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JMU vs Maryland: A statistical preview

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The stats reiterate the obvious: JMU is overmatched against the Terps

Rob Carr

Programming note:  Wednesdays will feature a statistical preview of the Terps' upcoming opponent.  We will have a unit by unit breakdown of the match up on Friday as in seasons past

Maryland opens the 2014 season against the James Madison Dukes on August 30.  The season opener is always important as it sets the tone for the season.  But wait, this is supposed to be an article about stats, and there are no stats yet in the 2014 football season, so what gives?  Instead of looking to the near past for a prospectus, we are stretching all the way back to 2013 for the tale of the tape.  The 2013 Terps squad is not a terribly reliable indicator of what to expect from this year's team, but it's a good place to start.

Maryland Offense vs. Opponent Defense

Points per game

Yards per game

3rd down conversions

Time of possession

Passing yards

Rushing yards

Turnovers

Maryland Offense

26.2

396

32%

29:32

248

148

18 fumbles, 10 INT.

JMU Defense

24

349

39%

31:05

251

99

7 fumbles, 10 INT.


Maryland Defense vs. Opponent Offense:

Points per game

Yards per game

3rd down conversions

Time of possession

Passing yards

Rushing yards

Turnovers

JMU Offense

28.25

407

39.9%

28:55

234

172

8 Fumbles, 15 INT.

Maryland  Defense

25.3

379.3

34%

30:27

225

149

10 fumbles, 11 INT.

Comparing the 2013 JMU Dukes to the 2013 Terrapins should be taken with a grain of salt, for multiple reasons.  JMU played only one FBS team in 2013 (a 2 point loss to Akron), finishing at 6-6, good for 8th in the Colonial Athletic Association.  Long time head coach Mickey Matthews was fired after the season, and Everett Withers was hired as his replacement.  If Withers' name sounds familiar, it's because he was North Carolina's interim head coach in 2011 and was Ohio State's defensive coordinator the last two seasons.  JMU's entire coaching staff is new (apart from Drew Mehringer, Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach).  The team returns only 4 starters on offense, but returns 8 starters on defense.

Reviewing Maryland's 2013 stats is not particularly relevant either.  JMU is not an ACC caliber team, and as a result the matchup on paper appears more even than it really is.

Special Teams and miscellaneous

Field goal attempts per game

Field goal conversion %

Punts per game

Penalties per game

Penalty yards per game

Maryland

1.9

84%

5.7

4.4

36.7

JMU

1.4

70%

5

6.5

62

Maryland has a decided advantage in the kicking game.  Brad Craddock enjoyed a solid 2013, and looks to be a reliable presence again in 2014.  Craddock's long last season was 50 yards, but he was very reliable 49 yards in (20/22).  JMU will be breaking in a new kicker this season, following the graduation of Cameron Starke, and I would not expect much variation from Starke's 2013 numbers.  Maryland also has a decisive advantage in the kick return game thanks to William Likely, Stefon Diggs, and co.  JMU will be replacing Dae'Quan Scott who had 2 punt return touchdowns last season (Scott finished as the career leader in touchdowns at JMU).

Non-conference games 2013

Points per game

Yards per game

3rd down conversions

Time of possession

Passing yards

Rushing yards

Turnovers

Maryland

40

497

40%

32

272

226

8

Opponent

10

264

25%

28

165

99

13

For a more apples to apples comparison, lets review Maryland's stats versus non-conference opponents in 2013.  This comparison is more indicative of the kind of opponent JMU figures to be.  The Terps dominated Florida International, Old Dominion, UCONN, and West Virginia in 2013.  Offensively and defensively, JMU figures to be over matched in all phases.  In 2013 Maryland's bread and butter was big plays, but the offense was surprisingly efficient through the non-conference portion of 2013.  The point of emphasis against JMU should be converting on 3rd down, retaining possession, and controlling the tempo of the game.  Reducing turnovers would be an added bonus, but lets not get greedy.  Overall, I would expect to see a stat line similar to the 2013 non-conference slate, and a decidedly one sided affair on Saturday.

For more information on JMU, visit: http://jmusports.com/cumestats.aspx?path=football&year=2013&

For Maryland's 2013 season stats, visit: http://www.umterps.com/ViewContent.dbml?CONTENT_ID=806883&DB_OEM_ID=29700#TEAM.IND