Thursday, February 16, 2006

Quick hits | by Pat

A few things to get you through the day...

Mr. Minnesota

Incoming offensive lineman Matt Carufel brought home the Mr. Football award for his home state of Minnesota. It's only the second year for this particular honor, but it is still an impressive accomplishment and just another bullet point on an already loaded football resume.

"It's kind of an upset," Raiders coach Mike Scanlan said afterward. "Linemen don't win these awards very often."

There were 10 finalists, all seniors, and two of them -- running backs Jake Machacek of Eastview and Anthony Christensen of Two Harbors -- rang up single-season rushing totals last fall that rank among the five highest in the history of Minnesota high school football.

That Carufel was picked ahead of them for the Mr. Football Award is an indication of just how dominant he was in the trenches. His efforts on both the offensive and defensive lines played a big part in Cretin-Derham's success last fall.
Really, this offensive line class is just about topping out the scales on the expectations-meter. It should be a lot of fun to watch them fight for playing time and see which ones make the quickest impact.

Third Down Data

Brian over at MGoBlog did a fantastic stats job on a interweb widget that lets you pick your team and see a graphical represenation of their third down efficiency on both offense and defense. Kudos to Brian.

Checking out the results of the Irish, the offense, as one might expect, is above the national average in efficiency at every distance from 3rd and 1 to 3rd and 15, save for a little dip around 3rd and 14.5. Obviously Weis is going to have to spend time with Quinn to correct that 3rd and 14.5 deficiency.

The defensive numbers are a bit more interesting. ND was a bit less efficient than the national average on the 3rd and 1 situations, but then did a much better job in the 3rd and short (read: 2-6 yards). The Irish performed worse than the national average on the 3rd and 7 to 3rd and 10 range (thank you, Mr. Mobile Quarterback?) but once again out-performed the averages once the third down yardage was over 10 yards.

All and all an interesting look at how the Irish stack up with the rest of the country on the all-important 3rd down.