Shout out to Bradley Chubb, the Pack’s new all-time sack leader! No matter what the stat, if you become a school’s top producer, you have achieved a remarkable accomplishment. It should be noted it took Chubb 4 years to surpass what Mario Williams accomplished in only 3 years. Certainly no disrespect to Chubb, it just shows the unique talent of Super Mario, who went on to become the #1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
NOTE: John McCargo did not play in Week 10. I replaced them in the metrics analysis with Martrel Brown, who was a key contributor in 2005, but not one of the top 5 D-Linemen otherwise. McCargo does not return until the bowl game.
Week 10 Individual Stats:
Individual stats are almost identical. 2017 had one more tackle, although they faced 15 more rushing attempts / opportunities (see Team Stats below), and 1.5 more sacks. 2005 earned one more TFL. Let’s call this portion of the competition a draw.
Week 10 Team Stats:
For the third week in a row, 2005 dominates the Team stats. They limited their opponent to more than 3 yards less per rushing attempt than 2017, and did not surrender any rushing TDs, while 2017 gave up two.
Week 10 Cumulative Stats:
The 2005 D-Line further extends its statistical lead after another stellar performance. As well as 2017 has played this season, though struggling of late, you can see why 2005 with its three first-round NFL draft picks has to date earned the right to be called our all-time best D-Line.
2005 now leads the TFL category by double digits and only trails in sacks by 0.5. They have given up more than one yard less per carry and three less rushing touchdowns.
When it comes to opponent quality, 2017 faced the more difficult task. 2005 defeated a Sun Belt conference mid-level team as Middle Tennessee State ended the season 4-7 (3-4). The defense held the Blue Raiders to only a field goal in its 24-3 victory, but it was somewhat of a stalemate game-wise due to State’s atrocious offense. Two of the Wolfpack’s three touchdowns were “gimmes” . . . a 10-yard drive after a blocked punt and a pick-six.
It is not like 2017 faced a juggernaut, as Boston College is a .500 team (sub .500 in conference), but they had been resurgent offensively the past three games. It should be noted BC lost its starting QB in the first half, the type of dual-threat athlete that State’s Dave Huxtable has yet to figure out how to defend. With State’s shaky 17-14 win, both 2005 and 2017 earned victories, but 2017 played the stronger team.
When all of the variables are fairly close – similar individual stats and opponent quality (BC stronger, but without its starting QB for most of the game) – an analyst in determining this week’s winner needs something / anything to stand out to determine a victor . . . less he or she be relegated to declaring a tasteless tie.
I found the two metrics – both significant – that jump off the stat sheet . . . YPC (1.28 to 4.37) and rushing TDs allowed (0 to 2) . . . which moves 2005 safely into the win column for the fourth week in a row.
Week 11 Sneak Preview
In a must-win situation for bowl eligibility, 2005 delivers its most destructive statistical performance in brutalizing a long-time nemesis, the Maryland Terrapins – a truly incredible display of what can happen when enormous talent combines with post-season motivation.
2017 faces a Wake Forest squad on the road in a place where State has struggled for 15 years. In addition, the Demon Deacons are fresh off setting a school record for most yards in a game with 734, which included 371 yards rushing and 5 rushing TDs.
2017 will need lights-out execution to keep from falling further behind 2005 in an exciting and once-close contest that has turned decidedly as of late in 2005’s favor.