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Baylor Football

Year two under Rhule reflects progress in major statistical categories

January 2, 2019
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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 the final look of year two under Matt Rhule after 13 games in 2018 in comparison to each of the five prior. 

SicEm365 presented an incomplete breakdown through Oct. 17 of the 2018 season in the fall.


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 76.0 459.1 70.8 456.9 65.5 425.5

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. 

  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 29.5 33.1 31.7

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 10 502 2198 4.4 25

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 23/14 296 486 3770 22/13
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Year two under Rhule reflects progress in major statistical categories

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