Behind the Boxscore: LSU v WVU

Not the first turnover of the night (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images).

Hey, we're finally getting back on a regular editorial schedule!  I finally do another Behind the Boxscore...

6.  The number of punts downed inside the 20.  It's hard to boil down just how great of a game Brad Wing had to one number.  But 6 punts inside the 20, 5 of them inside the 10, and 4 inside the 5 is a good place to start.  Usually, when a guy has a bunch of punts inside the 20, his total average suffers for fairly obvious reasons.  But not Wing.  He averaged 48.7 yards per punt AND he had 4 punts over 50 yards.  It's hard to say the punter is the MVP, but Wing had one heck of a case.

159.  LSU's advantage in "hidden" special teams yards.  Sure, WVU had 167 yard edge in total offense, an advantage almost completely wiped out by the difference in return yards plus the difference in punting yardage.  How does LSU keep winning, and winning by a lot, with these yardage deficiencies?  Turnovers and special teams. 

5.  Speaking of turnovers, WVU turned the ball over five times.  Twice on fumbles, twice on interceptions, and once on downs.  Ummm... you can't do that.

231.  WVU's yardage totals in the third quarter. I know it's becoming the standard line that LSU gave up yards in exchange for keeping WVU off the scoreboard -- the classic "bend but don't break" philosophy.  That is not what happened.  LSU gave up 231 yards and 14 points, including touchdown drives of 80 and 90 yards, respectively.  LSU gave up a ton of yards that directly resulted in points.  Sure, we made them drive the whole field, but that's a compliment to special teams, not the defense.  The defense played terrible in the third quarter, and it almost turned a rout into a nail-biter.  Luckily, we were saved by a huge kickoff return.  Special teams to the rescue.

3-3.  WVU had three trips to red zone and scored three touchdowns.  Considering WVU was only just above 50% on touchdown conversions in the red zone, this is another defensive failure.  I don't want to be all negative Nancy, but I'm also not going to take it when someone pees on my leg and says it's raining.  The defense had a bad night.  I don't know how else to tell you.  Not horrible, but definitely not up to our lofty standards.

70.  WVU's rushing yards.  OK, after I've said bad things about the defense, let me say something positive -- once again, LSU held a team below 100 rushing yards.  WVU showed almost no commitment to the run, and a good thing for them.  LSU bottled up the running game.  I don't think we can go all year without allowing a 100 yard rushing game, but it's a nice streak. 

65.  WVU's pass attempts.  WVU got off 87 plays, which is a lot, and they threw the ball a ton.  WVU amassed 463 yards of passing offense, but Geno Smith's ATVSQBPI was a pedestrian 6.53.  That's good, but not eye popping.  The sheer volume of yards had more to do with the sheer number of passing plays than any sort of efficiency.  For a point of reference, Jarrett Lee's ATVSQBPI was 8.17.  So, on average, Lee was worth about a yard and half more per pass attempt.      

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