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Best D-Line in Pack History – 2005 vs. 2017, Week 4 Comparison

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2017 earns clear win

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Florida State
High Fives for the 2017 D-Line
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is official: we have a horse race on our hands. With 2005 winning the first two weeks, and 2017 generally under-performing and given the slight edge in Week 3 with some creative thinking, this competition was shaping up to be one sided.

What a difference a week makes.

Let’s look at the numbers . . .

Week 4 Individual Stats:

Best D-Line Week 4 Individual

2005 Solo Assists Total TFL Sacks
2005 Solo Assists Total TFL Sacks
Williams 0 2 2 0 0
Lawson 2 2 4 0.5 0
Tyler 0 3 3 0.5 0
McCargo 0 2 2 0.5 0
Pressley 0 1 1 0 0
TOTAL 2 10 12 1.5 0
2017 Solo Assists Total TFL Sacks
Chubb 5 2 7 2 2
Street 0 0 0 0 0
Hill 1 1 2 1 1
Jones 1 0 1 1 1
Bryant 1 1 2 0 0
Roseboro 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 8 4 12 4 4

Both lines had the exact number of Total Tackles. However, against stronger competition, 2017 had 2.5 more TFLs and pitched a sack shutout (4 – 0).

Week 4 Team Stats:

Best D-Line Week 4 Team

STAT 2005 2017
STAT 2005 2017
Rushes 38 26
Yards 164 104
YPC 4.32 4.00
Rush TDs 1 0

2017 wins again with respect to the team totals, giving up less YPC while for the third week in a row not surrendering a rushing touchdown.

Week 4 Cumulative Stats:

Best D-Line Week 4 Cumulative

2005 Wk1 Wk2 Wk3 Wk4 TOTAL
2005 Wk1 Wk2 Wk3 Wk4 TOTAL
Solo Tkl 7 2 8 2 19
Assist Tkl 15 5 19 10 49
Total Tkl 22 7 27 12 68
TFL 3.0 5.0 8.5 1.5 18.0
Sacks 1.0 0.0 4.0 0.0 5.0
Rushes 41 31 49 38 159
Yards 124 48 144 164 480
YPC 3.02 1.55 2.94 4.32 3.02
Rush TDs 1 0 1 1 3
2017 Wk1 Wk2 Wk3 Wk4 TOTAL
Solo Tkl 3 9 13 8 33
Assist Tkl 9 4 16 4 33
Total Tkl 12 13 29 12 66
TFL 3.5 3 3.5 4 14.0
Sacks 0.0 1.0 3.0 4.0 8.0
Rushes 21 25 47 26 119
Yards 61 101 133 104 399
YPC 2.90 4.04 2.83 4.00 3.35
Rush TDs 1 0 0 0 1

The cumulative totals are beginning to favor 2017. Total Tackles are essentially even, while the YPC metric continues to support 2005, although 2017 has won this metric in three out of the four weeks (overall 2005 lead remains due to the significant win earned by its Week 2 performance).

However, 2017 now leads in sacks and has added to its rushing TDs allowed advantage (in the end, it’s all about not giving up points). Amazingly, the 2017 D-Line has only given up a single rushing touchdown in four games, including exactly zero touchdowns last week against an option team.

Summary

Week 4 made for a more valid comparison than any of the weeks to date, as both D-Lines played quality ACC opponents. 2005 produced a solid win in Atlanta against #24 Ga Tech (17-14), while some of you may remember 2017 stifled #12 FSU (27-21) in Tallahassee this past weekend.

2017 came up big at the right time . . . historically good lines rise up to challenging opponents and overcome them (2017 did, as did 2005 in Week 4) . . . it remains to be seen if 2017 can avoid playing down to lesser teams (they have yet to prove it fully).

Based upon what we had seen through the first three weeks, 2017 showed flashes and overall solid play, but not the spectacular we expected. Against FSU, a team perhaps a key injury or three away from preseason expectations of reaching college football’s version of the Final Four, you might state 2017 over-delivered . . .

. . . or maybe they just finally delivered on what we anticipated all along.

Either way – the race is on.