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Total Offense


All Conference
Aug 26, 2011
every offense in the world could say this. have accurate passers, good blockers, open receivers, athletic tight ends, few penalties, and few turnovers and we'll be all set

do we have those things?
I'm just really hoping that Rahme and the coaches are right as far as the accurate quarterback goes, if he's as good at running this offense as they claim he now is - then this offense should take a major step forward - that is IF the OLine is also as good as is being claimed/assumed. The OL is supposed to be a big strength this year, and yet there were often reports that the undersized D was giving them all they could handle in the spring and during fall camp. I have confidence in the TEs, WR and RB spots - I hope what I'm hearing about QB is true, but I'm in wait and see mode with the OL. If they are even close to as good as advertised, then I expect the offense to take a large step forward this year - moving up into the 60s nationally.


Living Legend
Aug 30, 2011
every offense in the world could say this. have accurate passers, good blockers, open receivers, athletic tight ends, few penalties, and few turnovers and we'll be all set

do we have those things?

To go to the next level these are the things we need done because right now we can't just show up and win. Does SU have them, I think there will be improvement in all these areas and having some of the players be in this offense for 3 years will show this year. I'm not saying 500 yards and 38 points a game but fewer blown opportunities and it's amazing how productive a team can be with some non blown assignments. I think the staff and players have worked hard and this will show this fall.


Aug 27, 2011
Thanks for the stats and analysis. The BE was heavy defense last year. I agree about that WVU offense- underachieved and now they have Holgerson. Pitt brought in an offensive minded head coach. Rutgers fell off a cliff offensively and now they have a new OC. And I agree that this year some of the defenses may be a little down. This could be a good year for SUs offense to make significant strides.

quote="sutomcat, post: 3966"]Here is how Big East schools ranked in total defense in 2010:

TCU 1st (something to look forward to)
WVU 4th
Syracuse 7th
Pittsburgh 8th
UL 14th
USF 17th
UConn 58th
Cincinnati 63rd
Rutgers 65th

Here is how Big East schools ranked in total offense in 2010:

TCU 12 (sigh)
Cincinnati 32nd
WVU 67th
UL 71st
Pitt 72nd
UConn 96th
Syracuse 97th
USF 105th
Rutgers 114th (worst BCS offense in the country)

Why did BE defenses do so well and BE offenses so poorly?

Part of it is because the top defenses in the conference were really well coached and legitimately good. Jeff Casteel of WVU, Scott Shafer of Syracuse and Charley Strong of UL are among the finest defensive minds in college coaching right now.

But a bigger part of this was because the BE had a number of really bad offensive teams last year.

SU put in a new offense and became one dimensional and easy to defend once injuries took their toll early
Pitt had a poor OC and a new QB who really struggled despite being surrounded by top notch skilled players
USF put in a new offense that their QB was not well suited for
UConn had a fine RB and OL but average WRs and poor QB play
UL had a good RB, a good senior based OL and decent WRs and QB play
WVU had a good QB, a good OL and a bunch of fine veteran skilled players but was held back by some horrible coaching
Rutgers had a great group of WRs, who mostly got hurt playing other positions, and nothing else (no D1 QBs, RBs, or offensive linemen). They were also extremely poorly coached
Even UC, blessed with a top QB, a couple of top WRs and one of the best RBs in the countrt, had a bunch of injuries, most notably to their veteran QB, and suffered through some questionable coaching

If BE teams had to face good BCS level offenses on a regular basis, I think you can argue that their defensive rankings would have been at least 20 places higher across the board (except for Rutgers, who was the worst BCS defense in the country even beforehand).

Given that, how will BE defenses do this year compared to last?

WVU had some major losses on defense but played a lot of players, have a lot of talent returning and they have Casteel back coaching that unit. They will probably step back a bit but still be a fine defense.

Syracuse's should definitely be worse, not that it matters when projecting how the SU offense might do. But the overall athletic ability on the unit improves and Shafer has a track record that indicates he can be successful with inexperienced personnel. Should still be an above average unit.

Pitt returns some quality players on defense. They had some significant losses but have a good stockpile of talent and should be quite good. They are changing their scheme from 4-3 to 3-4 and they will probably cause some problems. Overall, they will be good but not as strong as they were last season.

UL had major graduation losses. They have some promising young players who will likely be thrust into major roles early. Will probably struggle a lot early but come on strong down the stretch. Overall, this unit will be significantly weaker than last season.

USF had some major graduation losses but returns a lot of talent. Should be good, probably a little weaker than last year but not much worse. Still a good unit, and clearly better than UL.

UConn finished last year surprisingly low in total defense. They have a lot of experience coming back and it looks like they are going to use the same schemes as last year. I think they will be very good, at least as good as last year and probably quite a bit better than they were.

Cincinnati returns almost everyone from last year, and there is generally major improvement from year one to year two with a new staff. They should be significantly better on defense in 2011.

Rutgers should still be bad on defense, probably about as bad as they were last year.

What does all this mean? Of the 7 teams SU plays in conference play, 2 should be better (one marginally), one should be about the same and 4 should be weaker. In terms of OOC opponents, there isn't much to be in awe of.

No great defenses in play...WF was awful last year (101st in total defense) and while they will be improved, they are still learning the 3-4 scheme they started to implement in the middle of last season, are still playing a lot of youngsters and we are fortunately playing them early, when they will be at their worst. Toledo had a surprisingly good defense but no great shakes (56th in total defense playing mostly against MAC competition), Tulane finished 74th in total defense against weak competition (they almost lost to Rutgers), USC finished 84th (against admittedly very good offenses) and Rhode Island is...well...Rhode Island.

Last year, BC had a very good defense (13th in total defense), Washington was a little ranked better than USC (70th), Akron was 99th and Colgate and Maine were Colgate and Maine.

Overall, I think the defenses we will face OOC are about the same. We lose a big offensive day against a FCS school but don't have to play a defense like BC's. Maybe things will be a little tougher for us this year...Akron, Colgate and Maine were all really awful last year while only Rhode Island should be at that level this season.

Finishing in the top 40 in the country would be a remarkable turnaround. In the BE , only UC did that last year and they were loaded with top notch skilled players. A more realistic goal would be to finish somewhere in the top 60 or 70. That would still be, IMHO, an excellent achievement and should ensure we have a winning season and another bowl bid. I am guessing we end up around 70th. Time will tell.[/quote]

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