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The Holgorsen Effect (Fun Stat Nerd Tidbit: West Virginia)

UPDATE: The West Virginia Mountaineers And We Know Drama is now up at the mothership.

With a non-existent running game and an offense that offered no explosiveness on standard downs, WVU quarterback Geno Smith (2,763 yards, 7.4 per pass, 65% completion rate, 24 TD, 7 INT) was forced to make plays on passing downs a bit too much. While Smith was productive and interesting for much of the season, in specific games (basically the four losses plus the Louisville game) the pressure was too much, and he faltered. You could tell from his body language that things weren't going well, and he was unable to fend off prolonged in-game slumps.

Geno Smith in Losses & Versus Louisville: 87-for-159 (55%), 786 yards (4.9 per pass), 4 TD, 5 INT (21.2 Adj. PPG)
Geno Smith in Other Eight Games: 154-for-213 (72%), 1,977 yards (9.3 per pass), 20 TD, 2 INT (32.9 Adj. PPG)

Now a junior, Smith was likely ready to improve anyway; he is more mature, and he has a deeper, more experienced receiving corps at his disposal. But throw Holgorsen into the mix, and suddenly Smith is a favorite of the Fantasy College Football crowd. And it's not hard to see why.


Yes, Texas Tech had a good offense before Dana Holgorsen was handed the reins as offensive coordinator. Yes, Art Briles had created something pretty good before Holgorsen and Kevin Sumlin took over for him in Houston. Yes, Oklahoma State's offense had already developed quite a reputation before he moved to Stillwater. Still ... it's just staggering to look at what offenses have produced when Holgorsen sits in the coordinator chair.

More than anything else, it is the efficiency with which these offenses run that is so impressive. Below are the six offenses he has led, their average Success Rate+ rankings, the stat line for their leading rusher, and the stat line for their leading passer. If running back Shawne Alston and quarterback Geno Smith replicate these numbers in 2010, and the defense doesn't suffer a total nosedive in replacing seven starters, it's hard to imagine West Virginia not winning the Big East this year.

Year Team Overall
SR+ Rk
SR+ Rk
SR+ Rk
Leading Passer
2005 Texas Tech 4 1 4 148-872 (17)
+15.7 Adj. POE
353-571-12-4238 (31)
7.4/pass, 62% comp.
2006 Texas Tech 17 15 23 152-926 (10)
+10.1 Adj. POE
412-616-11-4555 (38)
7.4/pass, 67% comp.
2007 Texas Tech 8 9 8 84-439 (8)
+10.0 Adj. POE
512-713-14-5705 (48)
8.0/pass, 72% comp.
2008 Houston 37 26 34 198-1247 (13)
+6.5 Adj. POE
397-589-11-5020 (44)
8.5/pass, 67% comp.
2009 Houston 4 10 4 132-698 (9)
+6.2 Adj. POE
492-700-15-5671 (44)
8.1/pass, 70% comp.
2010 Oklahoma State 3 4 4 271-1548 (16)
+6.5 Adj. POE
342-511-13-4277 (34)
8.4/pass, 67% comp.
Average 12 11 13 164-955 (12)
+9.7 Adj. POE
418-617-13-4911 (40)
8.0/pass, 68% comp.