While charts are useful, sometimes they are just silly ways to look at things you already know. Here are some charts that tell you things that you already know, but in a handy visual way.
What stands out immediately is how similar the 2016 and 2014 version of NT are. The 2014 team was famously shuffling guys in at the QB spot and managed one of the worst offensive seasons in recent memory..
Both squads started with a relatively hyped transfer (2014-Josh Greer, 2016-Alec Morris) before handing major time to a freshman wearing 6 (2014-Dajon Williams, 2016 Mason Fine).
2014: Total Yards Per Play 4.87, Passing YPP 6.27, Rushing YPP 3.89, 27.2 Points PG, Allowing 5.48 YPP and 29.8 PPG
2016: Total YPP 4.92, Passing YPP, 5.78, Rushing YPP 4.14, Allowing 5.48 YPP and 27.1 PPG
It is a bit spooky and a reminder that preseason expectations are everything, and that garbage yards and points confuse things. That 2014 team was awful on offense and only managed to score against UAB, and Indiana when the game was well settled. Also, there was that huge 74-point win over Nicholls that padded the stat line.
That said, points count no matter when you score them and the 2015 could not score even in blowouts. That squad failed to muster 20+ points in nine of the twelve games. This year’s team has managed that in five of seven, including scoring at least 35 in each of the four wins.
North Texas is obviously doing better than 2015, but this offense is still struggling. The difference in perception is largely based on expectation. That 2014 underperformed relative to the time the staff had to build the roster and prepare. 2016 NT is a transition year of offense with a shallow depth at OL and a mismatched roster to the scheme.
That means this offense is doing pretty well considering the circumstances.
They also are being helped by the defense. They have kept close at worst, and gotten scores themselves at best. Fine and company do not have to play desperately, and coordinator Graham Harrell can be patient with the run game.
Here are some offensive numbers compared to recent NT history.