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Comparing the 2006 and 2007 Red Raiders after 8 Games

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I saw this post from the Boys Blog on comparing the Dallas Cowboys after 7 games from 2006 to 2007 and I just couldn't help myself and decided to do the same for our beloved Red Raiders. Thus, I compiled a comparison after 8 games of the 2006 version and the 2007 version of Texas Tech. I completely understand that this does not take into account opponents, strength of schedule, etc. We're just going to look at raw numbers, i.e. passing and rushing yards, points scored and points given up, both offensively and defensively.

2006 Statistic 2007
5-3 (2-2) Record 6-2 (2-2)
341.13 Passing Offense 487.50
79.25 Rushing Offense 70.25
29.75 Scoring Offense 45.00
153.63 Passing Defense 194.86
139.38 Rushing Defense 157.00
21.38 Scoring Defense 23.13

The first thing that jumps out at me is the significant improvement on the offensive end of the ball. In fact, it's probably pretty fair to say that the offense is quite a bit more explosive and as we can all assume, it's the result of the work of Harrell and Crabtree, but I still can't figure out who is more attribute the increase in numbers. The downside would be the rushing offense which seems to have taken a small hit. I realize that last week's -9 net yards is a big part of that, but 70 yards a game just isn't going to do it, but I'd like to see those rushing totals closer to last year's totals.

Of course, it's the defensive numbers that surprise me a little. For the most part, Setencich did a decent job last year, holding opposing teams to 21.38 points a game and when I first crunched the numbers I was shocked to see the comparisons for 2007. An increase of 40 yards passing, despite supposedly have a great secondary. The increase in rushing defense didn't surprise me as we all know that we lost essentially the entire front 7. I'm not saying it's acceptable, but at the very least it's understandable.

I couldn't stop there and thought that since I already had the numbers in a spreadsheet that I would compare Setencich and McNeill. I believe that the defense is playing better, despite last week. I may not be able to explain it because it's something that I see with my eyes and can't necessarily quantify or confirm in writing. Here's the data:

Setencich Statistic McNeill
3-1 (0-1) Record 3-1 (2-1)
521.00 Passing Offense 454.00
85.00 Rushing Offense 55.50
49.50 Scoring Offense 40.50
206.50 Passing Defense 183.25
199.00 Rushing Defense 115.00
28.25 Scoring Defense 18.00

I included the offensive numbers and it probably illustrates that the opposing teams were more difficult during McNeill's 4 games rather than Setencich's. Anyway, the numbers do appear to be significantly better for McNeill than Setencich. A decrease in almost 20 yards passing and here's the kicker, a decrease in almost 85 yards rushing. The numbers back up what I thought I was seeing but couldn't quantify: more effort, better tackling and more defensive spirit.

The defense isn't quite fixed, but we're getting closer and closer.

What trends can you see? Tell me what I'm missing.