Inside The Numbers - 2008 Football Season

Yes, I know exactly what you are saying.  What?  Another serious number-crunching, statistically-minded post from the California Golden Blogs?  When are they going to take things a bit more lightly?  Why always so serious?

Well, I apologize.  I'm sorry that yet again we've dispensed with the inane to bring you the hard-hitting internet journalissimo that you've come to expect from the California Golden Blogs.  I mean, as I always say, we are dealing with two of the most important, most sacrosanct entities out there:  college football and the internet.

Neither are laughing matters! 

So, if you want a few laughs, a few chuckles, a few guffaws, like usual, perhaps this isn't the blog for you.  Well, except for this joke here:

A tree walks into a bar.  The bartender, upset, asks it to leaf.

Were I knowledgeable about the sound one makes when enjoying a mirthful situation, I would make it here now.  I would make it out loud.  And were there an internet acronym for experiencing a mirthful situation audibly and loudly, I would use it. 

Failing that, let's just look at the season stats for the 2008 Cal football team.  With signing day tomorrow, we have 2009 on the horizon.  Time to close the books on 2008!

All stats are from here

 

             2008 California Football
CAL Overall Team Statistics (as of Dec 27, 2008)
All games

TEAM STATISTICS CAL OPP
--------------------------------------------------------
SCORING....................... 424 259
Points Per Game............. 32.6 19.9
FIRST DOWNS................... 230 229
Rushing..................... 97 95
Passing..................... 110 115
Penalty..................... 23 19
RUSHING YARDAGE............... 2421 1589
Yards gained rushing........ 2786 2056
Yards lost rushing.......... 365 467
Rushing Attempts............ 435 495
Average Per Rush............ 5.6 3.2
Average Per Game............ 186.2 122.2
TDs Rushing................. 22 16
PASSING YARDAGE............... 2467 2509
Att-Comp-Int................ 397-209-10 432-223-24
Average Per Pass............ 6.2 5.8
Average Per Catch........... 11.8 11.3
Average Per Game............ 189.8 193.0
TDs Passing................. 25 12
TOTAL OFFENSE................. 4888 4098
Total Plays................. 832 927
Average Per Play............ 5.9 4.4
Average Per Game............ 376.0 315.2
KICK RETURNS: #-Yards......... 43-877 66-1352
PUNT RETURNS: #-Yards......... 38-448 23-284
INT RETURNS: #-Yards.......... 24-419 10-184
KICK RETURN AVERAGE........... 20.4 20.5
PUNT RETURN AVERAGE........... 11.8 12.3
INT RETURN AVERAGE............ 17.5 18.4
FUMBLES-LOST.................. 16-9 28-10
PENALTIES-Yards............... 77-649 75-647
Average Per Game............ 49.9 49.8
PUNTS-Yards................... 74-3087 79-3190
Average Per Punt............ 41.7 40.4
Net punt average............ 36.0 33.2
TIME OF POSSESSION/Game....... 29:06 30:47
3RD-DOWN Conversions.......... 47/159 61/197
3rd-Down Pct................ 30% 31%
4TH-DOWN Conversions.......... 5/14 7/22
4th-Down Pct................ 36% 32%
SACKS BY-Yards................ 35-270 25-183
MISC YARDS.................... 75 4
TOUCHDOWNS SCORED............. 54 33
FIELD GOALS-ATTEMPTS.......... 15-21 10-17
ON-SIDE KICKS................. 0-6 2-6
RED-ZONE SCORES............... 84-102 82% 60-88 68%
RED-ZONE TOUCHDOWNS........... 60-102 59% 42-88 48%
PAT-ATTEMPTS.................. 53-53 100% 31-32 97%
ATTENDANCE.................... 862874 520594
Games/Avg Per Game.......... 14/61634 10/52059
Neutral Site Games.......... 2/42268

SCORE BY QUARTERS 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
-------------------- --- --- --- --- ---
CAL................. 108 124 81 111 - 424
Opponents........... 40 65 86 68 - 259

 

 

 

First thing of note.  First downs.

FIRST DOWNS...................          230          229

We average about 13 more points a game, but only had 1 more first down the entire year than our opponents?!?!?!?  Well, what does that mean?  Either we were scoring explosively or our D was bending, but not breaking.  Or both!  Methinks, its a little from column A, a little from column B.  Even with all of our offensive woes, we had a strangely explosive offense.  One Best run here.  One Vereen run there.  Then, our D would come in with Bob Gregory's classic Bend, But Don't Break.  That makes sense when you think about it, but seeing it in black and white was interesting.

 

More indication of that interesting situation:

TIME OF POSSESSION/Game.......        29:06        30:47

Sort of speaks for itself there.  Strangely explosive, yet at times mediocre offense with a staunch bend, but don't break D.

Two more notes.  One, we actually gave up more yards through the air than we had.  Considering our staunch D, especially aerially, for most of the year (save a few games like MSU and Arizona), this reflects poorly upon the passing offense.

 

Also, we only had 3ish more yards of air attack than ground attack per game.  Another sign of a great rush attack and a not so good air attack.

 

RUSHING         GP  Att Gain Loss  Net   Avg  TD Long Avg/G
-----------------------------------------------------------
Best, Jahvid 12 194 1653 73 1580 8.1 15 86 131.7
Vereen, Shane 13 142 754 39 715 5.0 4 81 55.0
Slocum, Tracy 11 22 132 7 125 5.7 1 24 11.4
Ross, Jeremy 13 10 72 10 62 6.2 0 41 4.8
Geurts, Peter 3 7 48 1 47 6.7 0 27 15.7
Ta'ufo'ou, Will 13 4 26 0 26 6.5 0 21 2.0
Mansion, Brock 2 3 13 0 13 4.3 1 7 6.5
Young, Sean 10 1 2 0 2 2.0 0 2 0.2
Boateng, Nyan 13 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0
Tyndall, John 11 1 0 1 -1 -1.0 0 0 -0.1
WILLIAMS, W. 13 1 0 2 -2 -2.0 0 0 -0.2
TEAM 12 11 0 24 -24 -2.2 0 0 -2.0
Riley, Kevin 11 30 86 142 -56 -1.9 1 27 -5.1
Longshore, Nate 13 8 0 66 -66 -8.2 0 0 -5.1
Total.......... 13 435 2786 365 2421 5.6 22 86 186.2
Opponents...... 13 495 2056 467 1589 3.2 16 59 122.2

What do we take away from here?  Jahvid Best is good.  I mean really good.  I am sort of stunned at the low average that Vereen had.  Only 55 yards a game?  I could have sworn he would have more.  Especially considering he started the ASU game when Best was out.  He only had 50 fewer carries than Best.  And he has a lower average rush per game than Slocum.  This is not to speak ill of Vereen, he is clearly a great back.  And Slocum is talented.  And comparing Vereen to Best is not fair, considering how amazing Best is.

I could see Slocum transferring.  He is clearly very talented.  He has 2 stud backs ahead of him.  He has a lot of talent coming up behind him, like Deboskie and Yarnway.  Montgomery saw the same situation and gtfo'd.  Could Slocum do the same?

 

PASSING         GP   Effic Cmp-Att-Int   Pct  Yds  TD Lng Avg/G
---------------------------------------------------------------
Riley, Kevin 11 117.85 112-221-6 50.7 1360 14 59 123.6
Longshore, Nate 13 125.78 93-164-4 56.7 1051 10 74 80.8
Mansion, Brock 2 86.40 3-6-0 50.0 26 0 10 13.0
TEAM 12 0.00 0-4-0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0
Vereen, Shane 13 0.00 0-1-0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0
Ross, Jeremy 13 682.00 1-1-0 100.0 30 1 30 2.3
Total.......... 13 120.59 209-397-10 52.6 2467 25 74 189.8
Opponents...... 13 98.46 223-432-24 51.6 2509 12 63 193.0

 

I was excited to see the stats here, until I actually saw the stats here.  I mean this is the big thing, right?  Nate v. Kevin!  Kevin v. Nate!  How much money, how much time, has been spent on this.  And, looking at the numbers, Jeremy Ross should be the QB!  Efficiency rating of 682.  Now, that is impressive!

Learn more about the efficiency rating here.    Here is the list of the Top 100 QBs by rating.

Kevin Riley is 79th behind Chris Turner at Maryland.  Longshore is not listed, oddly.  It says you have to have played in 75% of games with minimum of 15 snaps per game.  I feel like he did that, but perhaps not?  His 125 rating would put him at 60th right behind Riley Skinner of Wake Forest and before the QB at Akron!  Akron!  These aren't exactly luminaries of the QB world. 

If I had to choose who was better, its tough.  Riley had more opportunities, so he racked up more counting stats.  But his completion percentage is 7% worse.  Ai!  His average yards per game is better, tho, by a healthy margin.  So, there are conflicting numbers all over the place.

Long story short, I think it's safe to say that Cal didn't obtain the QB play that it would have liked.  Perhaps some of it stems from youth and inexperience at WR.  But not ALL of it can be attributed to that.  Some of the blame has to fall squarely on the shoulders of Nate and Kevin.  Hopefully, the QB next year (most likely Riley) will improve.  Honestly, it'd be tough not to.

 

 

RECEIVING       GP  No.  Yds   Avg  TD Long Avg/G
-------------------------------------------------
Boateng, Nyan 13 29 439 15.1 5 53 33.8
Morrah, Cameron 13 27 326 12.1 8 50 25.1
Best, Jahvid 12 27 246 9.1 1 42 20.5
Vereen, Shane 13 27 221 8.2 1 59 17.0
Tucker, Verran 10 21 362 17.2 3 74 36.2
CUNNINGHAM, L. 13 18 276 15.3 1 35 21.2
Ross, Jeremy 13 17 210 12.4 2 29 16.2
Young, Sean 10 17 192 11.3 1 42 19.2
Calvin, Michael 4 8 103 12.9 0 23 25.8
Ta'ufo'ou, Will 13 7 27 3.9 1 5 2.1
Smith, Tad 12 3 23 7.7 1 9 1.9
Slocum, Tracy 11 2 0 0.0 0 2 0.0
Smith, Zach 9 1 10 10.0 0 10 1.1
Glover, Drew 2 1 9 9.0 0 9 4.5
Jones, Marvin 5 1 8 8.0 0 8 1.6
Stroud, Alex 1 1 7 7.0 0 7 7.0
Riley, Kevin 11 1 6 6.0 0 6 0.5
Miller, Anthony 10 1 2 2.0 1 2 0.2
Total.......... 13 209 2467 11.8 25 74 189.8
Opponents...... 13 223 2509 11.3 12 63 193.0

 

 

 

Anthony Miller.  1 Reception.  2 yards.  1 TD.  Nice!

But besides that delightful footnote, you know it's not promising when 3 out of the top 4 receivers are not wide.  Morrah, a TE, and the RB double headed attack are 2,3, and 4.  Only Boateng is ahead of them.  And he averaged 15 yards a game.  Our #1 receiver averaged 33 yards a game.  Tucker did average 4 more a game, but he came on later in the year, so his overall year stats are not as strong.  There really isn't a lot to say here, the numbers (or lack thereof) speak for themselves.  And, are not, in any way surprising.

 

 

I am going to discuss the Defensive players here, because the D tables sometimes create odd situations for the text below them.  Not sure why.

The top guys are about what you'd expect for tackles.  3 LBs.  That's solid.  In 2007, our top tackler was DeCoud, a S.  Not as good.  I am a bit surprised at how far down Worrell Williams is, but there were a lot of great players playing around him.  Gobbling up tackles and the ilk. 

BTW, check out Pain Trains numbers.  23 TFLs!  As a linebacker. And 10.5 sacks.  He had more sacks than Jordan and Alualu combined.  Crazzy!  Thats about 240 lost yards from Pain Train alone!  Speaking of cartoonish numbers, SydGOD only had 4 interceptions on the year (tough to pick a ball when nobody is throwing to you), but had 128 yars on those 4 ints.  And 14 pass break ups.  He'd always seem to get a hand in on the last second there.

Some great numbers down there.  Hopefully, things won't drop off too much next year.  What numbers intrigue and interest you?  Tell us below!  And Go Bears!

             |--------Tackles--------| |-Sacks-| |---Pass Def---| |-Fumbles-| Blkd
DEFENSIVE LEADERS GP Solo Ast Total TFL/Yds No-Yds Int-Yds BrUp QBH Rcv-Yds FF Kick Saf
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7 Felder, Anthony 13 37 56 93 5.5-14 0.5-3 1-15 1 2 . 1 . .
56 Follett, Zack 13 58 29 87 23.0-138 10.5-99 . 4 4 1-0 5 . .
18 MOHAMED, M. 13 51 36 87 6.0-22 3.0-16 3-30 2 3 2-3 1 . .
5 THOMPSON, S. 13 41 29 70 7.5-26 2.0-17 4-128 14 . . . . .
29 Ezeff, Marcus 13 36 30 66 1.0-1 . 3-78 6 . 1-0 . . .
1 WILLIAMS, W. 13 25 39 64 5.0-20 1.0-10 1-50 6 . 1-0 . . .
44 Alualu, Tyson 13 21 41 62 11.0-66 6.0-51 . 2 6 . 2 . .
26 Hagan, Darian 13 38 18 56 2.5-4 . 3-12 15 . 1-0 1 . .
97 Jordan, Cameron 12 26 21 47 11.0-29 4.0-17 1-3 . 2 2-7 1 . .
25 Johnson, Brett 12 25 18 43 . . 2-62 3 . . 1 1 .
9 Young, Eddie 12 18 22 40 1.5-4 0.5-3 1-17 . . . 1 . .
76 Hill, Derrick 13 4 25 29 2.5-4 0.5-1 . 1 . . . . .
17 Conte, Chris 12 15 13 28 1.0-5 . 1-0 7 . . . . .
2 Hicks, Bernard 6 14 9 23 . . 1-0 1 . . . . .
94 Davis, Rulon 9 8 11 19 5.5-33 4.0-28 . 2 3 . 2 1 .
30 KENDRICKS. M. 13 8 7 15 1.0-10 1.0-10 . . . . . 1 .
98 Kane, Mika 13 4 10 14 0.5-1 . . . . . . . .
0C Holt, D.J. 12 9 5 14 1.0-1 . . . . . . . .

 

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