By The Numbers: Fast Football

At a recent booster event Athletic Director Terry Mohajir before introducing Blake Anderson said, he runs the type of offense AState fans love. How do Anderson offenses compare to recent AState offenses?

There has been so much change over the past few years that it is hard to really pin down exactly what the offensive philosophy has been at Arkansas State. To get a better picture I put together a few stats from the past years to allow comparison of Harsin, Malzahn, Freeze, Roberts with Freeze as offensive coordinator, and Roberts without Freeze.

 

Plays Per Game

Time per play

Passes per game

Rushes per game

Yards per play

Points per game

Points per play

2013

72.85

24.7

28.3

44.5

5.6

29.2

0.398

2012

73.23

24.0

31.7

41.5

6.4

34.9

0.479

2011

78.15

23.1

38.5

39.7

5.7

32.5

0.415

2010

71.33

22.7

36.5

34.8

5.7

30

0.421

2009

63.17

28.3

27.5

35.7

5.2

22.7

0.359

 

Surprisingly (so surprising I ran it three times to verify) the fastest pace of an AState team was in 2010 when Freeze was offensive coordinator, however looking deeper this is skewed by that team running fewer plays than any of the measured teams other than the 2009 team and had fewer first downs per game than the 2011 and 2012 (narrowly edging 2013 in first downs per game).  The 2010 also trailed more often by larger margins. The 2010 ran fewer plays than any team except 2009.

Fans who were frustrated last season with the change in offensive philosophy can see that the 2013 Red Wolves had the slowest pace since 2009, threw the fewest passes since 2009, rushed more often than any of the measured teams, averaged fewer yards per play than any team since 2009, the fewest points per game, and required more plays to score than any team since 2009.

So how do offenses where Blake Anderson was offensive coordinator compare. Below you have is two years as offensive coordinator at North Carolina (Walt Bell called the plays for the 13th game of 2013 and is included in the stats) as well as the two years Coach Anderson served as offensive coordinator at Southern Miss.

 

Plays per game

Time per play

Passes per game

Rushes per game

Yards per play

Points per game

Points per play

2013

72.5

22.9

34.8

37.7

5.9

32.7

0.451

2012

74.8

21.6

36.8

38.1

6.5

40.6

0.542

2011

74.4

23.3

34.9

39.5

6.2

36.9

0.459

2010

79.2

24.5

36.2

43

5.7

36.8

0.465

 

One of the first things that jumps out is that the slowest paced team was faster than two of the five AState teams.

Anderson's previous teams were also more productive per play. Only Gus Malzahn's team averaged more than 6 yards per play while both 2011 USM and 2012 UNC topped 6 yards per play.

When Blake Anderson promises the fastest paced team that AState fans have ever seen, the numbers from his time as offensive coordinator backs that claim up.