UCLA's Over-reliance on the Kicking Game? Let's Check the Numbers

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

In Nestor's main Spaulding Roundup thread for the day, 84 commented about how the production from our top receiver this year would be perhaps fourth- or fifth-best elsewhere in the league. KnudsenRockne then pointed out that our offense the last two years has had nearly equal amounts of TDs and FGs. I wanted to see how our offensive production (if you can call it that) stacked up over the last few years, so I used a great site I found called site to look at our TD/FG totals back to 2004, and then looked at Stanford's for the same time, just as a comparison.

2004  45 TD/15 FG, 6-6
2005  62 TD/13 FG, 10-2 (MJD alone 20 TD)
2006  31 TD/28 FG, 7-6
2007  31 TD/25 FG, 6-7
2008  22 TD/18 FG, 4-8
2009  27 TD/28 FG, 7-6
2010  20 TD/10 FG, 3-5 so far

2004  28 TD/16FG, 4-7
2005  32 TD/15 FG, 5-6
2006  15 TD/8 FG, 1-11
2007  27 TD/15 FG, 4-8
2008  39 TD/14 FG, 5-7
2009  59 TD/16 FG, 8-5 (Gerhart alone 28 TD)
2010  43 TD/13 FG, 7-1 so far

When I started this, I thought I'd see a reasonable correlation between a higher proportion of TDs and overall record. I'm surprised to find that doesn't seem to be the case, barring seasons with superstar RBs. So, I thought I'd try a couple of different ways of looking at it. More after the jump.

Looking at the entire Pac-10 back to 2004, here are each team's totals from the season(s) they had the most FGs during that time (years not specifically noted). In parentheses are the number of TDs they scored during that season. Multiple TD totals in parentheses mean the team had the same high-FG total multiple times.

Arizona    21 (39 TD)
ASU        24 (50 TD)
Cal          15 (54 TD, 48 TD, 54 TD again)
Oregon    23 (49 TD)
OSU        22 (49 TD, 46 TD)
UCLA      28 (31 TD, 27 TD)
$c           16 (54 TD, 50 TD, 64 TD)
Stanford  16 (28 TD, 59 TD)
UW         18 (37 TD)
WSU       14 (38 TD, 47 TD)

OK, that made the contrast between FG and TD a bit more obvious, as when the other nine teams had high FG totals, their TD totals went way up. The last thing I looked at was the number of seasons a Pac-10 team has had with 18+ FG since 2004 - sixty "team-seasons" worth. The list, again with years ignored other than ours:

18 FG: 2008 UCLA (22 TD), UW (37 TD), ASU (43 TD), Oregon (71 TD)
19 FG: ASU (31 TD), OSU (43 TD), Oregon (61 TD)
20 FG:
21 FG: OSU (32 TD), Arizona (39 TD)
22 FG: OSU (46 TD), OSU (49 TD)
23 FG: Oregon (49 TD)
24 FG: ASU (50 TD)
25 FG: 2007 UCLA (31 TD)
26 FG:
27 FG:
28 FG: 2009 UCLA (27 TD), 2006 UCLA (31 TD)

I intentionally left in the blanks to preserve the scale. What this screams to me is that even when other Pac-10 teams score a lot of FGs, they score a lot more TDs. For the entire rest of the league, over six years, the smallest TD-to-FG margins were +11, +12, and +14. Our TD-to-FG margins since 2004 are +30, +49, +3, +6, +4, -1, and (so far in 2010) +10.

Kai Forbath is amazing. Justin Medlock before him was excellent as well. However, I think this backs up what many of us have been thinking for a while: over nearly five seasons, with two coaching staffs, we have been way too dependent on the kicking game - or perhaps less confident in our offense than any other team in the league. I'm not saying just go for it on fourth downs and all will be well. I know all about the patchwork OL, KP's playing despite injuries, suspensions, etc, etc, etc. This just highlights to me the difference we've been seeing when we watch the rest of the league play.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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