Here's To Football
(By the way: if you're looking for a way to watch the game on ESPN360, you might try this.)
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Friday, August 31, 2007
Here's To Football
(By the way: if you're looking for a way to watch the game on ESPN360, you might try this.)
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Don't Worry, Be CAPPy
I have been going back and forth on this first game for a couple of weeks. There is a tendency, at least in my case, to build up that first opponent into something more than it is. Combine uncertainty with a healthy dose of concern and suddenly I'm sandbaggin' like Lou Holtz. "We suck, but those guys are awesome!"
Although a lot of people in Orlando expect the Knights to right the ship and become the kind of team that can give a BCS program a scare on the road, they are not without some inescapable--and possibly crippling--red flags.
-- They have a group of linebackers who are light on talent, speed, and experience. We will be running the football at them a lot.
-- They have an alarming number of true freshman wide receivers on the two-deep (PDF). Javid James was unimpressive during camp, while Willie Thornton has been banged up, which leaves Rocky Ross as the lone returning wide receiver guaranteed to see significant time on Saturday. That's rather less than ideal. They may sort these WR issues out as the season progresses, but I think as far as the opener goes, this is going to be the death of them.
-- Most recently, there have been questions regarding the kicking game.
Some other final preseason notes:
-- If you missed them, my now-dated overviews of the UCF offense and defense are here and here.
-- Phil Steele thinks we're 14 points better than the Knights; between that and the line for the game, I've been feeling a lot better about Saturday.
-- While the fact that several mainstream media folk think we're going to be a "surprise" team this season makes me a little uncomfortable, the statistical indicators do agree with them. There's the turnover margin and close losses. Our expected record last year based on points scored and allowed, 5-7. CAPP and SDPI. The last time our record didn't accurately reflect our performance (2004), we bounced back with a winning season. So the moral is, and I write this really for my benefit as much as anyone else's: don't worry. We are not doomed to bad luck. And that will be immediately apparent.
-- Along those lines, I think the nightmare is over. We're scoring at least 27 on UCF.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Preseason BlogPoll Ballot
Full preseason BlogPoll is available at mgoblog. My ballot is below. (Also: look who's ranked two spots ahead of VPI on this ballot.)
1) Southern Cal
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
That would have been weird.
Says Mike DeCourcy:
Former N.C. State PF Andrew Brackman, also a pitcher, had extra leverage in negotiations for a contract with the Yankees. Brackman, the team's first-round pick, considered transferring home to Cincinnati to play basketball for the Bearcats while his injured elbow healed.
Kenny Drummond's Future Academy: Yeah, It's A Scam
You might remember this post I made back in July highlighting an article in the Greensboro News-Record about Drummond's prep school. The article was plenty damning, but it gets better. Check out the comments.
This whole thing is a scam. My cousin was brought from out of town to be on his team. They lived on their on and had to pay their own bills. He said they only practiced once a day. They had games in a middle school gym and sometimes the teams never showed up. They only travled to 3 or 4 out of town games. They didn't have real uniforms. My cousin went back home after my aunt and uncle went to see him. They couldn't believe what was going on. They never had real classes or text books. He told them lies after lies. My cousin went back home and has not talked to any of the guys back in NC but he said the coach never put them in touch with any college coaches. They got put to shame when they played the famous prep school. He called home wanting to leave. Do your research. It's not hard to see this man took these people's money. From what we heard, he does not talk or know what's really going on with any of the guys. When my cousin came home he told us about how guys were getting upset because they didn't know if they were going to college or not.
I am a family member of a victim of this Con Artist...he not only takes people's money but steals these kids hopes and dreams. I can't believe he is not behind bars. Although he is pretty hard to find do to having no physical address and hopping from rec center to rec center before they found out the real deal.
I am a victim of this Con. Not only did he have a "so called" prep school team but he created a high school team as well for 2006/2007 which promises of that never came to be! Last all of 5 games of which we didn't even have enough players for the games. Never even got the so called uniform that we paid for. I notified Kenny Drummond myself for a refund and of course that would never come to be and couldn't even contact him after that because he conveniently changed his cell phone and address (which wasn't the correct one to begin with) and even took his website down for a while. Now it's back up and he's now soliciting more money.
Drummond, although he clearly does not have time for this shit, hears the criticism. An updated portion of his website states:
Due to a biased and racially motivated article printed in the Greensboro News and Record recently by Rob Daniels and Diane Lamb this website has received a number of comments in our guestbook that are malicious and fictitious.
Sorry, Kenny, I don't think the race card's going to fly in this case. He mentions "negative criticism" on two other site pages. Protesting a little too much, I'd say.
Above that on the main site page, he implores you to purchase a brick for $75 dollars, saying, "we need 10 million bricks to make a difference." Also, you can purchase naming rights to the buildings--buildings which are supposed to be built sometime around 2010. Needless to say, a lot of things are available for purchase/sponsorship. Even the website itself. It's for the children. (What do you get for your $500 dollar site sponsorship? About five visitors a day.)
As for whether Drummond's serious about academics or not, look here, people, books! Books! World books.
Asked how students could effectively learn from textbooks without the guidance of recognized experts, Drummond said, "I show them how to do the work. I'm a smart guy myself. I showed the guys. ... We talked about the work."
"We talked about the work." Cracks me up every time.
Monday, August 27, 2007
-- NC State released a depth chart for the opener, and you can find that here (PDF). Darrell Blackman is listed as 5-11 at receiver and 5-10 at kick returner. DeMario Pressley is questionable.
-- There's more fretting from the coaching ranks in a big Orlando Sentinel piece on the new kickoff rule:
"That part of the game is really going to be a weapon now," UCF Coach George O'Leary said. "I just don't see a lot of guys putting the ball through the end zone anymore. So kickoff coverage is going to become a dominant part of your team and kickoff return is going to be another big-time offensive play as long as the right guy gets the ball in his hands."
For your efforts this week, you've won a chance to perform amateur carpentry.
-- The phrase "sleeping giant" is thrown around a lot these days...
Sometimes all it takes to awaken the giant is a new on-campus football stadium with a touchdown siren that's like a police car siren--but louder!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Hoops Schedule Items
As a supplement to SFN's analysis, here are some tempo-free tidbits about our OOC opponents, including potential Old Spice Classic foes:
'06-'07 PomRk Pace(Rk) OffEff(Rk) DefEff(Rk)(Stats courtesy Ken Pomeroy.)
-- We'll breeze past all of the teams listed below Penn State; those schools are so bad that what they're adding/returning is irrelevant. [/duh]
-- Michigan State looks to me like the best team in the Big Ten this season. They solve that TO% problem of theirs and they're going to be an elite team. They might be regardless. Like everybody in the B10, the Spartans were slow as molasses last year, and that plays to our advantage as the road dogs.
-- Kansas State loses Cartier Martin's efficient play, but with Bill Walker, Michael Beasley and other talented newcomers ready to contribute, I don't think they're gonna be too worried about it.
-- Only four schools allowed more points per possession than New Orleans did in 2007. Guard Bo McCalebb did just about everything offensively for UNO, leading the nation in possession usage and finishing second in %shots.
-- Cincinnati's Jamual Warren shot 39.4% in 2007. When is it a good time to stop shooting threes? When you are 9-60 (15%), that's when. You'll want to catch this one, as the Black Hole of Suck (which returns largely intact) is not to be missed.
-- The tallest player among Seton Hall's regulars last year was 6-7 (and he graduated). They were murdered by the Big East slate--utterly outclassed on the defensive glass and shot to death inside the arc. They also hacked the ever living Christ out of everyone. The only way they managed to piece together a decent defense was with quick hands--they forced a lot of turnovers. Unless they found a couple kick ass tall people, we should pulverize them with our front court just like the BE did. HULK SMASH!!!! GRRRR!!!
-- Rider's Jason Thompson compiled some impressive numbers in the MAAC. Like McCalebb, he's a one-man show.
-- What's this "field goal defense" people keep talking about?
-- East Carolina's offense was a special kind of awful last year. Odds that a Wolfpack player gets hit by a bottle/battery/bottle full of batteries when we're up 20 in the last two minutes: say, 3/1. So glad we're making this trip.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wolfpack Uniform One-Hit Wonders
In his uniform watch column today, Paul Lukas lists a slew of uniforms that were worn briefly and then scrapped. Among those, of course:
1989: On Jan. 7, the N.C. State basketball team takes the court wearing one-piece unitards, which are so embarrassing that the players wear shorts over them. The bodysuits are worn one more time and then scrapped, with Wolfpack coach Jim Valvano tactfully explaining, "The players complained that the unitards just weren't as comfortable as they think they could be."
Which got me thinking... what other short-lived uniform designs have we seen?
Peach Bowl vs. Mississippi State -- The "I sat down in wet paint" pants.
Basketball Game vs. Maryland, 2000 -- Black uniforms.
I believe this was the first time these were worn, and after the Pack blew a comfortable lead down the stretch, it was the last time as well. Might be wrong about that, though.
1999 Football Season -- Red helmets, silver pants, a.k.a. the "Georgia, Jr." look.
Out with the end of the Mike O'Cain era.
[Update 8-24-07 11:30AM] Added a better photo of the '99 uniforms.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
-- Tony Barnhart thinks NC State could be a surprise, just not a very big one:
Everybody (me included) is picking N.C. State to finish last in the ACC Atlantic. But there is a new sheriff in town in coach Tom O’Brien. There are some tough non-conference games in UCF, Louisville, and East Carolina, but O’Brien could get this team to six wins.
-- Who knew? Reggie Love is working for Barack Obama's campaign.
-- Last night, as they do every year, ESPN analysts proved that knowing something about football doesn't mean you know anything about fantasy football. Partly because I'm starved for football discussion, partly because I enjoy a healthy portion of unintentional comedy, I watched ESPN's fantasy draft special even though it's counterproductive. Kind of like watching celebrity poker, it promotes knowledge decay. Take a look at the draft results. In a league with just eight freakin' teams, Michael A. Smith ended up with a starting RB tandem of Marion Barber and Adrian Peterson. I wouldn't have thought it'd be possible for that to happen.
As far as I'm concerned, the single most important fantasy concept is that of value, and as far as that goes, the ESPN guys don't have a clue.
-- Via EDSBS comes this link investigating the impact of the new kickoff rule. The jist: it's probably not going to be as big a deal as coaches are making it out to be.
The returns of kickoffs from the 30 averaged 3.12 more yards than from the 35, and the average change in field position at the end of the return was 5.13 yards. This can be accounted for almost exactly by the start of the kickoff being moved back 5 yards. So there was not great impact on field position — over and above the given 5 yards — by kicking from the 30. It is also notable that the percentage of touchdowns is close when comparing returns on kickoffs from the 30 and 35.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
If we hit 1997, you can shoot me.
November 27, 2004. The weather was cold and dreary; the game, meaningless. But it was the last time NC State scored more than 24 points against a I-A foe.
Eighty-six million seconds and counting!
Monday, August 20, 2007
All I know is my gut says maybe.
UCF camp closed over the weekend with George O'Leary feeling "somewhat happy" at where the team stood.
Last Thursday, the Knights worked on red zone situations...
Defensive coordinator John Skladany, whose style is more often reserved than not, also picked up his volume and shouted for his unit to "Lock in! Every play. Every down."
Not quite what anyone wanted to read in re: that whole red zone scoring thing, but the offense did bounce back on Friday:
The offense controlled the first part of Friday's session, with the defense making some plays late in the session, including a nice interception by second-team CB Emery Allen.
Knights beat writer Kyle Hightower offered his end of camp grades. He likes what he's seen, as every position gets at least a B. On the receivers:
Receiver grade: B++
Elsewhere, there's a brief UCF preview from something called The Sports Network that includes this end note:
OUTLOOK: The Knights return a plethora of starters on both sides of the ball, making them a legitimate candidate to win the C-USA title. The team should be able to solve its red zone woes this season and that alone could translate into a few more wins. If the defense can improve significantly, expect UCF to make a second appearance in the C-USA Championship game.
And that's a good nutshell assessment of the Knights, although I think they can expect to be in the C-USA title game even without significant improvement on the defensive side.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
We got a vote! ... We got a vote?!
The preseason AP Poll is out...
Others receiving votes: Missouri 128, Georgia Tech 94, Boston College 75, Oregon 73, South Carolina 69, Miami 68, Alabama 66, Oregon St. 42, Wake Forest 40, South Florida 28, Arizona St. 17, BYU 14, Southern Miss. 12, Notre Dame 11, Virginia 7, Clemson 6, Oklahoma St. 3, Texas Tech 2, Houston 1, Kentucky 1, N.C. State 1, Purdue 1.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Later on ESPN: Competitive Dishwashing
I turned on ESPN just now and found this airing:
Sport stacking (formerly known as cup stacking) is an individual and team activity played using plastic cups.
A cup stacker in action:
I have a new favorite quotation.
From the N&O:
"I truly, firmly believe, I think, that we will clearly probably play certainly more than one quarterback during the course of the season," Davis said.
Jeez, Butch, that sounds like something I would say.
I'm incorporating this into all of my basketball previews this season. "I truly, firmly believe, I think, that we will clearly probably beat Rider certainly by more than 15 points."
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The 2007 UCF Defense/Special Teams: Chopping Wood ... With A Hammer
Sweet Merciful Crap
DE: Leger Douzable (Sr.)Returning starters in bold.
Dearly departed: defensive end Chris Welsh (4 sacks, 7 TFL in '06), linebacker Randy Dozier (4th-leading tackler in '06).
There is something to be said for experience, but when you return a lot of crap, it's still crap--just a little less pungent.
2006 RkCrap crap crap.
Leger Douzable, who led the Knights in sacks last season with seven, is the likely standout along the line; there isn't another returning lineman who had more than three sacks in 2006. Rearrange the letters in Douzable's name and you get Eager Bulldoze, which strikes me as appropriate.
Replacing Chris Welsh at the other end spot is Emeka Okammor. He is supposedly a returning starter, but he only recorded 18 tackles last season and so probably didn't get a significant amount of playing time.
Torrell Johnson is going to be a kid to watch--the true sophomore is a 335-pound running-lane-cloggin' behemoth.
If O'Leary's defenses are going to stop the slide they've been on since he took the head coaching job--from 83rd in total defense, to 96th, to 106th--they're going to have to start by getting a lot more out of their linebackers. That unit was, by all accounts, terrible in 2006. In ranking the state's LB corps, the Orlando Sentinel placed the Knights fifth, ahead of only Florida Atlantic and Florida International. The Sentinel also thinks those UCF linebackers are the second-worst group in Conference USA, so ... yikes.
Are they going to be better this season? No, not really, no. If you can read this passage without hearing alarm bells, you are an indefatigable optimist and I commend you for your irrepressibly bright existence.
In 2006, a lack of speed, depth and tackling ability haunted the linebackers, and UCF's defense suffered because of it. The linebackers especially were a liability against teams that used a lot of underneath crossing patterns.
"We've had to move people around" is, as everyone knows, coachspeak for, "fuck, man, we are so fucking fucked." I wonder if Dave Huxtable goes home and cries every night. I would.
This is also not good: Central Florida returns four of five leading tacklers from a season ago, but all four are defensive backs. Johnell Neal and Jason Venson, a corner back and free safety, repspectively, were 1-2 in tackles last year; Burnett and Rashad weren't far behind. The Sentinel says they "struggled at times," probably because they had to do the linebackers' tackling for them.
At the least, Central Florida's defense can expect to improve in the takeaway department. The Knights finished 2006 tied for last in the nation with 12 turnovers forced--tied, incidentally, with us. They recovered 2 of the 12 fumbles they forced, and both of those came early in the year against Florida. After that, it was ten straight games of nothing. Central Florida, our brothers in arms. (Or brothers without arms, as the case may be.)
With A Hammer!
Motivational Techniques 101:
Last season during their near-BCS run, Rutgers' "chopping wood" talisman and philosophy became the talk of the Big East Conference when the Scarlet Knights upset Louisville.
Thanks, coach, I guess.
One of the players vying for the hammer will be Michael Torres, the UCF place kicker; Torres hit 17-of-24 field goal attempts last season, including a long of 51 yards. Despite a strong finish to 2006, his starting spot isn't assured. Elsewhere, Central Florida will have new players handling kickoffs and punts.
George O'Leary has made kickoff coverage and returns an area of emphasis:
Knights Coach George O'Leary has hinted at it all preseason about his intense focus on it and now he's really starting to show it wasn't lip service. Whatever am I talking about? You guessed it, kickoff coverage and return.
UCF ranked 75th in kickoff coverage and 76th in kickoff return yardage last season.
One Other Thing That Didn't Fit Anywhere Else
The crews at Bright House Networks Stadium tested the touchdown sirens for each of the past two days. They sound like police-car sirens, only louder.
Hey, I'm sure that won't get annoying.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
-- A lengthy piece from the USA Today spotlights the Arizona Cardinals and Adrian Wilson:
Wilson was on his cellphone, talking with a buddy, when he got word that the three-time Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowler was ready to sign a five-year, $33 million extension, including $15.3 million in signing and roster bonuses. Polamalu is not only the game's highest-paid safety but its black-and-gold standard, along with his Baltimore Ravens counterpart, Ed Reed. Polamalu has raised the position's profile as the key to Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's swirling, 3-4 unit, a group that helped win Super Bowl XL.
-- The new ncsu.edu went live today. It's about a thousand times more visually interesting than the old site.
-- Mike Greco is finally getting involved in UCF camp. Although I think Kyle Israel will be starting on September 1st, O'Leary hasn't ruled Greco out:
"Next week, early next week he'll be set," O'Leary said. "We just wanted to get him some action under center and stuff and we'll continue from there. We're working with two quarterbacks right now and Greco obviously will be in the mix."
Monday, August 13, 2007
The 2007 UCF Offense: "Dude, I feel like we should be scoring more."
Of Puzzle Pieces New And Old
RT: Josh Sitton (Sr.)Returning starters in bold.
Quarterback Steven Moffett, wide receiver Mike Walker.
Mike Walker was far and away Central Florida's leading receiver last season, catching 90 balls for 1178 yards and 7 touchdowns. That was 30 more receptions than the team's second- and third-leading receivers had combined. The good news is that those two--Rocky Ross and Javid James--return.
Also back are the Knights' top two tight ends; however, neither was much of a factor in the passing game in 2006. Merritt caught three passes all season.
In the wake of Walker's graduation, then, UCF is left with a modicum of returning experience at receiver and a wealth of possibilities. Ross is the most obvious choice to step into Walker's shoes; James and sophomore Willie Thornton could surprise as well, and you can expect those guys to be lined up with Ross and the first string more often than not. Ross and James are well-equipped physically (6-2 and 6-3, respectively), while Thornton is more your typical slot receiver--great speed but not a lot of size (5-10, 175 lbs).
It's behind those three where the myriad possibilities lie. George O'Leary finds himself with a lot of youth among the 13 players he's working out at receiver during fall practice, and the depth chart remains murky.
Receivers coach David Kelly, who likens the youthful group to newborn "babies," said the potential-filled group has been hard to distinguish.
Javid James foresees a more collective effort in 2007:
"The thing about this is seeing a team succeed; that's the bottom line," said James, who made four starts and 12 appearances last season. "The likes of Brandon Marshall and Mike Walker are inevitably gonna be a memory and a big part of the building blocks of UCF. However, in the case of finding a reliable and dependable target for Kyle this year, I think it's going to be a more of a core and not a singular player.
The serious questions for the offense, I think, begin and end at receiver. What was one of Conference USA's best offenses in 2006 should find itself near the top again in 2007.
Quarterback Kyle Israel replaced the faltering Steven Moffett halfway through 2006 and has been atop the depth chart ever since; I had been curious if perhaps former NC State quarterback Mike Greco could supplant Israel in practice, but Greco's reps have been limited by an injury. It's been Israel's show and he hasn't done anything to shake the coaching staff's confidence. When he took over last season, he gave the Knights the passing efficiency they'd lacked. Highlights of his 2006 include a 27-42, 327 yard, 3 TD/1 INT performance against Rice and a 19-22, 270 yard, 2 TD/1 INT performance against UAB. As long as the receivers sort themselves out, the Knights' passing game will be fine.
The offense's biggest weapon might be junior running back Kevin Smith.
Car Yds YPC TDThrow in his track record with the fact that four of five OL starters return and there are no doubts here. The UCF running game will provide a serious challenge for NC State's green linebacking corps.
One way in which to mitigate the limited experience at receiver is to get Smith more involved in the passing game, and the Central Florida coaching staff is going to do just that:
The Knights are missing just three starters on offense from last year's team, but are playing with a few new wrinkles this fall, including finding other ways to get the ball to junior RB Kevin Smith.
Smith hasn't done much pass-catching in his first two seasons--he has 31 career receptions. Expect him to eclipse that total in 2007.
Of Efficiency, Total Offense, And Strange Outliers
2006 Yds RkThey didn't have too much trouble moving the football; helping them along the way was a 3rd down conversion percentage that ranked 25th nationally. Thanks to mgoblog's fine research, I can offer a picture of that 3rd down efficiency:
Above average in all situations save short yardage.
But here's where it gets strange:
RkYou wanna talk about getting Mazzoned; if that wasn't the largest discrepancy in yardage/scoring in college football last season, it surely was among the largest.
This appears to be some single-season weirdness, as the 2005 squad saw no such gulf between yards and points (40th in total O, 47th in scoring O). Were turnovers a factor in the slide? In terms of defensive TDs making a difference in scoring, the answer is no--they had none in either year. Offensively speaking, it's hard to say for sure, but last year's offense actually gave the ball away one fewer time than did the 2005 offense.
Let's look at red zone production:
RZ_Opp RZ_Sco Sco% TD FGMade FGMiss TO_Dwns Fum INT End_HalfTheir scoring percentage dropped in 2006, as did the percentage of their red zone opportunities/scores that were touchdowns. They also, be it because of game situation or because O'Leary felt like rolling the dice, left more points on the table by turning the ball over on downs more often.
(The Wolfpack, by the way, scored on 80.6% of its red zone opportunities in 2006 but had a meager 31 RZ trips.)
Getting back to turnovers for a second: in 2005, UCF's defense had 32 takeaways; in 2006, ... 12. Twelve. I would imagine that translated into a lot of good scoring opportunities/short fields lost. With more ground to cover, they could go 30-40 yards and still end up having to punt.
Here's the other thing: of the 44 TDs scored by UCF in 2005, 27 (61.4%) came from inside the opponent's red zone. Last year, that percentage jumped to 76.9% (20 of 26 total TDs came from inside the opponent's red zone).
I suspect that 2006 was a confluence of lower red zone scoring and touchdown percentages, fewer big-play TDs, and less table-setting on the part of the team's porous defense. In general, the Knights had to work harder for points, and while that gave them chances to pile up yardage, it was, not surprisingly, detrimental to their scoring. That's my guess, anyway.
Coming up: a look at the Central Florida defense and special teams.
...am starting to get a little bit really concerned.
Comp Att Comp% Yds TD INTI realize you're not going to continue to throw four INTs per 30 attempts, but come on, guys, show me somethin'.
The yds/att number was much healthier this time around, so there is that.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
-- Terrence Holt and Adrian Wilson, reunited:
Holt compared playing with Wilson like playing with a brother. The two know each other’s tendencies, they know each other’s moods. They can communicate without words on the football field, which can be an invaluable tool.
They even have mirrored 24/42 uniform numbers.
-- Manny Lawson's got a new video available here. He interviews some fans who showed up at Niners practice.
-- ESPN compiled stories about cheating/gamesmanship in college basketball. Jay Bilas relates:
"NC State used to use a different ball for warm-ups than for the game. It was nothing more than a minor annoyance, and I have no idea whether it was done intentionally or simply chance," Bilas said. "I did not consider it cheating, rather, just gamesmanship."
"How's it going, Jay?" [smack!]
-- UCF practice notes.
-- This week in Hawk Harrelson calls! Actually, yesterday in Hawk Harrelson calls:
On a shot to right-center by Cleveland's Victor Martinez: "Ball hit...come on, Jerry, Jerry...YES!" Jerry is White Sox center fielder Jerry Owens--here Harrelson was imploring him to use those speedy little legs of his and get to the ball. As usual, Hawk paints a beautiful picture of the action.
Later, on an AJ Pierzynski fly ball down the right field line: "That ball hit deep! Stay fair! Stay fair! ... Dadgummit!" I had a similar yet more profane reaction; of course, I ain't the play-by-play guy.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Three quarter backs - Daniel Evans, Justin Burke and Harrison Beck – took turns rotating with the first and second string during the scrimmage as Evans and Beck both tossed touchdowns passes. Evans went 7-of-10 for 61 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown to Toney Baker. Beck tossed a 25-yard touchdown to Matt Kushner and completed 3-of-6 attempts for 54 yards, including an interception. Burke was 3-of-7 for 23 yards and a pair of interceptions.
Find more here, here, and here ($).
A quick comparison between the spring game and today's scrimmage...
Comp Att Comp% Yds TD INT
Car Yds YPC
Stewart Mandel apparently is a huge fan of hate mail. He's divided the BCS schools into tiers using only his vague notion of their respective prestige levels.
We're in the "Knights" tier; it gives a whole new meaning to lording yourself over Tar Heel fans. As Duke and Wake also fall into the peasant category, NC State is by extension the feudal lord of North Carolina. So, you know, they really should stop beating us. It's disrespectful. What's a benevolent overseer gotta do to get some appreciation thrown his way?
One Last Bit Of MOE
Might as well post this. Sans drops, here are our MOEs in each game last year:
Plays INT Fum Drops Sacks Pen MOE W/L
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Penalties And More Penalties
Yesterday I said I wasn't going to do this, but after stewing on it for a while, I ended up too curious to not do it. What follows is a breakdown of the penalties committed by the team (and, more specifically, the offense) in 2006.
First, the breakdown by offense/defense/special teams:
Pen %TotAs you can see, the offense committed twice as many infractions as the defense; highlights for the O include 7 of 9 total penalties against Maryland and 6 of 9 against Georgia Tech.
The offensive penalties are divvied up like so:
Num %TotNot all of the penalties are attributed to an individual player in the box scores--only 64 of the Pack's 86 penalties were attributed. Based on those attributions, the positional breakdown (defense included) looks like this:
#Pen %TotThe most-flagged players on the team were (including offense and defense):
#PenThree of Tyler's four penalties were of the moronic variety: one personal foul, one roughing the passer, one unsportsmanlike conduct (and subsequent ejection). Holt, as I'd alluded to, is Mr. False Start (committed four times). Heppe was caught holding three times and he also threw in a facemask infraction just to spice things up. What, no clipping, fellas?
James Newby goes back-to-back against East Carolina:
N 1-10 N14 NC STATE drive start at 02:23 (3rd).A team effort against Virginia:
N 1-10 N28 NC STATE drive start at 09:58 (1st).You might call that the "NC State hat trick of flagitation." I especially like how Andre Brown ran for the exact amount of yards we needed for a first down prior to the third penalty.
Monday, August 06, 2007
An interesting entry over at Blue-Gray Sky highlights a tool used by Ralph Friedgen called "Major Offensive Errors" (MOE). Basically, MOE is: Mistakes / Total Plays. Friedgen adds up all of his offense's interceptions thrown, fumbles lost, sacks allowed, penalties, and dropped passes and then divides that total by the number of plays in the game. The Fridge wants his team to keep MOE below 12%, and when the Terps are able to do that, they win just about every time.
I wondered what our MOE has looked like over the last few years; unfortunately, as BGS notes, drops aren't included in box scores, and if I were going to sort out the offense's penalties from the overall total, I'd have to comb through all of the play-by-plays. I tried running through them, but I saw "PENALTY NCS false start (Holt, J.)" so many times that I started going cross-eyed.
Friday, August 03, 2007
-- As you probably know by now, Terrell Manning committed to NC State this afternoon. I continue to be amazed by how well TOB and his staff have recruited right off the bat. More on Manning at SFN.
-- Now might be a good time to send an assistant coach on a "recruiting trip" to Orlando for, oh, a couple of weeks or so.
-- The Coaches' Poll is out.
-- I needed this. (Hat tip: Deadspin.)
-- A useful item for your fantasy football draft preparation: Football Outsiders evaluates the hardest and easiest fantasy schedules.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Gavin's In The Clear
An immigration judge's ruling Wednesday in Atlanta will allow N.C. State basketball player Gavin Grant to move forward with his application for permanent resident status, Grant's lawyer said.
Coach wants to have a few thousand words with you.
Darrell Blackman, bless him, continues to say interesting things.
Two days before N.C. State played at Southern Mississippi last season, former Wolfpack football coach Chuck Amato assembled his players after practice and addressed them for 19 minutes.
"Amato's talks lengthened," and this is from a 19-minute baseline established early in the year. I wonder how long his Carolina-week spiel was. If they wanted to listen to a 40-minute lecture, coach, they'd have gone to their Bugs & People class that morning.
"Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this football team. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm football emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest game since Terrence Holt tap-danced with Wynn fucking Kopp. And when Bunting squeezes his fat white ass into our locker room, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse."
(With apologies to Christmas Vacation.)
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Tommy West Not Interested In Touchbacks
From a report on Conference USA's media day:
Among the rule changes for the upcoming season is the movement of kickoffs from the 35 to the 30-yard line. C-USA coaches believe that will mean an increase in returns and an overall shift in kickoff and game strategy.
Interesting idea, bringing every kickoff out of the end zone, but will he hold to it once the season starts?