- WVU has scored an average of 35.4 points per game, while giving up an alarming average of 26.2 points per game. West Virginia is 20th nationally in scoring offense and 16th in total offense while being 59th in scoring defense and 25th in total defense. I must admit I was expecting to be substantially better in all of these areas.
- WVU turns the ball over on average 1.6 times per game, while forcing turnovers at a rate of 1.55 times per game. Making this a statistical dead heat. Basically WVU is even in turnover margin with its opponents. West Virginia ranks 71st in turnover margin nationally.
- WVU has averaged 31.27 rush attempts for 116.91 yards on the per game, while giving up an average of 138 yards per game on the ground. Coach Holgorsen has indicated that the rush numbers are going to be indicative of what the defenses give us. As long as the team can rush the ball they have seemed to be successful.
- Through the air WVU has averaged 41.82 attempts at an average rate of 27 completions for an average of 351.36 yards only giving up an average of 0.56 interceptions per game. The defense gives up on average 197.2 yards per game through the air. This statistic is in line with what was expected at the beginning of the season. WVU's version of the Dana Holgorsen "air-raid" have yielded significant numbers. Geno Smith is 5th in the nation in passing yards. He is however only 20th in the nation in touchdowns and 22nd in the nation in third down conversions. Both Stedman Bailey (who ranks 13 nationally in receiving yards) and Tavon Austin (who ranks 1st in all purpose yards and 26th in receiving yards) are over 1000 yards in receiving this season with two games to play. This has never been done before. It really is a mixed bag for grading out this part of the offense. The defense has been impressive nationally on third down conversions allowed WVU graded out at 23rd. (It seems like teams have greater success than that but alas we are decent at getting off the field on third down.)
- WVU averages 140.4 return yards per game while giving up an average of 164.7 return yards per game. Our return team grades out at 41st nationally. Our punt return team grades out at an impressive 18th really being the best part of our special teams. Our kickoff coverage team as expected is awful, nationally we rank 108th. We aren't much better on punt coverage team were we grade out at 100th nationally.
So what does all of this mean in terms of seasonal success? Well I think it means that the Holgorsen experiment is still in its infancy. We are a work in progress and there is plenty of work to do. The measure of this season's success may be determined by 2 games both played this week. If WVU can go do what it struggles to do in Tampa and win, and if Cincinnati can get a home win over Connecticut then this season is a success if not it simply wasn't. This is more a statement of how bad the Big East is rather than how good WVU is. The standard set by Oliver Luck and Dan Holgorsen was conference championships and BCS Bowl births. If we aren't on track to do that then we aren't on track. The only statistics that really matter are W's. We need enough of those to get our invite to the BCS. This year 9 wins may or may not be enough. (Ironically, for Louisville, 7 wins may be enough in this lousy conference.)
Would love to read your thoughts...