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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Much Have the Cats Improved Under Stoops?

Nord with Joker after snapping the streak against Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Weaver | Ky Kernel)
Nord with Joker after snapping the streak against Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Weaver | Ky Kernel) © Mark Zerof

Can we all agree that the last year of the Joker Phillips era might have been the low point of post-2000 UK football?  There was not really a single positive to come from that season other than the fact that Joker was canned and we got a fresh start with Mark Stoops.  So with that said I think it’s fair to expect that Mark Stoops program should be better at pretty much every single position and statistical category as where Joker left the program.  But is that the case?

Below are the major statistical categories with the averages/totals from Joker’s final season (2012) and in each of Stoops’ 3 years.  Has the program improved in all areas or at least seen improvement from year to year in the last 3:

POINTS PER GAME (increased 2 of 3 years, up 6.8 ppg from Joker)
2015: 24.7
2014: 29.2
2013: 20.5
————-
2012: 17.9

POINTS ALLOWED PER GAME (decreased in 1 of 3 years, down 3.6 ppg from Joker)
2015: 27.4
2014: 31.2
2013: 31.2
————-
2012: 31.0

YARDS PER RUSH (increased 1 of 3 years, up 0.6 yards per rush from Joker)
2015: 4.7
2014: 4.1
2013: 4.1
————-
2012: 4.1

RUSHING YARDS PER GAME increased 3 of 3 years, up 23.9 ypg from Joker)
2015: 162.7
2014: 153.2
2013: 147.9
————-
2012: 138.8

PASSING YARDS PER GAME (increased 2 of 3 years, up 33.1 ypg from Joker)
2015: 209.3
2014: 231.2
2013: 193.4
————–
2012: 176.2

PASSING TDS (increased 1 of 3 years, down 3 from Joker)
2015: 10
2014: 14
2013: 14
————-
2012: 13

AVERAGE YARDS PER PLAY (increased 3 of 3 years, up 0.7 yards from Joker)
2015: 5.5
2014: 5.4
2013: 5.3
————
2012: 4.8

YARDS PER GAME (increased 2 of 3 years, up 57 yards per game from Joker)
2015: 372.0
2014: 384.3
2013: 341.3
————-
2012: 315.0

SACKS (increased 1 of 3 years, down 10 sacks from Joker)
2015: 17
2014: 27
2013: 23
————-
2012: 27

3RD DOWN CONVERSION (increased 2 of 3 years, down 3% from Joker)
2015: 37%
2014: 34%
2013: 31%
————-
2012: 40%

Good news: Rushing attack getting better each year, overall offensive play improved dramatically over 3 years despite upheaval in OC position

Bad news: Defense finally improved in Year 3 but D-line play not improving, passing game took step back last year

Article written by Bryan the Intern

10 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Much Have the Cats Improved Under Stoops?



  1. Blue_Cat75
    8:59 am July 27, 2016 Permalink

    Rushing TDs?



  2. Mathlete
    9:17 am July 27, 2016 Permalink

    They’re dramatically better than Joker’s last team, but that’s like saying Arby’s tastes better than a shit sandwich.

    I’d rather see a statistical comparison between Rich Brooks’ best seasons and Stoops’ teams so far. The last 3-4 years of the Brooks era were a relative golden age for Kentucky football, and that’s what we’re looking for from Stoops.



    • rickwhitetx
      9:35 am July 27, 2016 Permalink

      The difference between BTI’s comparison and the Arby’s/shit sandwich comparison is we all experienced the Joker years. Not sure who can attest to the other comparison.



    • Mathlete
      9:40 am July 27, 2016 Permalink

      Fair enough, how about Arby’s tastes better going down than coming back up? At least some of us have experienced that.



    • chimichanga
      11:07 am July 27, 2016 Permalink

      Come on, Arby’s isn’t nearly as bad as UK football worst years. Perhaps Rally’s would be a better point of reference.



  3. Patches
    10:12 am July 27, 2016 Permalink

    Work to be done for sure. Not impressive stats at all and Stoops needs to start earning his money. Will this be the year he solidifies his coaching here or the year the seat gets hot?



  4. JoChan
    1:49 pm July 27, 2016 Permalink

    Brooks avg. Jokers avg. Stoops’ avg. Brooks 3rd year Jokers 3rd year Stoops’ 3rd year
    Points per game 21.621.6 24.8 21.7 17.9 24.7
    Points allowed per game 30.6 28 29.9 34.1 31 27.4
    Yards per rush 3.47 4.07 4.3 3.6 4.1 4.7
    Rushing yards per game 120.5 140.5 154.6 128.6 (+8.1) 138.8 (-1.7) 162.7 (+8.1) Stoops Stoops Brooks / Stoops
    Passing yards per game 179.6 193.7 211.3 168.8 (-10.8) 176.3 (-17.4) 209.3 (-2) Stoops Stoops Stoops
    Passing TD’s 11 17 12.7 6 (-5) 13 (-4) 10 (-2.7) Joker Joker Stoops
    Avg. yards per play 4.6 5 5.4 4.7 (+.1) 4.8 (-.2) 5.5 (+.1) Stoops Stoops Brooks / Stoops
    Yards per game 300.1 334.2 365.9 297.5 (-2.6) 315 (-19.8) 372 (+6.1) Stoops Stoops Stoops
    Sacks N/A 20.7 21.8 14.5 (N/A) 23 (+2.3) 17 (-4.8) Stoops Joker N/A
    W/L 3 & 8.3 4.3 & 8 4 & 8 3 & 8 (+.33) 2 & 10 (-2.17) 5 & 7 (+1) Joker Stoops Stoops



    • JoChan
      1:54 pm July 27, 2016 Permalink

      Didn’t mean to post it like that but basically Stoops had a better 3rd year and has improved from day 1 more than not only Joker, but even Brooks. He has 3 and almost 7 points per game more on offense while allowing 2.5 and 6.5 points a game less. Even his W/L record is better and has improved more than even Brooks. He also inherited the worst roster of the 3. Point is that he deserves more time.



  5. Mathlete
    2:14 pm July 27, 2016 Permalink

    Good info! That confirms what I’ve been thinking about Stoops’ tenure here. Plus he started with an even barer roster than Papaw Brooks or (especially) Joker did. Brooks’ success started really ramping up in year 3, allowing for roster growth this year could be a similar path for Stoops.



  6. Howdy Doody
    3:46 pm July 27, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t see much to brag about here. But that’s just me. I expect a coach who is paid as well as Stoops to WIN games in the SEC. Not just 1 or 2, but 5-6.
    AND beat your in state rival once a decade..