The Weekly Report Card is back! Sorry for the one week hiatus. Things are crazy busy on this side of the pond.
This week's discussion will be short and sweet, and will focus on the significant improvements or set backs witnessed during the Missouri game.
More good wholesome family entertainment after the jump!
Here's the Report Card
A couple of things to note. Our Sagarin ranking improved to 42nd place. If we beat OU, expect our ranking to jump into the low thirties or high twenties. Add two wins against Weber State and Houston, and this team - yes, this team - will be knocking on the Top 25 door.
Of course beating Oklahoma in Norman is no small feat, but in this year's wide open Big 12 conference, who knows. If we lose (and beat Weber State and Houston), this team will probably settle in the high-thirties to low-forties by the end of the year.
For the Tuberville apologists (I use that term with the greatest affection) who are looking for something to hang their hats on, Sagarin ranks Tech's 2010 schedule as the 11th most difficult in all of college football. Hard to believe, but that seems to be the case. Last year, our SOS was a very unimpressive 62. So maybe, just maybe?
Not so fast. We're playing roughly the same types of offenses (a little better) and defenses (a little worse) than we did last year (figures which do not include Weber State or Houston), so that SOS argument probably doesn't hold a lot of water.
Feel free to take the SOS stat or leave it.
It's been 5 weeks (Baylor) since our offense cracked 30 points.
Our passing game is still ranked in the Top 10 (number 8 to be precise).
Our passing efficiency is mediocre (ranked 44).
Our rushing game has improved all the way to 92nd in the country.
Our Total Offense is ranked 44th overall in the country.
While the rankings are interesting, getting hung up on the rankings might be a mistake.
In real terms our Total Offense is down just 32 yards per game. So is 32 yards the difference between a 7th ranked offense and a 44th ranked offense?
I don't know the answer to that question, other than to say that our scoring is down by 7 points from last year, which suggests that this offense is not as effective as it was last year.
I don't know how the OU game is going to play out, but I would expect us to put up big offensive numbers against Weber State and Houston.
In which case, it's very likely that we may see this year's offensive statistics converge with the statistics from last year.
What does that mean? Again, I leave that for your guys and gals to debate. I'm just winding through the argument.
Since I count sacks as passing plays, I tabulate that Tech ran passing plays 51% of the time versus rushing plays 49% of the time.
Does anyone know when Tech last passed at such a low ratio (my guess would be the OU game last year, but I am not sure).
Because we held the ball for almost 40 minutes last week, our T.O.P ranking jumped from 116 to 103.
Wow, what can you say about our defense holding Missouri to 95 total passing yards? As Pancho would say, "Amazing!"
That performance enabled our passing defense to jump from 119 in the country all the way to 118th place! I guess our Missouri performance was not enough to absolve our secondary's performance for the first 8 weeks of the season.
Our total defense improved to 92nd in the country.
Our rushing defense fell from 41st in the country all the way to 54th. Ouch.
A blocked field goal and a kick off out of bounds garners a grade of an A by the Lubbock Avalanche Journal. Again, to quote Pancho, "Amazing."
Weber State Update - Good News and Bad News
The good news is that Weber State managed to come from behind to defeat Montana 30-21 in Ogden improving their record to 5-3, (4-2 in the Big Sky). The ever- steady Vaingamalie Tafuna rushed for 124 yards on 29 carries, and scored 4 touchdowns. Senior QB Cameron Higginds struggled again amassing just 129 yards passing for the night. Still a win is win, and Weber State needed that victory to stay in the Big Sky hunt.
That is until the following week.
Weber State travelled to Bozeman, Montana to face Big Sky Division Leader Montana State. Win, and Weber State creates a three way tie for first place at the top of the Big Sky, lose, and, well, lose they did, falling 24-10 to Montana State.
Montana led just 3-0 at half time. Weber State fought back in the third quarter, and regained the lead 7-3 in the third quarter.
Unfortunately, Weber State, taking a page from the Dan Hawkins playbook, allowed Montana State to score 21 points in the fourth quarter which sealed their fate. Senior QB Cameron Higgins had to leave the game in the fourth quarter due to injury after throwing for 229 yards on 32 attempts. Vaingamalie Tafuna was held to 42 yards on 12 carries, but did manage one rushing touchdown.
Bozeman's 14,267 fans were besides themselves, but graciously applauded the game Wildcats for their efforts. It's not easy getting wins at Bozeman this year. Montana State assumes the driver's seat in the Big Sky, while Weber State which fell to 5-4 are now hoping to salvage a season above .500, but first they'll have to travel to the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, Arizona to play another 5-4 team, Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, before traveling to Lubbock to close their season.
A year of "What Ifs" for Weber State, that's for sure.