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UB Versus: Offense Under the Four Coaches of UB's FBS Era

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UB has been FBS for 16 years and they will be hiring their fifth coach. One coach took a better job while three coaches were sacked for not doing a better job. In this episode, I debunk some ideas of the "awful" 2009 team, the "OL Myth" and show that 2013 and 2014 were some of the best offensive squads in UB history.

Vaughn Ridley

1) Points Scored and Allowed

Both Gill's and Quinn's teams scored about 24 points and allowed about 29 points a game. Overall, Gill improved the Bulls by 71% over the Hofher Bulls while Quinn's Bulls were 5% worse than the Gill Bulls.

2) Offensive Effectiveness

Gill improved offensive effectiveness every year as a coach. Quinn's 2010 team was one of the least effective offenses in UB FBS history.

  • Whether you subscribe to cupboard is bare or not, there is no excuse for the 2010 team to have worse numbers than the 2000 team.
  • It's interesting as I heard this week about how poor the 5-7 2009 team performed. The graph below shows they performed better than 2008 and 2013, even without James Starks.
  • The offense under Quinn and Licata has improved immensely but we're left to wonder how good the two could have been over the next 1.5 seasons together.

Yards Per 1999-2014

3) TD/INT

TD/INT had a moderate correlation with wins at UB. UB's two bowl seasons both saw QBs throw 15+ more TDs than INTs. The three next-best seasons, 2007, 2009 and 2012 all saw at least five more TDs than INTs.

4) Completion % and Yards Per Completion

The west coast offense graph.

  • During the Gill era you see the high completion rate and the low yards per completion of a west coast offense or a spread screen offense.
  • During most of the Quinn era, completion rate fell, but yards per completion increased, signs of a more aggressive pass game which you can see in Chart 2: Yards per Dropback, didn't exceed Gill's offense until 2013.
  • In 2011, Chazz Anderson had a high completion rate with low yards per completion, which shows me Quinn wasn't sure where he was going as an offense in 2011, OR Chazz liked to check it down.
  • In 2013, Licata matched Maynard 2009 in YPC and completion %, and in 2014, Licata surpassed him, he is having the best season of any UB QB as he's able to complete over 60% of his passes, and each catch is gaining about 12 yards.

5) OL myth

There is a prevailing notion that 2010 was doomed due to poor depth on the Offensive Line, however:

  • Gill inherited an Offensive Line that surrendered a sack for every 9 dropbacks and ran for 4.09 yards per carry.
  • In 2009, the offensive line surrendered a sack for every 21 dropbacks (at the time 2nd best in UB's FBS era) and led the team to UB's (still) FBS-best 5.08 yards per carry.
  • Quinn comes in, the sack rate jumps to one for every 16 dropbacks, and the yards per carry plummets to 3.79 (second worst in UB's FBS era) yards per carry.
  • Then, in 2011, when BO started to turn heads and the yards per carry increased to 4.84, the sack rate increased again: one sack for every 10.2 dropbacks, 3rd worst in UB's FBS era.
  • I'm putting the OL myth on Quinn:
  1. First, his insistence on having one feature back, even when that back has a poor matchup, hurts the OL.
  2. The low completion numbers in 2010 suggest the offense was put in more obvious passing situations, and
  3. The increased yards per completion suggest longer developing routes, which put more pressure on the O

I believe in his haste to put in his system, he had blockers used to running the west coast and the screen game. Instead of blocking for two seconds or less, they were blocking for three or more seconds, and it didn't work. It wasn't broke, and Quinn's fix just did more harm.

6) Developing the Big 3

Both Gill and Quinn did a good job in developing a #1 QB, a #1 RB and a #1 WR.

  • Hofher could not find a QB and it was his downfall.
  • Gill developed Willy, Starks and Roosevelt, but also reloaded with Maynard, Nduka and Roosevelt
  • Quinn will be remembered for the big 3, Licata, BO and Neutz

7) Play Per TD

How deadly has UB's offense been? 2014 is the most deadly, with 17.7 plays run between TDs.

8) Attendance

I've seen improved attendance lofted as a sign that the program is better off today, and I agree, however those gains can be traced to the hire of Danny White, not Jeff Quinn.

  • Gill's first game at UB was the highest attended game at UB Stadium
  • Despite most coaches experiencing a "new coach high" Quinn didn't inspire one:
  • Gill's 2006 Highest game was 16k over 2006 median attendance
  • Hofher's 2001 Highest game was 12k over the 2001 median attendance
  • Cirbus's 1999 Highest game was 8k over the 1999 median attendance
  • Quinn's 2010 Highest game was 7k over the 2010 median attendance

UB Attend 1999-2014

9) Win%

Quinn only improved Gill's win percentage in one area, home win percentage. In Home wins vs FBS teams, MAC wins, FBS wins and overall wins, UB's program has failed to maintain their momentum from the Gill era.

To match Gill's momentum, Quinn should have had three more FBS wins and two more in the MAC.

That would've meant wins over Army, Bowling Green and EMU, UB would be 6-1, (3-0) with a two-game advantage on Bowling Green and Ohio, and a one-game advantage on Akron with Akron having to come to UB Stadium later in the year.