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New Badgers OC’s statistical past should make you smile

So, now that Wisconsin apparently has it's man for the offensive coordinator in Andy Ludwig, it's time to delve into the man's history a bit, after all you can't know where you are going if you don't know where you've been, right? We gave you a glimpse at the past few years earlier, however he has an extensive history as an OC behind him, 15 years to be exact. That gives us a pretty good glimpse of what his offenses can truly do. From the good, to the bad, and well there really isn't a lot of ugly to be honest.

We've decided to take a trip for you in the way…. way back machine to give you a look at what the true numbers, not just someone's baseless opinion is of Ludwig, tell us about the newest Wisconsin OC.

Remember, numbers never lie and to prove it we're going to start by showing you how dynamic or not dynamic Ludwig's offenses have been throughout the years.

 


Year Points Per Game School
1998 24 Fresno State
1999 31.7  
2000 26.4  
2001 40  
2002 32.1 Oregon
2003 27.4  
2004 25.6  
2005 30 Utah
2006 27.9  
2007 26.2  
2008 36.9  
2009 29.1 Cal
2010 25.8  
2011 29.8 San Diego State
2012 32.8  

Now that we have the numbers, what does that tell us. One of the more interesting things is looking at the trends of his offenses. While average 29.7 points per game over his 15 year career is pretty damn good it's interesting to look at what's behind some of the bigger numbers. 

In 1999 and 2001 the Fresno State Bulldogs put up some crazy offensive point totals, but behind those numbers are also very quality quarterbacks in Billy Volek and David Carr. What you'll also notice is those numbers also coincide with an ability of the offense to actually run the football. That's a good sign for Badgers fans everywhere. 

So, just how good have Ludwig coached offenses been? Well, we'll let you be the judge based off the numbers of once again. Up first is a look at the yearly rushing and passing stats. 

  Yearly Rushing Stats  
Year Attempts Yards Average
1998 418 1,691 153.7
1999 486 2,071 159.9
2000 387 1,403 127.5
2001 524 2,146 153.3
2002 476 1,893 145.6
2003 489 1,715 131.9
2004 429 1,746 158.7
2005 494 2,142 178.5
2006 451 1,826 140.5
2007 541 2,177 167.5
2008 499 2,034 156.5
2009 471 2,203 169.5
2010 429 1,906 158.8
2011 486 2,398 184.5
2012 578 2,869 220.7

Alright, so those numbers aren't bad at all and it should more than ease the worries of the dreaded "spread" coming to Wisconsin. Clearly Ludwig's offense has a big time emphasis on the run. I mean, his offenses only ran the ball fewer than 400 times in a season once and even in that year they ran the ball more than they threw it. In fact, as you'll see with the next chart, there's only one season where his offenses passed the ball more than they ran it and that was a very special season in 2001 with a QB by the name of David Carr at the helm. 

  Yearly Passing Stats  
Year Attempts Yards Average
1998 304 2,238 203.4
1999 388 2,934 225.7
2000 337 2,497 227
2001 542 4,876 348.3
2002 412 2,959 227.6
2003 427 3,288 252.9
2004 388 2,621 238.3
2005 415 3,534 294.5
2006 411 2,963 227.9
2007 401 2,628 202.2
2008 414 3,178 244.5
2009 393 2,895 222.7
2010 332 2,101 175.1
2011 449 3,158 242.9
2012 309 2,287 175.9

Looking at the passing numbers the one thing that you really notice is how efficient his teams are in the passing game. That fits with what Wisconsin does offensively. If you marry that with the philosophy that Andersen spoke of you can clearly see that the QB at Wisconsin is going to be more than just a simple game manager. 

The biggest winner could be Joel Stave with this hire. He's an efficient player and someone that gained a ton of experience in a short amount of time as a starter this season. It will be really interesting to see what happens between Bart Houston and him and it's probably the biggest offseason storyline to watch on the field.

We told you we'd be giving you a thorough breakdown here, and we're about to give you just that as we break down the stats even further to give you an idea of how players grow and how seasons play out at the individual level.

    Rushing Leaders    
Year Name Yards TD's Average  
1998 Jamie Kimbrough 1,168 10 5.5  
1999 Derrick Ward 824 6 6.2  
2000 Josh Levi 397 2 4.3 *Ward, Gaines, Tillman all split carries w/ Levi & Injuries hit RB corp
2001 Paris Gaines 1,044 8 4.7  
2002 Onterrio Smith 1,141 12 4.6  
2003 Terrence Whitehead 737 6 3.8  
2004 Terrence Whitehead 1,144 6 5.7  
2005 Quinton Ganther 1,120 7 5.4  
2006 Darryl Poston 553 5 3.8  
2007 Darrell Mack 1,204 12 4.7  
2008 Matt Asiata 707 12 4.8 *near even split w/ Mack for 1,248yds total
2009 Shane Vereen 952 12 5.2 *split w/ Jhavid Best for 1,819yds total
2010 Shane Vereen 1,167 13 5.1  
2011 Ronnie Hillman 1,711 19 5.5  
2012 Adam Mueme 1,458 16 6.2  

What should you take away from these individual stats? Well, for one, when Ludwig has talent at a specific position he finds the best way to use that talent, just look to the 2009 season when Shane Vereen and Jhavid Best combined for a ridiculous 1,819 yards. 

Also you should note that 9 of 15 years a player rushed for 1,000 yards, in 8 of 15 years the leading rusher averaged better than 5 yards a carry and had double digit touchdowns. 

It all goes to show you that this coach loves to run the football and it also shows that when a running back is around and healthy for more than a year he gets better. Now, if you take the stats of running backs at schools that don't have the talent (Yes, Oregon wasn't Oregon yet when Ludwig was there) that Wisconsin has you can only imagine the possibilities.

Especially if they are going to continue to run the football at a 476 carry a year clip. It's safe to say the UW isn't going to have issues running for a ton of yards, in fact it could be really scary to see what Wisconsin can do with a guy like this at the helm of the offense. 

What about the passing game? Well, the news gets interesting for Wisconsin in this area to say the least. 

    Passing Leaders  
Year Name Yards TD's/INT's Comp %
1998 Billy Volek (11) 1,973 10TD/3INT 57.8%
1999 Billy Volek (13) 2,559 30TD/3INT 66.2%
2000 David Carr (12) 2,729 23TD/12INT 62.0%
2001 David Carr (14) 4,839 46TD/9INT 64.5%
2002 Jason Fife (13) 2,752 24TD/10INT 51.7%
2003 Kellen Clemens (13) 2,400 18TD/9INT 59.8%
2004 Kellen Clemens (11) 2,548 22TD/10INT 59.9%
2005 Brian Johnson (10) 2,892 18TD/7INT 63.6%
2006 Brett Ratliff (13) 2,796 23TD/9INT 58.3%
2007 Brian Johnson (11) 1,847 11TD/10INT 66.5%
2008 Brian Johnson (13) 2,972 27TD/9INT 68.0%
2009 Kevin Riley (13) 2,850 18TD/8INT 54.7%
2010 Kevin Riley (8) 1,409 13TD/6INT 60.0%
2011 Ryan Lindley (13) 3,153 23TD/8INT 53.0%
2012 Ryan Katz (8) 1,348 13TD/4INT 60.7%

Why did I say this is where things get interesting before? That's because you'll notice something that doesn't happen very often in the Badger offense. It's either really heavy on the run and light on the pass or just plain bad in the past. The only exception to that rule was the 2011 season when you had Russell Wilson and Montee Ball and an offense that was literally 1.3 yards a game difference between the passing and rushing game. 

It's also exciting to note that 11 of 15 QB's passed for more than 2,000 yards – something that doesn't happen at Wisconsin all that often. We also see that Ludwig's QB's are efficient more often than not, recording a 60% completion rate or better in 8 of 15 years (two more years were just under a degree off of 60% as well). Perhaps the best indication of what Ludwig asks his QB's to do is the fact that not a single one of his QB's had more INT's than TD's in a season and only 4 of 15 years did a QB have double digit INT's on the year.

Wisconsin fans have long suffered through a series of decent, but not great QB's from Darrell Bevel to Jim Sorgi, Brooks Bollinger and even Scott Tolzien it hasn't exactly been a picture of awesomeness in Madison. 

With Ludwig's west coast connections and ability to work with the likes of Billy Volek, David Carr, Brian Johnson, and Ryan Lindley you have to like Wisconsin's chances of upping the recruiting of QB's in the years to come. 

Overall the numbers tell a story that Wisconsin fans should like. The only drawback could be the migratory nature of his career, but if you look into that it's also easy to see that a lot of it was movement because of other coaching changes more than anything else going on. 

As the cliche goes, only time will tell, but as we sit here in the dead of Winter you've got to like the prospects of a coach that fits what Wisconsin's identity is and could even add a bit more to the mix as well. 

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college football for nearly half a decade. He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadgers.com and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com

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