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
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
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
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.
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.