Reviewing the whole “Tommy loses to Saban; Tommy calls Saban” story, Kevin over at fanblogs.com gives Bowden an excellent piece of advice.
… I would have told him to get the ball to Spiller and Davis more than eight times a game.
Take a peek at this handy-dandy chart:
OPPONENT DAVIS SPILLER Florida State 18 11 Louisiana-Monroe 7 6 Furman 9 9 N.C. State 24 21 Georgia Tech 12 9 Virginia Tech 6 6 Central Michigan 22 15 Maryland 29 17 Duke 8 8 Wake Forest 21 8 Boston College 12 11 USC 23 16 Auburn 23 8 TOTAL 214 139
Does anything stand out against… say… Georgia Tech? Virginia Tech? Boston College? Auburn?
In Clemson’s four losses, either Davis or Spiller had single-digit carries. While that may work out against the Duke’s and FCS teams of the world (where the duo spent more time rooting than rushing), it won’t win you games against quality opponents.
So what did Bowden call against Alabama?
OPPONENT DAVIS SPILLER Alabama 6 2
Bowden didn’t put his team in a position to win because he took the ball out of the hands of his two brightest stars.
It’s not like this was a surprise. So what was he thinking?
Along the same lines, check out the box score from the Tennessee-UCLA game.
|Team Stat Comparison|
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
The UT offensive brain trust, with a QB completing less than fifty percent of his pass attempts, is directing traffic in such a way that the team gains more yardage on a per play basis running the ball than passing it, yet decides to throw the ball eight more plays than it rushes. Again, what in the hell are they thinking?
Is it ego, stubbornness, stupidity or what? At the least, it’s the difference between having an offense with a catchy nickname… and Norm Chow up in the booth constructing a winning gameplan with a bunch of odds and ends.