State In The Stats – At The Break
At the bye week, after five weeks of the season, let's revisit where State now stands in the national rankings of these key statistical categories.
Again, bright green numbers mean top 25% of FBS; dark green, 26–50%; dark red, 51–74%; bright red, bottom 25%
The bright red numbers from three weeks ago are gone, as you might expect after the offensive numbers State put up in the Miami game even in a loss. The rushing numbers still leave a lot to be desired. Despite the emergence of Shadrach Thornton as another viable option in the backfield, there seems to be relatively little urgency on Dana Bible's part to invest in building up a running attack that's not already established. That State is able to move the ball through the air effectively without the complimentary running game makes that an understandable position.
Concerning is the fact State's scoring offense isn't keeping pace with their total offensive numbers and is below average relative to the rest of FBS.
Just as that Miami game boosted State's offensive numbers, it punched a big fat hole in State's passing defensive stats. But in the defensive stat that matters most–scoring defense–State is now in the top third of teams among FBS squads. In a similar fashion to the offensive numbers, only in reverse, State's solid in scoring defense yet giving up more yards than you might expect on the surface. But knowing how State's bend-but-don't-break defense operates, that seems par for the course during the O'Brien era.
Whereas the offensive numbers have started to stabilize a bit, the defensive numbers–particulary in the rushing and passing categories–are only getting further chaotic. But so long as State continues to average more points per game (28) than it surrenders (20.5), that's the only stat you hope stays consistent moving forward.