The Postseason Meal Part 6: Game-By-Game Recap

Scott Cunningham

The Postseason Meal will have to sustain us all until the Bulls return to Columbus, Ohio in 2013. The goal of the postseason meal is to Hydrate, Nutritionate and Reflect on the season that was.


Time for the agonizing Game-By-Game, Play-By-Play analysis of the 2012 season. Today Games 1-4.

To analyze the season, I evaluated every play this season on 3 measures. 1st, Progress towards a first down (PT1) evaluated how good we were at achieving a first down by dividing yards gained by yards to go for a first down (example 8 yards gained on 1st and 10 would yield 80%).

The PT1 measure skewed the data in certain situations, like when we allowed a 50 yard touchdown run on 3rd and 1, the resulting percent is (50/1) 5000%. To deemphasize the effect of long gains during short-yardage situations, I adjusted the data to create a 2nd measure, Progress towards a first down adjusted (PT1A). In this measure, data was capped at 100% and floored at -100%.

The final measure, Progress towards a touchdown (PTTD) divides each play by the distance to a touchdown. A 10 yard gain from the 40-yard line (going in) would yield 25%, from your own 40, the same 10 yard gain (10/60) would yield 16.67%


Game 6: Northern Illinois (45-3 loss)
Offensive Performance: #10
Defensive Performance: #11
Overall Performance: #12

The worst game of the year was NIU, the game so bad many die hard fans could only bear 1 half of the torture.

Progress towards a 1st down:
Offense: 57.1% (10th)
Defense: 95% (8th)

Each play gained 57% of what was needed to get a first down, which was one of only 3 times we were held under 70% this season, meanwhile, NIU gained 95% per play.

Progress towards a 1st down adjusted:
Offense: 34.9% (11th)
Defense: 45.3% (11th)

Taking out the big plays, both our offense and defense put on their 2nd worst performance of the year.

Progress towards a Touchdown:
Offense: 9.23% (9th)
Defense: 24.6% (12th)

Most telling is progress towards a touchdown, each UB play gained about 9% of the yardage needed for a TD, NIU meanwhile was almost 3 times better, gaining almost 25% of what they needed to score a TD each play.

High and Low Lights:
1st Quarter
6th Worst Defensive Performance
7 Points Allowed
PT1: 146.7%
PT1A: 57.6%
PTTD: 16.9%

The game started bad with UB unable to get off the field on defense. UB allowed a 6 yard gain on 3rd and 1, a 10 yard gain on 2nd and 3, a 7 yard gain on 4th and 1, and a 12 yard gain on 2nd and 8.

These plays led to a remarkably high 146.7 PT1 in the first quarter.

2nd Quarter
3rd Worst Defensive Performance:
21 Points Allowed
PT1: 117.2%
PT1A: 59.8%
PTTD: 44.02%

UB was slightly better at preventing the first down in the second, but much worse at preventing the touchdown. 12 out of 21 plays in the 2nd quarter gained 50% or more yards needed to score a touchdown. NIU also enjoyed big gains of 17, 32, 18, 21, 40 and 45 yards in the quarter.

3rd Quarter
10th worst defensive performance
14 Points Allowed
PT1: 91.4%
PT1A: 43.7%
PTTD: 23.79%

The defense played better, but were taken down by the first play of the quarter, a 43 yard touchdown strike and the last play of the quarter, a 28 yard touchdown.

4th Quarter
7th Best Defensive Performance
3 Points Allowed
PT1: 17.2%
PT1A: 15.1%
PTTD: 7.32%

10th Worst Offensive Performance
0 Points Scored
PT1: 37.4%
PT1A: 24.9%
PTTD: 10.31%

With the game out of hand, neither team did much on offense, leading to one of UB's statistically best defensive quarters, but also one of their worst offensive quarters.

Game 3: Kent State (23-7 loss)
Offensive Performance: #11
Defensive Performance #10
Overall Performance: #11

Another dreadful game to watch, was it just the pain of the hype crashing down? No, it was statistically the 2nd worse game we played all year.

Progress towards a 1st down:
Offense: 56.0% (11th)
Defense: 110.6% (10th)

UB did not get first downs, Kent State did, and with an average over 100%, they did it with big plays and constant conversions.

Progress towards a 1st down adjusted:
Offense: 35.1% (10th)
Defense: 41.4% (8th)

Progress towards a Touchdown:
Offense: 6.82% (12th)
Defense: 14.6% (8th)

UB scored once, via Hail Mary. Outside of that play, we made little to no progress towards scoring a touchdown on the day.

High and Low Lights:
2nd Quarter
8th Worst Defensive Performance:
10 Points Allowed
PT1: 146.2%
PT1A: 50.9%
PTTD: 16.73%

On their second play of the quarter, Kent converted a 2nd and 4 with a 57 yard gain. Kent converted 8 first downs in the quarter.

4th Quarter
4th Worst Offensive Performance
0 Points Scored
PT1: 33.1%
PT1A: 22.3%
PTTD: 4.46%

Down 13-7, UB was in the game in the fourth quarter. The defense played well statistically despite allowing 10 points, it was the offense, that failed us, making almost no progress towards scoring that go ahead touchdown. UB ran 12 plays on offense in the 4th quarter, 8 of those plays were for a loss or no gain.

Game 7: Pittsburgh (20-6 loss)
Offensive Performance: #9
Defensive Performance #7
Overall Performance: #10

A dull game, but surprisingly poor performance by the defense in another game that seemed hopeless due to no offensive progress.

Progress towards a 1st down:
Offense: 73.2% (8th)
Defense: 69.4% (5th)

Progress towards a 1st down adjusted:
Offense: 38.7% (6th)
Defense: 43.3% (9th)

Progress towards a Touchdown:
Offense: 9.21% (10th)
Defense: 14.7% (9th)

High and Low Lights:
1st Quarter
10th Worst Offensive Performance:
0 Points Scored
PT1: 54.5%
PT1A: 32.1%
PTTD: 6.34%

Again no progress towards the TD, no points scored, no victory.

3rd Quarter
9th Worst Defensive Performance
7 Points Allowed
PT1: 86.9%
PT1A: 47.4%
PTTD: 20.02%

Pittsburgh's 12 play 75-yard TD drive seals the game. The worst moment: giving up 25 yards on 3rd and 14.

Game 1: Georgia (45-23 loss)
Offensive Performance: #5
Defensive Performance #12
Overall Performance: #9

Lost beneath the impressive showing by UB's offense, UB's defense provided no resistance to the Georgia offensive attack.

Progress towards a 1st down:
Offense: 77.7% (6th)
Defense: 113.9% (11th)

Progress towards a 1st down adjusted:
Offense: 40.8% (5th)
Defense: 49.9% (12th)

Progress towards a Touchdown:
Offense: 16.87% (2nd)
Defense: 17.34% (12th)

High and Low Lights:
1st Quarter
7th Worst Defensive Performance:
14 Points Allowed
PT1: 95.5%
PT1A: 47.3%
PTTD: 19.54%

Granted 7 of the 14 points were via kick return, Georgia still gained a ridiculous amount of yards per play.

2nd Quarter
7th Best Offensive Performance:
10 Points Scored
PT1: 114.3%
PT1A: 45.9%
PTTD: 23.78%

UB actually outplayed UGA's 1st quarter offense, with 10 points, and great progress towards a TD, ending up with 10 points, probably 14 had there been 30 more seconds on the clock.

3rd Quarter
3rd Worst Offensive Performance
0 Points Scored
PT1: 27.3%
PT1A: 19%
PTTD: 2.46%

I wrote after the game that UB seemed to have no interest in trying to win this game in the second half. The stats back this up, UB put out their 3rd worst offensive quarter of the year. UB gained more than 4 yards on 3 of 12 plays in the quarter, and converted only 1 first down. The furthest they moved was to their own 34 yard line.

4th Quarter
2nd Worst Defensive Performance
14 Points Allowed
PT1: 187.1%
PT1A: 65.8%
PTTD: 26.6%

In the fourth, Georgia had one play gain no yardage, and 15 plays that gained positive yardage. On top of that, they gained 5 or more yards 10 times in the quarter and had big gains of 12, 14, 21, 55.

The All-Basketball Football Team of the Year


Power Forward: Using power and skill, can dominate the game and create matchup nightmares for opponents.


video and audio via ubathletics.buffalo.edu

Power Forward of the Year: Steven Means
If I had a dollar for every time Steven Means was lined up at the line, yet made a tackle 10 or more yards downfield, I'd have enough for a date at the movies. Means was a team player by always being in position and never taking a play off, he helped Khalil Mack and Colby Way have statistically amazing seasons.

6th Man: The man who comes off the bench, but is entrusted to lead the team whenever he is called upon.


video and audio via ubathletics.buffalo.edu

6th Man of the Year: Joe Licata: Came off the bench 5 times this year, and started 4 times due to injury. Licata led the Bulls to 3 victories late in the season, with some of the most impressive QB play UB experienced all year.

Hero of the Year: #2 Solid Starters

Alex Neutz, Andre Davis, Jansen Carlson, Trevor Sales, Graham Whinery, Gokhan Ozkan, Branden Oliver, Steven Means, Colby Way, Khalil Mack, Lee Skinner, Cortney Lester and Najja Johnson.

These 13 starters only missed 9 starts this season (Oliver - 6, Neutz-1, Mack-1, Lester-1).

Alex Neutz had one of the best receiving seasons in UB history.

The UB offensive line continued to pave lanes for running backs whether it was Branden Oliver or Rashad Jean. I think I could have ran for 100 yards on 25 carries behind this line.

Branden Oliver when healthy, showed he is the #1 back in the MAC with big games over Morgan State and Miami.

Steven Means 77 tackles, 11 TFLs, 6.5 sacks and 3 blocked kicks.

Colby Way 58 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 7 sacks an INT and a Fumble Recovery.

Khalil Mack 94 tackles, 21 TFLs, 8 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and a blocked kick.

Lee Skinner 89 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, 5 sacks, and a forced fumble.

Cortney Lester 39 tackles, 4 interceptions 10 passes defended.

Najja Johnson 43 tackles, 5 interceptions, 11 passes defended.
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