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Crunching the Numbers: OSU vs. Maryland (Offenses)

The Emerald Bowl is four days away, and counting, (see above) so we're diving into game previews head first.

It took Maryland six games to figure out who they wanted at quarterback. Similarly, after a pre-season quarterback competition, it took Oregon State nine weeks to figure out how good Lyle Moevao really is.

However, Lyle did inherit a team on the rise from QB Sean Canfield, who until recently, hadn't thrown a real football since he got hit on a QB scramble November 3 versus USC.

Even though the teams have contrasting records (Oregon State is 8-4, Maryland is 6-6), the offensive stats are very similar.

The way I look at it, Oregon State and Maryland are the same team, with different luck. Maryland lost some games they should have won, and Oregon State won some games they should have lost. Look at it this way: If Oregon State loses to Cal (that was a close one), and Washington (easily could have lost), we're 6-6. And if Mike Bellotti gets his QB to spike the ball to give the field goal unit time to set up, we're 5-7.

Heck, play this season over again, and maybe Dennis Dixon never gets hurt and is playing for a National Championship with Heisman honors.

Now, the stats:

You'll notice that Oregon State has a better running game, but not by much. You'll also notice that Maryland has a better passing game, but not by much. Maryland leads in QB rating and completion percentage and Oregon State has more interceptions, but the Beavers have racked up the most yards over the year.

The Terps average .2 more yards than the Beavers per play. The Beavers have the ball about a minute more per game than Maryland, and Oregon State fumbles more. Maryland has a higher third down success rate, but Oregon State has a higher fourth down success rate.

And you thought playing Maryland was going to be a cakewalk...



...Well, it still might. Four more days until we find out.