Dave Doeren in Close Games

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    There was an article on another site about DD’s record in close games. After the BC game, I posted that the win was Dave’s first when trailing at the beginning of the 4th quarter. So, I decided to look at his record in “close” games.

    Criteria: To qualify as a “close” game, I chose that at one point in the 4th quarter, the deficit is no more than 8 points. Only P-5 games are considered. (So, in addition to the 8 conference games, USC, 2 Notre Dame games and 2 SEC bowl opponents were considered.)

    When trailing by 8-1 (the “comeback” win) – 1-13
    When leading 8-1 (leading in the 4th) – 7-2
    When tied (at the beginning of the fourth – 1-0 (Notre Dame, last year.)

    Not close losses: 12
    Not close wins: 7

    It should be noted that 14 of these 24 games have been played in the last 2 years, and as painful as the last 2 years have been, we have performed in more close games, and sadly enough – are getting better at it. Last year, we were 3-3. This year thus far, we’re 5-3. Last year, we were just 3-2 when leading or tied at the beginning of the 4th. This year, we’re 4-0 (in all cases, we have been leading in the 4th).

    Sometimes, you look at numbers expecting to find one thing out – but a true analysis leads you to conclude something different. That’s the case here – I was expecting to find that DD’s teams didn’t fare well in close games. What I am seeing tells me, that all too often, we’re fighting from behind, and if you are trailing in the 4th – you’re probably going to lose.

    The analysis also shows that we’re getting blown out less. Only Louisville and Notre Dame have blown us out the last 2 years (so far.) Also, 2015 was a weird year. We had our highs for both blow out losses AND blow out wins.

    Hopefully, Saturday falls in the blow out win category.

    Anyway, I found this review actually encouraging for our future. Clearly, under DD, we didn’t play a lot of meaningful P-5 games. We are playing a lot more now, and we’re doing better than we did the year before. It may just be part of the “growing” process.


    Thanks Choppack1 that was an encouraging and interesting read. Here is to setting a school record for blow out wins this Saturday. WOLF!


    My second half issues with DD aren’t with the fourth quarter. They’re with the third. We seem to consistently come out flat or “out schemed” by the opposition.

    This is great analysis. I would love to see two additional numbers to go with it:
    – What happened in the third quarter for those variou games?
    – The delta in FGs in the second half. We’ve not made many FGs, but I’d bet we’ve missed some that hurt our chances in our losses.

    We’ve got to get a better place kicker. I’m not sure what we do about the complete vacuum that is halftime.


    I can tell you in the 3rd quarter this year – we have absolutely stunk it up in 3 of our 4 losses. (In the 3 losses before Saturday, we were outscored 42-0 in the 3rd – and we had the ball first in all of them.) Even in our wins this year, we’ve been pretty bad. However, we won the 3rd last week. And last year, we were fine in the 3rd quarter. I’m not sure what’s going on this year, but last year wasn’t like it.

    Regarding FG’s – we have pretty much been bad at them since Slade left. However, Bambard did his job last week. The FG kicking has been among the worst in the country these last 2 years – and I think that something DD’s obviously going to need to fix. Having read some various perspectives from other Pack fans – I saw one that peaked my interest. He was basically saying that a kicking coach should have been a kicker at some or another since it’s a very unique position. I don’t want to get sidetracked – but I can tell you from personal experience in my golf game that if you can understand what causes the hooks, slices, etc – it goes a long way to fixing them. You’ll still mess up from time and time again, but you can correct it – and understand what you need to do to be effective. Again, I’m not sure that this analysis is even missing, but that’s a hairbrained theory I have developed.

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