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Best D-Line in Pack History – 2005 vs. 2017, Week 7 Comparison

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2005 returns to the Win column

North Carolina State v Pittsburgh
Not even Roseboro’s big day could rescue 2017
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Mario Williams (#1 Overall Pick in 2006 NFL draft) had a monster game, despite John McCargo (#26 Overall Pick in 2006 NFL draft) being sidelined with a stress fracture in his left foot, allowing Southern Miss to key in on Super Mario even more. His 11 total tackles were the highest total of any D-Lineman (2005 or 2017) in any of the seven games in the books, as was his 3.5 sacks – an incredible display of God-given talent coupled with a strong drive to succeed. Williams practically single-handedly earned the victory for 2005, overcoming Roseboro strong results on behalf of 2017.

NOTE: Since McCargo did not play in Week 7, I replaced him in the metrics analysis with Renaldo Moses, who was a key contributor in 2005, but not one of the top 5 D-Linemen otherwise.

Week 7 Individual Stats:

Best D-Line Week 7 Individual

2005 Solo Assists Total TFL Sacks
2005 Solo Assists Total TFL Sacks
Williams 7 4 11 5.5 3.5
Lawson 2 1 3 1.5 1
Tyler 0 4 4 0.5 0.5
Moses 0 1 1 0 0
Pressley 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 9 10 19 7.5 5
2017 Solo Assists Total TFL Sacks
Chubb 2 0 2 0 0
Street 4 0 4 0 0
Hill 2 1 3 0 0
Roseboro 4 1 5 3 1
Jones 1 0 1 1 0
TOTAL 13 2 15 4 1

No mystery here – just move along, folks. 2005 wins easily with more tackles, almost twice the TFLs and five times the number of sacks. If this comparison were a boxing match, 2005 wins by TKO.

Week 7 Team Stats:

Best D-Line Week 7 Team

STAT 2005 2017
STAT 2005 2017
Rushes 31 32
Yards 69 95
YPC 2.23 2.97
Rush TDs 1 1

With the rushing TDs allowed and the number of carries essentially equal, the determining factor becomes YPC, where 2005 gave up an average of three quarters of a yard less on every attempt. Just as in the individual stats, 2005 clearly wins the team metric as well.

Week 7 Cumulative Stats:

Best D-Line Week 7 Cumulative

2005 Wk1 Wk2 Wk3 Wk4 Wk5 Wk6 Wk7 TOTAL
2005 Wk1 Wk2 Wk3 Wk4 Wk5 Wk6 Wk7 TOTAL
Solo Tkl 7 2 8 2 7 17 9 52
Assist Tkl 15 5 19 10 11 4 9 73
Total Tkl 22 7 27 12 18 21 18 125
TFL 3 5 8.5 1.5 4 8 7.5 37.5
Sacks 1 0 4 0 0 3 5 13
Rushes 41 31 49 38 41 49 31 280
Yards 124 48 144 164 243 85 69 877
YPC 3.02 1.55 2.94 4.32 5.93 1.73 2.23 3.13
Rush TDs 1 0 1 1 2 1 1 7
2017 Wk1 Wk2 Wk3 Wk4 Wk5 Wk6 Wk7 TOTAL
Solo Tkl 3 9 13 8 9 5 13 60
Assist Tkl 9 4 16 4 21 12 2 68
Total Tkl 12 13 29 12 30 17 15 128
TFL 3.5 3 3.5 4 7.5 4.5 4 30
Sacks 0 1 3 4 3 3 1 15
Rushes 21 25 47 26 30 29 32 210
Yards 61 101 133 104 59 116 95 669
YPC 2.9 4.04 2.83 4 1.97 4 2.97 3.19
Rush TDs 1 0 0 0 2 2 1 6

Overall, with 2005’s (or should we say Super Mario’s) suffocating performance in Week 7, the cumulative results are mixed. 2005 leads in TFLs and YPC; while 2017 leads in sacks, rushing TDs allowed, and total tackles. Both squads remain in a heated battle for general supremacy, with 2005’s high standards already in the books, and 2017’s clashes yet to be fully waged. History vs. Mystery . . . the results to be revealed in three short months.

Summary

With both teams earning victories, and 2005 plainly winning the stats, the only potential debate in favor of 2017 would be the quality of the opponent . . . but even that argument would be suspect.

Southern Miss had a solid team, finishing a 7-5 season with a double-digit New Orleans Bowl victory over Arkansas State. They finished second in Conference USA’s East Division with a 5-3 record. Notably, Southern Miss held a 14-0 lead over the Pack in the third quarter, and a 17-7 lead early in the fourth quarter, in Raleigh before Marcus Stone’s 2-yard TD pass to Brian Clark with 5:08 left in the game capped our comeback win, 21-17.

In contrast, the 2017 Pack had the game in hand early in the fourth quarter and cruised to an 18-point victory against a Pittsburgh Panthers team who appears headed nowhere fast, based on their 2-5 (0-3) results just over their season’s halfway point. Pitt is in a Power 5 conference (Southern Miss was not), so you could argue 2017 played a tougher opponent. However, I’m not sure they pass the eye test . . . in a game between 2005 Southern Miss and 2017 Pitt, I wouldn’t confidently bet that Pitt wins.

With 2005 this week’s undeniable winner, the race is still too close to call, as the overall stats are mixed, while 2017 holds a slight lead (4-3) in the weekly results.

Week 8 Sneak Preview

2005 furnished another dominating effort at #9 FSU – given the quality of opponent and statistical supremacy, perhaps its most notable accomplishment of their season. 2017 has its work cut out for it, going on the road to Top 20 Notre Dame – true football royalty . . . a team averaging 40 points and 308 yards rushing per game . . . its only loss to #3 Georgia by one point. 2017 will need a heroic performance to keep the overall results from tipping towards 2005.