Gamecock Radio Network's Andy Demetra goes "Inside the Chart" with a look at statistical tidbits for you to chew on with his blog posts. Check out the excerpt below and read the full post here.
First Things First: Once the smoke cleared and the last strains of 2001 subsided, South Carolina struggled to maintain the energy of its introduction on offense. In 2009, the Gamecocks scored touchdowns on 8 of 44 1st-quarter possessions, with nearly as many turnovers (7).
That changed dramatically in 2010. With the playmaking skills of Garcia, Jeffery, and Lattimore, South Carolina managed to find its rhythm earlier. Compare the Gamecocks' touchdown rate in the 1st quarter over the last two seasons:
|Season||1st-Quarter Touchdowns||1st-Quarter Total Possessions||%|
East Carolina mastered the art of the shootout last season (more on that later). A quick start may be a necessity, rather than a luxury, against the Pirates. Fortunately, the trend seems to point in the Gamecocks' favor.
Stat of the Week: East Carolina's Ruffin McNeill made his bones as a defensive maven, rising from linebackers coach at Austin Peay and North Alabama to defensive coordinator at Appalachian State and Texas Tech before returning to his alma mater. Surely, nothing churned McNeill's stomach more than watching his Pirates repeatedly melt down on defense. ECU ranked last in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense (478.8 ypg allowed), and finished second-worst in third-down defense (51.35%).
No statistic captures ECU's struggles better than this: the Pirates allowed 20 or more points in a quarter 8 times last season. The Gamecocks have allowed 20 or more points in a quarter 8 times in the last 8 seasons combined.
|20+ Pts. Allowed in a Quarter||ECU 2010||USC, 2003-2010|
Adding to the dread, ECU only returns 5 defensive starters. Come to think of it, that may not be a bad thing.
Lucky Number 9? Statistics are like hostages: torture them long enough, and they'll tell you whatever you want.
In that case, interpret these numbers however you choose. In 21 seasons as a college head coach, Steve Spurrier's teams have finished with 9 wins a total of 4 times. Look at how his previous teams fared the following year:
|Season||Team (Record)||Next year's record||Postseason|
|1990||Florida (9-2, 6-1 SEC)||10-2, 7-0 SEC||Sugar Bowl|
|1992||Florida (9-4, 6-3 SEC)||11-2, 8-1 SEC||Sugar Bowl|
|1999||Florida (9-4, 7-2 SEC)||10-3, 8-1 SEC||Sugar Bowl|
|2010||South Carolina (9-5, 5-3 SEC)||????||????|