If you followed our football coverage over the past couple of seasons, you know advanced stat metrics can tell you part of a story, and in the end, basically tell you that something is not working.
Well, after two games, and being outscored 87-21, not much is working for the 2017 Miners.
I take a look at some of the alarming numbers that show this is a serious situation just two games into the season. Still a long ways to go in 2017, but these numbers are things UTEP normally does well under Sean Kugler, but have been grounded with so far.
Now this one is kinda for fun, since anything can happen on Any Given Saturday, right?
Well UTEP is just favored in one game the rest of the way, which is the season at finale according to the S&P+ rankings.
UTEP is basically a double digit underdog the rest of the way according to the S&P+, and there is a four percent chance UTEP goes winless, and 27 percent chance to win 2 or 3 games.
This metric changes weekly, but you see what the computers think about UTEP’s chances the rest of the way and through two weeks. No Bueno, at all.
Offensive rushing success rate
The terms of success in college football: 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth down.
UTEP’s overall rushing success rate is currently at 34.6 percent, which ranks 105th nationally among FBS teams. Basically UTEP’s run game has been completely stalled through the first two weeks.
Normally UTEP has been in the top 60 or 70 or even higher in this department under Sean Kugler’s watch.
Mixed with this is opportunity rate in where the offensive line “does its job”, and UTEP ranks 124thhere. Throw in UTEP’s 22.5 percent stuff rate, meaning UTEP loses or gains nothing per rush 22.5 percent of the time which ranks 97th nationally.
This quickly tells how bad UTEP has been trying to run the football, an identity UTEP wants, but is far from executing any respectable rushing success.
Defensive rushing success rate.
UTEP has the worst defensive success rate in defending the run. Teams are having success on 62.9 percent of run plays, and offensive lines are doing their job on 50.6 percent of run plays, well over the national average.
This basically means UTEP is getting dominated at the point of attack, and not creating any ounce of disruption against the run.
Also, offensive lines are created 3.82 yards per carry on standard downs against the UTEP defense. Not a good formula for success.
Passing success rate
UTEP has been in so many second, and third in long situations this falls on play calling in my eyes.
UTEP has a 28.2 percent passing success rate, ranking 117thnationally. Parlay that with drops, and the four sacks UTEP has given up, and you get a poor passing game overall.
Standard downs success rate
Standard downs are simple, first downs, second-and-7 or fewer, third-and-4 or fewer, and fourth-and-4 or fewer.
As simple as they are, UTEP is one of the worst teams nationally in moving the football in these downs.
31.7 percent success rate on standard downs will keep UTEP in those third and longs and keep punter Alan Luna busy. Again attribute this to game planning, and play calling which has been horrible in the first two weeks outside UTEP’s opening drive of the season against Oklahoma.
Overall defensive havoc rate
It’s imperative that the UTEP defense piles up sacks, and disrupts the run game. Think I wrote something like that in the preseason, but through two weeks, UTEP has the 128th ranked overall havoc rate.
Havoc is the percentage of plays in which a defense either recorded a tackle for loss, forced a fumble, or defensed a pass (intercepted or broken up).
UTEP’s defensive line has a 1.1 percent havoc rate, while the national average is 5.3 percent for defensive lines. Again, not very good.
Having Alvin Jones out for a half didn’t help, but UTEP’s defensive line which looked improved in camp, has been dismal in the first two weeks.
Are there any positives?
Not really, but there are a few things that stand out on the positive side.
· UTEP has been pretty good when they get the ball inside the opponents’ 40-yard line, but getting there has been a major issue.
· Alvin Jones, and Devin Cockrell are making plays out there, and both have a 40 percent defensive success rate, and two run stuffs each. That’s major production despite UTEP’s defensive struggles.
· UTEP’s offensive line is doing really well defending the pass rush in passing down situations.