CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS
 WHICH NUMBERS ARE IMPORTANT
I want to look at 3 stat lines I use as an offensive coach to evaluate our success on offense, and then determine the direct correlation those numbers have to winning or losing. The 3 categories I will look at today are rushing yards per game, average yards on 1st down and the effect on 3rd down conversions, and yards per completion.  As I look at these stats I will always separate them by the games we won and the games we lost.  What I am trying to figure out is the statistics that have the greatest impact on our team winning or losing, and when we struggle is it a schematic issue or a fundamentals and execution issue.  For any offense i think it is important to understand that your schemes must fit your players.  If your asking your players to execute a scheme that does not fit their skill set then you may need to look no further and make a schematic change.  If you feel comfortable about your scheme in relation to your talent, then you have to analyze the statistics to see where the technical and fundamental breakdowns are occurring that are causing you to lose games and perform poorly on offense.

 RUSHING YARDS PER GAME
I always look at rushing yards per game and how that correlates to winning and losing games.  The ability to run the ball keeps the chains moving, the clock moving, your defense off the field and provides a great mental edge in football games.  Your ability to run the ball forces the defense to account for the run game which in turn gives you numbers and match ups in the passing game.  This season we were 4-1 when running the ball for more than 200 yards a game and 0-4 when running for less than 200 yards.So statistically we had an 80% chance of winning when we rushed for 200 yards but a 0% chance of winning when we did not rush for 200 yards.  For me that is a real straight forward statistic that has a huge impact on our success.  So in determining that we want to make sure we are solid each week in our run game schemes and fundamentals.  We want to spend a lot of time game planning our run game because it has a huge impact on our chances for success.  In the 5 games we lost we averaged 163 yards rushing per game, but in the 4 wins we averaged 270 yards rushing per game.  That is over 100 yard differential and should not be overlooked.

The next statistic i look at is our success on first down and its relationship to our 3rd down conversions.  You often here offensive and defensive coaches talking about 3rd down success.  The easiest way to ensure a high percentage of 3rd down conversions is to be really good on first down.  Here is a breakdown of our first down averages and 3rd down conversions in our wins and losses.
LOSSES                                                        WINS
2.1/33%                                                         3.4/40%
3.8/64%                                                         8.4/60%
2.5/25%                                                         6.7/45%
4.3/40%                                                         6.0/50%
5.8/50%

So when i look at that I can see that i am 1-3 when averaging less than 4 yards on 1st down, and i am 3-2 when averaging more than 4 yards on 1st down.  We were 3-0 when averaging 6 or more yards on 1st down.  Also you can look at the percentages and how they drastically increase on 3rd down conversions with your first down success.  Anytime we averaged over 5 yards on first down we had a better than 50% chance of converting on 3rd down.   We did not win any of the games that we were under 40% on 3rd down conversions.

The last stat i took a look at was our yards per completion.  Depending on your type of offense, or the skill set of your players you may throw the ball less than 10 times a game in high school.  I would venture to say that on average, pop warner, junior high, and high school teams throw the ball less than 15 times a game.  With that being said it is very difficult to have a ton of passing yards if you are not throwing the ball a lot.  So for me I tend to focus on what we were able to do with the passes we completed.  In the 5 games we lost we averaged 9 yards per completion.  That tells me we couldn't get the ball down field, did not have a lot of yards after catch, and did not block the perimeter very well in our screen game.  Conversely in the 4 games we won we averaged 15 yards per completion.  So in the games we won we were more effective throwing the ball down the field, did a better job after the catch, and blocked the perimeter better.