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2016 Purdue Football: We Will See Improvement Without the Shoopfense

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We all know John Shoop was bad, but just how bad?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Much like a piñata, we have been beating John Shoop around here as one of the main reasons for Purdue football's struggles over the past few years. His offenses were often a disaster, but are they as bad as we thought they were? I wanted to find out based on this tweet:

So we do have a bit of a base line. Shoop was the offensive coordinator at North Carolina for five years. Since then, the Tar Heels have has four seasons. We also can compare the three seasons that Shoop headed Purdue's offense.

First, here is North Carolina with Shoop:


North Carolina with Shoop


2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Points Per Game

21.2

27.7

23.8

25.3

28

Total Offense

3904

4178

4001

5066

5112

First Downs

201

205

228

246

250

Rushing YPG

99.2

122.6

132.8

125.7

138.8

Passing YPG

226.2

198.8

174.9

264

254.4

Main QB

T.J. Yates

Cameron Sexton, T.J. Yates

T.J. Yates

T.J. Yates

Bryn Renner

QB Passing Yards

2655

1200

2136

3418

3086

QB Completion %

59.70%

58%

60.30%

66.80%

68.30%

QB Passing TDs

14

10

14

19

26

QB passing INTs

18

5

15

9

13

Team Record

4-8

8-5

8-5

8-5

7-6

The Tar Heels were a consistently mediocre team with Shoop. They were never godawful, but rarely brilliant, either. For four years they had T.J. Yates as their QB, who is a serviceable NFL quarterback now. His 2008 stats are averaged there, as Sexton and Yates basically played an even amount. That is roughly what each QB contributed to the offense.

The first thing that really stands out is that the rushing numbers were not strong. There was not a ton of balance and there was even a year where they averaged less than 100 yards per game. Consequently, this was UNC's worst season. The team also was not a scoring juggernaut. The 28 points per game in Shoop's final year was his best offense. That year UNC played under interim head coach Everett Withers because Butch Davis had been fired in July due to their academic scandal. Withers had previously been the defensive coordinator.

Now let's look at UNC after Shoop:


North Carolina After Shoop


2012

2013

2014

2015

Points Per Game

40.6

32.7

33.2

40.7

Total Offense

5827

5534

5587

6817

First Downs

292

279

311

335

Rushing YPG

193.8

148.3

151.8

224.4

Passing YPG

291.8

277.4

278

262.5

Main QB

Bryn Renner

Bryn Renner, Marquise Williams

Marquise Williams

Marquise Williams

QB Passing Yards

3356

1730

3068

3072

QB Completion %

65.40%

62%

63.10%

61.30%

QB Passing TDs

28

12

21

24

QB passing INTs

7

5

9

10

Team Record

8-4

7-6

6-7

11-3

The difference between 2011 and 2012, with the same quarterback, is staggering. The record wasn't much better (8-4 vs. 7-6, but UNC averaged 12.6 more points per game, 55 yards more on the ground, 37 more through the air, gained 42 more first downs, and had 700 more yards of total offense.

The even bigger kicker? North Carolina did not officially have an offensive coordinator. According to their official roster linked there they had a "Passing Game Coordinator" and a "Running Game Coordinator". So, with Larry Fedora in charge, the offense got better despite having two guys calling the shots instead of one.

The stats for quarterback Bryn Renner are telling too. His TD:INT ratio went from 2:1 to 4:1 even if his completion percentage dipped slightly.

In 2013 Renner and Marquise Williams split time (each roughly playing equal) so those numbers are averaged again. The split coordinator was once again a thing (as it has been all four years under Fedora), but the offense has still been about a touchdown or more better per game than previously under Shoop. The worst rushing season under the split coordinators is still 10 ypg better than Shoop's best, and the best season, last year, is significantly better.

Now, let's look at Shoop at Purdue:


Purdue with Shoop

2013 2014 2015
Points Per Game 14.9 23.8 25.1
Total Offense 3395 4135 4423
First Downs 178 207 237
Rushing YPG 67.1 157.2 131.3
Passing YPG 215.8 187.4 237.2
Main QB Danny Etling, Rob Henry Austin Appleby, Danny Etling David Blough, Austin Appleby
QB Passing Yards 1250 1125 1400
QB Completion % 54.20% 53.90% 57.50%
QB Passing TDs 7 8 9
QB passing INTs 7 8 8
Team Record 1-11 3-9 2-10

After a year off, Shoop got significantly worse, even though he had a quarterback (Henry) that was experienced. All QB numbers are averaged again between the top two guys, but the numbers are pretty awful. 2013 is especially bad, as Purdue had one of the worst offenses in America, and the running game was especially atrocious. Even if you throw that year out, the running game has never had the balance or strength that it needed to be.

So what can we take from this? Well, part of it has to lie with the quarterback situation. Yates is far from a Hall of Famer, but he is still a serviceable NFL quarterback. You can't say that about Henry, Etling, or Appleby even though they are good guys. Still, there are factors. Henry was a mobile QB trying to run a pro-set offense that did not fit his abilities. Etling played behind a terrible offensive line and looked spooked as a result. Appleby also had flaws. Still, the numbers between all four are startingly similar.

Also, Shoop doubled as Purdue's QB coach at the same time. He failed to develop any of the previous three, with Blough still being a work in progress. It is not like North Carolina is a football powerhouse, either. Before last season's breakout 10-3 year they were solidly in the 6-8 win doldrums for about a decade

It is pretty clear that Purdue should have some improvement this year. I don't think it will be the drastic 12.6 points per game jump (though I will definitely take it), but the Tar Heels, even with split coordinators, showed significant improvement in year 1 of De-Shoopification. This is very good news.