59.1 230.2 65.3 221.8 79.3 421.4 74.7 441.4
Morriss 68.5 281.4 69.2 311.8 69.3 450.0 70.7 421.1
Briles 64.3 376.4 64.8 342.9 74.2 393.2 75.6 405.6
Grobe 85.2 522.7 N/A N/A 79.4 430.8 N/A N/A
Rhule 73.0 404.9 78.0* 475.0* 70.8 456.9 64.3* 407.9*

POINTS PER GAME

Yards per game don't always tell the entire story as the scoreboard awards a win or loss on points. A team has to score more points than the opponent to win and by the stats below one can see a bigger picture of the failures of past seasons. As seen below, only interim head coach Jim Grobe succeeded in scoring more on average in his first year after taking over the Baylor program. Currently, head coach Matt Rhule is the only Baylor coach of the modern era to score more on average than his opponent in his second season.

  Offense PPG   Defense PPG  
Staff 1st Year  2nd Year 1st Year 2nd Year
Roberts 18.2 17.7 34.1 29.4
Steele 12.5 12.6 37.6 36.1
Morriss 15.9 20.4 37.9 36.9
Briles 28.0 20.8 29.3 27.2
Grobe 34.6 N/A 29.0 N/A
Rhule 24.3 35.8 33.1* 31.0*

RUNNING GAME

Despite the hardships of 2017 on the ground, nothing compares to Kevin Steele's second year for ineptitude. Future NFL offensive linemen Jason Smith, JD Walton and Dan Gay paved the way in for Robert Griffin‍ and company in 2008, but saw a fallback when the future Heisman winner was hurt early in 2009. Jim Grobe inherited a well oiled machine in 2016 and currently has the best of the past six staffs.  Jeff Nixon and Glenn Thomas are just the second offensive coordinators to increase the yardage average in their second season, but none were increased over a yard until 2018.

  Year 1       Year 2      
Staff Carries Yards  Avg  TDs  Carries Yards  Avg. TDs
Roberts 462 2039 4.4 16 439 1215 2.8 14
Steele 385 1208 3.1 8 360 802 2.2 5
Morriss 475 1320 2.8 8 361 1187 3.0 8
Briles 481 2349 4.9 29 343 1216 3.5 17
Grobe 625 3166 5.0 25 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Rhule 409 1463 3.6 10 258* 1132* 4.4* 14*

PASSING GAME

The game has changed since 1997 and nothing is more evident than the basketball on grass offenses introduced to the Big 12 by Mike Leach and Mark Mangino while offensive coordinators at Oklahoma. The two later before became head coaches at Texas Tech and Kansas. Jim Grobe continued the Baylor legacy of revved up offenses later in the Art Briles era and Matt Rhule looks to be continuing the offensive output through the air. The 2016 and 2017 seasons almost mirrored each other through the air and 2018 could push towards 4,000 yards.

  Year 1       Year 2      
Staff  Comp Att Yards TD/INT  Comp Att Yards TD/INT
Roberts 150 266 1656 7/10 151 292 1831 4/14
Steele 122 265 1323 4/13 145 359 1638 10/20
Morriss 195 337 2057 11/12 235 395 2342 17/11
Briles 170 290 2168 17/7 268 432 2911 14/16
Grobe 269 479 3652 33/15 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Rhule 269 462 3452 23/14 179* 288* 2193* 13/5*

* THROUGH SEVEN GAMES

Discussion from...

How Rhule's progress in year two compares to the previous two decades

6,165 Views | 12 Replies | Last: 3 yr ago by Brian Ethridge
harringp
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It was my understanding that there would be no math.

Grizz Air
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Thanks for posting. Am I reading it right that our offense ran a lot more plays per game in Rhule's first year vs. Briles first year???
aledocrow
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Good info. Thanks!
Guy Noir
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Grizz Air said:

Thanks for posting. Am I reading it right that our offense ran a lot more plays per game in Rhule's first year vs. Briles first year???
That is a good question. I wonder if there has been an overall increase in plays per game for all schools due to the adoption of HUNH by numerous teams
PEPT11
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The drop off in total yards and rushing yards from Grobe to Rhule is... noticeable. One year made quite a difference.

I am curious why this team can't get the run game to work. 2 three-year starters on the right side of the line, a former Clemson starter at LT, and one of the highest rated JUCO linemen from last year at right guard. On paper that seems promising. On the field... not so much.
Brian Ethridge
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Staff
Guy Noir said:

Grizz Air said:

Thanks for posting. Am I reading it right that our offense ran a lot more plays per game in Rhule's first year vs. Briles first year???
That is a good question. I wonder if there has been an overall increase in plays per game for all schools due to the adoption of HUNH by numerous teams
That could be a correlation of why more are being run now.

This was the first two year (7 games for Rhule 2nd year) and the HUNH was there in 1998 for Roberts and 1999 for Steele and 2003 for Morriss at different schools, like OU, Tech, Mizzou.

Each has the reasons for plays run, but Briles may have protected Griffin/Szymanski/Florence some with more play clock run each possession. Also, being behind and running more plays has a bit to do with it for many of those teams.
Brian Ethridge
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PEPT11 said:

The drop off in total yards and rushing yards from Grobe to Rhule is... noticeable. One year made quite a difference.

I am curious why this team can't get the run game to work. 2 three-year starters on the right side of the line, a former Clemson starter at LT, and one of the highest rated JUCO linemen from last year at right guard. On paper that seems promising. On the field... not so much.
OL has been an issue for two years, but 2018 is currently 4.4 including sacks, which is solid.
PartyBear
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We are on track in Rhule's year 2 to almost double passing yards in Briles year 2.
Brian Ethridge
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PartyBear said:

We are on track in Rhule's year 2 to almost double passing yards in Briles year 2.
I don't think BU will cross 5000 yards passing. I see 3800-4200 across 13 games.
PartyBear
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I looked at the column for Briles year 1.
Brian Ethridge
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PartyBear said:

I looked at the column for Briles year 1.
Yes, could double up that number during the bowl game.
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