It is time to tread on ESPN's "Numbers Don't Lie," with my own "Just the Stats."
It isn't any secret to followers of this blog or people that know me that I delve into statistics and numbers. Perhaps it is the old sports information director in me or maybe it goes deeper. Since I was collecting football and baseball cards as a kid, I have always had an interest in sports stats. Now, my fascination did not translate into As in math on my report cards or a career as a mathematician (I hated geometry). Still, I like numbers and what analysis provides.
This "Just the Stats" blog will delve into Coyote football, specifically points scored and allowed at home and on the road, over the past five years. It is proper to look at that period as it entails the Coyotes transition to Division 1- FCS.
Over the last five years, USD has compiled a 27-27 (.500) record (all under former head coach Ed Meierkort). The numbers show that the Coyotes put together an impressive 21-5 mark at the DakotaDome but struggled on the road with a 6-22 record. Three times USD had 6-5 seasons (2011, 2008 and 2007) with its 4-7 campaign in 2010 representing the tail-end.
Since 2007, South Dakota has totaled 1,632 points or 326.4 per season. USD has allowed 1,323 points to opponents, which breaks out to 264.6 per season. As a result, the Coyotes had an overall 30.22 to 24.5 points per game advantage over foes. In those 54 games (28 on the road, 26 at home), the Coyotes scored 30 or more points 28 times; breaking 40 on 15 occasions. They compiled 50 or more points six times and twice went past 60 with a high of 70 points (Culver-Stockton, Mo. College). South Dakota recorded six shutouts (five at the DakotaDome) and had a scoring low of three points (28-3 loss to Illinois State on the road in 2011).
The Coyotes did not fare well in games decided by seven or fewer points with a 3-12 mark. They were 2-4 in those games at the DakotaDome and 1-8 on the road.
Overall, USD had a single-season high point total of 412 (37.45 ppg) in 2008; but generated 300 or more points in 4-of-5 seasons with a low of 249 in 2010.
At the DakotaDome, the Coyotes scored 948 points or 189.6 per season and allowed 383 or 76.6 per season. Overall, South Dakota averaged 36.46 points per game at home while allowing just 14.73. Three times the Coyotes scored 200 points at home with a high of 224 in 2008 and a low of 137 in 2010. A year ago USD outscored opponents, 207-84 at the Dome. South Dakota has not allowed over 100 points to its opponents in any season with a low of 44 in 2008 and a high of 92 in 2007. USD allowed 84 total points in both 2010 and 2011.
The road has not been a favorable place for the red and white as the 6-22 record would indicate. The Coyotes scored 684 points in 28 road games or 136.8 per season. They scored a high of 188 on the road in 2008 and a low of 110 in 2009 (10-game season). They had 112 points in 11-game season of 2010. As for opponents, South Dakota allowed 940 points or 188 per season. The Coyotes gave up a high of 211 points in 2007. Overall, the Coyotes were outscored 33.57 to 24.43 on the road.
When all is stated, "Just the Stats" show USD scores more at home, 36.46 per game, than they allow on the road, 33.57. The closeness of those numbers show that USD's 27-27 record fits.
As I close on this Coyote football fact check, South Dakota had some big moments, including a scintillating program-defining 41-38 win over Minnesota of the Big Ten in 2010 and the equally satisfying 30-17 victory over the #1 FCS-ranked Eastern Washington at the DakotaDome in 2011. USD, which was ranked as high as #14 in the FCS a year ago, had a 2-10 record vs. FCS-ranked teams during the last five seasons.
South Dakota By the Numbers
Total Points -- 301 to 273
Home Points -- 207 to 84
Road Points -- 94 to 189
Total Points -- 249 to 279
Home Points -- 137 to 84
Road Points -- 112 to 186
Total Points -- 325 to 272
Home Points -- 215 to 79
Road Points -- 110 to 193
Total Points -- 412 to 205
Home Points -- 224 to 44
Road Points -- 188 to 161
Total Points -- 345 to 303
Home Points -- 165 to 92
Road Points -- 180 to 211
Total Points -- 1,632 - 30.22 (54 games)
Opponent Points -- 1,323 - 24.5 ppg (54 games)
Home Points -- 948 - 36.46 ppg
Home Opponent Points -- 383 - 14.73 ppg
Road Points -- 684 - 24.43 ppg
Road Opponent Points -- 940 - 33.57 ppg