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Do we know what it means to "Finish Strong" in games? (interesting stats)


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Let me preface this by saying that if you don't like numbers...don't bother reading because this might be really boring for you.

Had a chance to go through some stats on how we finish games. Did this on the basis of 1) point differentials in the 4th quarter of games and 2) How well we play while ahead/behind at halftime. What I found was interesting enough to me that I thought I'd share.

1) 4th Quarter points -

Since we joined the Big East 3 years ago, our 4th quarter point totals playing against Div 1-A opponents are a combined 179 - 156 in our favor. While that differential is not "domination", it at least seems like we're winning in the last quarter of games. However, looks can be deceiving. If you take away 3 games against UCF, the point differential becomes only 141 - 140 in our favor. Take out our games against FIU and FAU...and we're actually losing the 4th quarter by a differential of 120 - 134. (basically with the exception of the beatdowns being given to in-state opponents in the 4th quarter...we're behind). Solely against BE opponents in the 4th Q we're behind 91 - 101.

How does this affect this 4 quarter differentials in 2007? Take out UCF & FAU and we're ahead 26-23 on the year and tied up 13-13 in the BE. Translation: We're just not producing enough in the 4th quarter.

2) Halftime leads/coming from behind -

Again using the criteria of Div 1-A opponents since we joined the BE, here's how it looks. Out of 30 games total, we went into halftime with a lead 17 times. Of those games we were 15-2..only losing games in 2006 and 2007 to Rutgers. Of the 13 times we trailed at halftime, we are 3-10 with comebacks only against Auburn 2007, UCF 2006, and FIU 2006. (Throw out the two florida schools and Auburn is the only team we've chased from behind...17-14 at halftime). Concentrating just on this year...we're 4-0 with a lead and 1-2 from behind.

In regards specifically to our 17 games in the BE, we're 0-6 when behind at halftime...and 9-2 when we have the lead. (those games vs. rutgers from above).

What it boils down to is that the score at halftime pretty much tells you the story. We do a good job playing with the lead in the second half....but basically we're rarely a threat to come ever from behind. (is this a lack of adjustments? is it days we're just "off"? who knows...)

---- Take from this what you will...don't want to make more of it than necessary. If a guy like me can break the stats down like this, I'm sure the book is out on USF: "Do what you can to get ahead early...then watch the wheels fall off". If we plan on becoming a perrenial power, we need some dramatic improvement in the second half of games.

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2nd half scoring in 2007:

3rd Quarter

USF - 71

OPP - 33

4th Quarter

USF - 68

OPP- 38

Go BULLS !!!

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Guest JulmisteForPrez

2nd half scoring in 2007:

3rd Quarter

USF - 71

OPP - 33

4th Quarter

USF - 68

OPP- 38

Go BULLS !!!

Yes....

Thank you UCF.  ::)

E.T. loves to throw up point totals while ignoring the fact that 4 out of our six wins were nail-biters along with the two losses. 

And those two wins were to the illustrious UNC and UCF at home.  Our offense struggled against powerhouses such as ELON & FAU.  ::)

Excellent analysis Sunil.  Hard to argue.

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2nd half scoring in 2007:

3rd Quarter

USF - 71

OPP - 33

4th Quarter

USF - 68

OPP- 38

Go BULLS !!!

ET, obviously I didn't use the entire second half...but let's look at that since you brought it up.

During the second half of games in total for 2007...we are up 139-71. That's actually really good and shows us to be extremely productive and pulling away from the competition. (Avg margin in the second half is 18-9) But to get more clarity on that figure, I'm not sure that you can include games against Elon, UCF, and FAU. Not because of any biasness...but because these are non-BCS opponents (Div-1a, Cusa, and Sun belt). When you take them out, we've limited the "sample" to BCS opponents only....and in the second half of those games we're only up 55-35.

So on average you are correct that we are winning the second half of games this year 11-7.  But that's a narrow margin, and while we're ahead...I'm not sure it's what we mean by "finishing strong"? I'd like to see the margin wider and have us averaging at least 2 TD's per half...not a TD and a FG.

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Forget finishing strong in the second half.  We're not finishing strong on a NUMBER of scoring opps EARLY which would put our opponents in a hole and very unlikely to come back when our defense is playing with the lead.

In EVERY game this year, we've left a TON of points on the field through dropped balls, turnovers, missed FGs and not going for it on fourth and short when it was a no brainer.

The problem is this coaching staff is playing their cards and strategy as if we have Morten Anderson back there!  Settling for underneath routes to set up shorter FGs vs. just going for first downs.  Who cares if you're 7 yards closer if you still can't almost guarantee a FG conversion?  Would be better to go deep and hope for a penalty or throw the underneath route knowing you're going for it on fourth down.

This team believe it or not is better than our record.  Coaching has killed this team by not putting our guys in the best position to win.  We have a great coach, but we're starting to see his inexperience in managing big time games.  Hell, it might not even be Leavitt rather our OC.

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2nd half scoring in 2007:

3rd Quarter

USF - 71

OPP - 33

4th Quarter

USF - 68

OPP- 38

Go BULLS !!!

...

E.T. loves to throw up point totals while ignoring the fact that 4 out of our six wins were nail-biters along with the two losses. 

...

I was not arguing the point angry one. He had great points, I simply put current stats out there. Was not ignoring anything. I think you ignore how well we have played at HOME in 2007.

Go BULLS !!!

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Interesting. The stats confirm what we have all seen watching the games. We do mount comebacks, but it seems that too many blown opportunities earlier in the game are too much to overcome. Against Uconn if Alverado had made a couple easy FG's earlier in the game we could have won the game with a short FG at the end instead having to get a TD that we obviously didn't.

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There are soo many factors for the reason we lost the past two games.

We need to get them corrected ... can't play a perfect game, but definately need to minimize the many mistakes we've been making.

I have faith in our players and coaches.

Go BULLS !!!

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