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Tuesday Muse-day 10/8: It Could Be Worse

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In which we talk capes, Boilermakers, and Tulsa.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

*sigh*.

Game Recap in Three Sentences

Despite numerous wide-open drops, UNC quarterback Sam Howell torched the Jackets to the tune of 376 passing yards and 4 TDs.

Tech’s defense couldn’t get themselves off the field as UNC ran 97 offensive plays.

James Graham started at QB for the Jackets for the first time and had himself an okay game throwing for 171 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs, and adding 48 more yards on the ground.

Uniform Rating

2.8/3 stripes.

I think I’m in the minority here at FTRS when it comes to these uniforms, but I’m absolutely in love with them. I know they aren’t our colors, but the gold and grey just look sooo good together. They’re sleek, they’re cool, and they’re for a great cause. I’d love to see us wear these once every season. I beg you to imagine: November 2022, #6 UGA travels to #5 Georgia Tech, 8:00 kickoff, College GameDay, whiteout, C A P E U N I F O R M S.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

ATLeast We Ain’t Them of the Week

Purdue.

Our engineering brethren were soundly defeated by Penn State 35-7, but the box score is way more gruesome than the score implies. Purdue managed just 104 total yards, mostly due to the fact that they gained an incredibly -19 yards rushing. They also finished the day 1-14 on third down, which is just brutal. That is *chef’s kiss* flawless Big 10 offense right there.

Above The Line of the Week

  • James Graham. Not an incredible game, but a #GriT-y one that impressed me. Hopefully we get to see him solidify his starting role as the season progresses.
  • David Curry. With 16 tackes, he was all over the field on Saturday making plays.
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This one is obvious.

Stat of the Week

50%.

This is the rate at which UNC converted 3rd and 8+s on Saturday (5/10). I think this speaks volumes about our defense when you put it next to the 19 total third downs UNC faced. This validates something that I’ve anecdotally been noticing: we are pretty good at getting opponents into third down situations and really bad at letting them get out. It feels like we often allow long drives where our opponents are converting 3 or 4 third downs in a row.

To put this number into perspective, allowing a 50% overall 3rd down conversion rate would put you at 115th best in the country (out of 130), and we somehow allowed it on just third and longs for this game. In no world should you be letting your opponents have a coin flip’s chance at converting 3rd and long. Taking a look at some aggregate data, an average team will allow a converted 3rd and 8 about 32% of the time. And this is an average team mind you; right now the top 30 defenses hold their opponents to under 32% conversion on all third downs. The Temple defense that CGC built his legacy on is allowing a 25% conversion rate right now.

5 Star (7 Star, 5 Star) Developmental Program Haiku of the Week

Where can I find joy

Jackets make me feel empty

I’m not having fun

It Could be Worse

Obviously this season is bad, but let us be reminded of the myriad ways it could be worse by taking a look at some of the grossest situations around the country.

Tennessee

I mean, duh. The Vols had one of the more embarrassing losses of the season so far against Georgia State and then immediately followed it up with an overtime loss to BYU. In conference play they’ve been trainwrecked by Florida and Georgia, with a total margin of 17-77. Yuck. FPI has them favored against only UAB and Vanderbilt on their remaining schedule, with no other matchup even crossing a 36% win probability. For the perennial “are they good this year?” team, 2019’s answer is a resounding “no, go home and lie down”.

UMass

My geographically-chosen second team, the Minutemen are having a very bad time this year. They have the honor of giving up the most points so far in 2019 at an astounding 46.7 per game. If that number holds it’ll be the second worst over the last five years. Yes our defense is frustrating to watch, but I’d imagine watching your team give up 528 yards per game is a real sight to behold.

Rutgers

Yes, the Scarlet Knights did in fact beat UMass in their opener, but since then they’ve managed to score a preposterous 4.6 points-per-game and have been shut out twice (Iowa 30-0, Michigan 52-0). Looking at the rest of their season, there’s a very real chance with Ohio State, Michigan State, and Penn State looming (good god, can you imagine how brutal it is to play these three in a row to end your season?), that Rutgers gets blanked 5 times in a single season. Yes we almost got bageled by Temple, but at least our schedule is “easy” enough in that only UGA has a real shot at actually shutting us out.

Tusla

Here’s a team I guarantee you haven’t ever thought about. The Golden Hurricanes are averaging 95.6 penalty yards per game (10.6 penalties per game). I honestly think you have to be trying to earn this many penalties.

New Mexico State

Not only are the Aggies 0-6, they have managed to lose 17 total turnovers doing it. They’ve given up 3+ turnovers in all but one of their six games. Imagine watching your team and knowing that they’re going to turn the ball over three times? Yikes.