Boom’s five factors

Agent Muschamp has a vision, y’all.

South Carolina’s coaching staff has identified five factors it believes are critical to the Gamecocks’ success on the field. The 2018 season proved their point, head coach Will Muschamp said.

In the seven games South Carolina won three or more of its critical factors, it won. In the six games it lost, it did not.

“That’s indicative of kind of how we were, very inconsistent at times,” Muschamp said.

Again this year, starting with the spring practice, the Gamecocks will pour their energy into coming out on top of each of these five factors — turnover margin, explosive plays, field position, red zone and the fourth quarter.

No real shock there, but if you look at Muschamp’s career, one of those factors towers over the rest.  And don’t think he doesn’t know it.

The Gamecocks’ No. 1 emphasis throughout spring practice and much of fall camp will be reversing their turnover fortunes. South Carolina was 101st in the country last year in turnover margin, giving the ball away 21 times and only getting it back 16 times. The Gamecocks had finished in the nation’s top 25 in turnover margin the previous two seasons.

“It’s not something we don’t always emphasize, but it obviously really hurt us last year,” Muschamp said.

When his teams excel in turnover margin, they generally do well.  Those regression to the mean seasons are a bitch, though.  And since you can only do so much to control turnover margin, it makes it a little difficult to handicap South Carolina’s 2019 chances.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Boom’s five factors

  1. Atticus

    Turnovers are an interesting stat. I would be curious to track coaching staffs and its emphasis and technique to who is excelling. Can you really coach to get takeaways and not fumble or throw INTs, I would say so. However if you are coaching the same every year and the team/program is not consistently doing so from year to year, what is the variable? Players.

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    • Bill Connelly’s done some good stuff on that. Some turnovers are more the result of design than luck — best example of that I can think of is that there’s much higher probability of recovering a fumble behind the line of scrimmage than elsewhere, which makes sense when you consider the numbers game.

      The only program in recent memory I can think of that was crazy good on turnover margin year after year was Pete Carroll’s USC. Otherwise, regression to the mean appears to be the rule.

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      • Recall that Steele also uses regression to the mean in projecting for teams that were very high, or low, the season prior. This indicates he feels TOs are more happen chance than something you can bank on. Teams which get good penetration from their defenses can certainly capitalize on miscues that occur around the ball, as can defenses who really swarm the ball regardless of where it is.

        Kirby’s comments about getting after the QB this year may fit well into increasing TOs for UGA this season. We have the talent up front this season to be more aggressive if they will let them take some chances and not play read and react.

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  2. Atticus

    ** best example of that I can think of is that there’s much higher probability of recovering a fumble behind the line of scrimmage than elsewhere, which makes sense when you consider the numbers game.**

    That is somewhat what I was thinking. And how do you get behind the line of scrimmage? With better players or better technique. I will take better players every time. Pete Carroll had a lot of NFL players on those defenses. But it also depends upon how attacking or disruptive you want to be. If you play bend but don’t break I would assume you would have less. More aggressive and risk taking I think those numbers go up. Same with the QB and protecting the ball.

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  3. TomReagan

    When his teams excel in turnover margin, they generally do well.

    As does every other team in football.

    As to the turnover margin, defense is one aspect, but so is offense. You don’t just have to get the ball, you have to hold onto it.

    Having said that, I wonder if anyone’s ever done an analysis of whether my statement above is correct. Is it about margin or just takeaways?

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  4. TomReagan

    When his teams excel in turnover margin, they generally do well.

    Which makes them just like every other team in football. 😉

    I wonder if anyone’s looked at whether turnover margin or takeways themselves are a better indicator?

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    • Last years number two team in turnover margin nationally was… Kansas.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 79Dawg

        Lies, damn lies, and statistics… Among the other 9 teams in the Top 10 in turnover margin, 8 won 10+ games and the other won 9….

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        • I was responding to “Which makes them just like every other team in football, but you do you, fella.

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          • TomReagan

            I didn’t mean to bold that or to be a smartass, but it damn sure looks like I was. Turnovers are the great equalizer for any underdog.

            Now let me hop back on my smartass horse and point out that Kansas won as many games last year as they had in the three previous years combined, and tripled their win total from the year before. 😉

            But Kansas did only win three games and your point is well taken, but I think what we’re talking about is how much turnover margin skews a record from what it otherwise would be. For all I know Kansas may not have won any games with an equal or negative turnover margin.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Russ

        I heard they had trouble controlled 4th quarter, though.

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  5. UGA '97

    Defense & depth. Qb shouldn’t have been turning it over as a junior, with play majers like Bentley is a lost cause and too late to fix.

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  6. 81Dog

    Not surprised Boom overlooked the most critical metric: points. They won 100% of the games they exceeded their opponent in this Stat. Maybe Boom should take Sabremetrics for Dummies, or middle school math.

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    • stoopnagle

      #analysis

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      • 81Dog

        You can’t get this level of quality just anyplace. I expect an offer to be on Tony Barnhart’s next podcast, on which he will hear me lay down this take, and then ask in stunned amazement if I’m a wizard.

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  7. ChiliDawg

    In the seven games South Carolina won three or more of its critical factors, it won. In the six games it lost, it did not.

    I broke down and laughed when I read this because I could only read it as “in the seven games South Carolina scored more points than the other team, they won. In the six games it lost it did not.”

    I mean, boy is Chump in trouble when he’s selling wisdom like that.

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  8. If you listen very closely…”sc will turn the ball over during their explosive play calling giving the opposition good field position in the red zone all during the 4th quarter”…is what Boom said!

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