Inside The Numbers - EWU Edition

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"Many people think the Cal-EWU game is similar to this, but is that true?  Let's take a look at the numbers" via www.funnybeez.com

Let's learn some more about Eastern Washington in the most exciting and approachable manner possible:  PORING OVER STATISTICS!

Believe me, nothing screams "living in your mother's basement" mixed with "giant nerd" like reading Eastern Washington University football statistics.  That's when you know we are bloggers.  And we're gonna take a look at these stats to see if this will be as lopsided a match up as people predict.  Further, what can we expect from the EWU offense?  Will we see a lot of rushing?  Will we see a lot of passing?  Will we see a lot of futility?  Let's take a moment to dust Pop-Tart crumbs off of our pajamas and get digging!

All numbers from here.




TEAM STATISTICS EWU OPP
--------------------------------------------------------
SCORING....................... 323 295
Points Per Game............. 29.4 26.8
FIRST DOWNS................... 224 249
Rushing..................... 61 74
Passing..................... 145 160
Penalty..................... 18 15
RUSHING YARDAGE............... 1084 1028
Yards gained rushing........ 1261 1460
Yards lost rushing.......... 177 432
Rushing Attempts............ 305 369
Average Per Rush............ 3.6 2.8
Average Per Game............ 98.5 93.5
TDs Rushing................. 17 13
PASSING YARDAGE............... 3299 3701
Att-Comp-Int................ 458-277-14 475-305-14
Average Per Pass............ 7.2 7.8
Average Per Catch........... 11.9 12.1
Average Per Game............ 299.9 336.5
TDs Passing................. 21 22
TOTAL OFFENSE................. 4383 4729
Total Plays................. 763 844
Average Per Play............ 5.7 5.6
Average Per Game............ 398.5 429.9
KICK RETURNS: #-Yards......... 46-1055 44-821
PUNT RETURNS: #-Yards......... 25-223 34-282
INT RETURNS: #-Yards.......... 14-256 14-191
KICK RETURN AVERAGE........... 22.9 18.7
PUNT RETURN AVERAGE........... 8.9 8.3
INT RETURN AVERAGE............ 18.3 13.6
FUMBLES-LOST.................. 14-10 17-8
PENALTIES-Yards............... 88-790 104-905
Average Per Game............ 71.8 82.3
PUNTS-Yards................... 56-2296 54-2332
Average Per Punt............ 41.0 43.2
Net punt average............ 34.2 36.1
TIME OF POSSESSION/Game....... 27:31 32:20
3RD-DOWN Conversions.......... 62/152 68/172
3rd-Down Pct................ 41% 40%
4TH-DOWN Conversions.......... 3/13 7/16
4th-Down Pct................ 23% 44%
SACKS BY-Yards................ 34-214 18-117
MISC YARDS.................... 22 11
TOUCHDOWNS SCORED............. 43 36
FIELD GOALS-ATTEMPTS.......... 8-12 15-27
ON-SIDE KICKS................. 0-3 0-0
RED-ZONE SCORES............... 31-38 82% 36-50 72%
RED-ZONE TOUCHDOWNS........... 25-38 66% 24-50 48%
PAT-ATTEMPTS.................. 39-39 100% 30-35 86%
ATTENDANCE.................... 33594 129278
Games/Avg Per Game.......... 5/6719 6/21546
Neutral Site Games.......... 0/0

SCORE BY QUARTERS 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
-------------------- --- --- --- --- ---
Eastern Washington.. 66 89 78 90 - 323
Opponents........... 57 99 69 70 - 295

 

We've heard a lot about how EWU is a really good team for being FBS or FCS or whichever the lower division is.  D45-CC, I dunno what it's called.  But looking at these numbers, I didn't see a huge advantage here.  They gave up more first downs than they earned in both rushing and passing situations.  An item of note here is that they gained over twice as many passing first downs as rushing first downs.  Further, they had more passing yards than rushing yards, which generally is standard.  However, here it is 3X as many passing yards than rushing yards.  They did not even average over a 100 yards a game in rushing. 

So, we definitely need to be on the lookout for their passing attack. 

They get crushed in the TOP stat by about 5 minutes.  But that can be a misleading stat sometimes.  If they have a quick strike passing offense as it appears here, then they won't eat up as much clock.  Especially compared to a grind it out style offense.

 

Now, let's look at the rushing attack:

RUSHING              GP-GS  Att Gain Loss  Net   Avg  TD Long Avg/G
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dale Morris 10-10 115 433 15 418 3.6 5 24 41.8
A. Alexander 10-2 39 240 4 236 6.1 3 48 23.6
A.J. Jimerson 11-2 46 193 9 184 4.0 1 17 16.7
Tyler Hart 4-0 10 85 1 84 8.4 2 30 21.0
Matt Nichols 11-10 56 223 140 83 1.5 3 26 7.5
Toke Kefu 10-3 18 35 0 35 1.9 3 6 3.5
D. Beaumonte 9-0 7 25 0 25 3.6 0 10 2.8
Tony Davis 10-7 4 24 1 23 5.8 0 12 2.3

 

Of course, the #1 guy who jumps out at you here is Dale Morris.  I am not a EWU expert, but reviewing the roster, he does not appear to be listed anymore.  A. Alexander also does not appear to be listed.  Nor does Jimerson. 

Matt Nichols, who rushed 56 times for 223 yards still IS listed!  As a QB.  So, ya.  Who is on their team, then?  Well, their #1 rusher to date is a gentleman named Taiwan Jones.  Not to be confused with Hong Kong McCallister.  We only have 1 game to go off of where he had these stats:

RUSHING  GP-GS  Att  Gain  Loss  Net  Avg   TD  Long  Avg/G 
Taiwan Jones   1-1   12  123  122  10.2  87  122.0 

 

 

Those numbers look good, but 87 of those 122 yards came on 1 run.  Take that out and you have 11 attempts for 35 yards.  Not quite as good. 

This was not a team known for running last year.  They lost most of their running attack and are starting a guy who did put up great numbers last week, but might not be as consistent as EWU will need.  We were able to handle Maryland's strong running attack, I believe we can handle Taiwan Jones, Cairns Steinberg, Bangkok Zimmerman, and anybody else who comes our way.

 

Let's look at the passing numbers:

PASSING              GP-GS   Effic Cmp-Att-Int   Pct  Yds  TD Lng Avg/G
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Nichols 11-10 131.47 275-451-14 61.0 3293 21 63 299.4

 

 

The offense here starts and stops with this man.  The afore-mentioned Matt Nichols.  61% completion rate, good.  131 efficiency, good.  300 yards per game, good.  21 TDs, great.  These are all great numbers.  This is a great QB.  Don't let the Division 98 ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Top aspect fool you, this man will be a difficult player for Cal.  Nonetheless, like with the Maryland game, I believe we can handle him.  Shutting down the run game and forcing the QB to pass again and again and again, it's a recipe for success.  If we can get that killer pass rush that we saw against Maryland again, it could be a long day for this talented signal caller.

This man loves to work out apparently:



 

Now, let's take a look at the receiving corps:

RECEIVING            GP-GS  No.  Yds   Avg  TD Long Avg/G
---------------------------------------------------------
Aaron Boyce 11-9 63 917 14.6 10 53 83.4
Tony Davis 10-7 53 579 10.9 3 63 57.9
Brynsen Brown 9-9 50 733 14.7 4 61 81.4
Nathan Overbay 11-9 28 364 13.0 2 30 33.1
Dale Morris 10-10 28 167 6.0 0 18 16.7
A.J. Jimerson 11-2 11 130 11.8 0 32 11.8
Matt Martin 11-0 11 118 10.7 0 21 10.7

 

As is to be expected with any great passing attack, you'll have great receivers.  And EWU is no different.  Aaron Boyce is the stand out here with nearly a 1,000 yard season.  He is back and better than ever.  He had these numbers against Western Oregon:

RECEIVING  GP-GS  No.  Yards  Avg   TD  Long  Avg/G 
Aaron Boyce   1-1   126  21.0  53  126.0 

 

Certainly great numbers.  But he's not the only returning star.  Tony Davis is back and ready to supplement Boyce.  His numbers are not as impressive, but as a senior with 3 years experience, he could definitely do some damage.  Brynsen Brown is listed on the roster, but did not record a single catch last week against Western Oregon.  So, it's unclear what his position is here.  Nathan Overbay had a very good game, too.  Here are his stats:

RECEIVING  GP-GS  No.  Yards  Avg   TD  Long  Avg/G 
Nathan Overbay   1-1   66  16.5  21  66.0 

 

Last week, we saw a team with a strong rushing attack and a decent passing attack, beset by youth and inexperience.  We were able to handle that well by shutting down the rushing attack and forcing the uneven passing attack to carry the load.

Now, we face a team with a weak, but improving rushing attack and a strong passing attack.  Look for our run D to be even better than against Maryland.  But the passing attack could prove problematic.  Nonetheless, I have faith in SydQuan and Co. that they can handle Matt Nichols and his cadre of talented receivers.  No matter how talented a team may be, an imbalanced offense is going to struggle.  We saw that last year when our passing attack was very poor.  And I think we'll see that this weekend against EWU. 

Many people just write off EWU as a lower division school.  They look ahead to Minn or Oregon or even USC without a thought for this team.  That is imprudent as EWU is a dangerous school and will be looking for a huge upset, AppSt style!  Nonetheless, looking at the numbers as we just have, I feel confident that our resurgent D can shut down the running game and put sufficient pressure on the passing attack that we can keep their point total low.  Add in healthy doses of Jahvid Best, Kevin Riley, and Marv Jones and you have the recipe for a delicious strudel.  Also, victory. 

But man am I hungry for strudel now!  GO BEARS!

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