Mike Gundy vs. other Tennessee candidates: A statistical look

Tennessee Mike Gundy

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee offense underwhelmed in every game this season, and the new coach will be charged with sparking an immediate uptick.

The Vols scored more than 30 points just once against an FBS opponent this season — and that game in double overtime against Georgia Tech.

The quarterback play from Quinten Dormady, Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride was inconsistent. The wide receiver corps contributed very little, aside from Marquez Callaway winning a handful of jump balls. The offensive line was mired in injuries and finished the LSU game with only four scholarship players.

Tennessee averaged 19.8 points this season, which ranks 119th out of 130 FBS teams. The Vols put up 291 yards a game, which places them 125th.

The offense was difficult to watch at times and rarely gave much hope for winning games.

A number of potential coaches mentioned as possibilities at Tennessee have track records of offensive success. Here is a look at five potential coaches and their last six seasons’ statistics. We compare how their teams fared in four categories:

  • National rank in scoring offense
  • Points per game
  • National rank in offensive yards
  • Offensive yards per game

Mike Gundy – Oklahoma State

Year Pts rank PPG Yds rank YPG
2017 3rd 46.3 2nd 575.7
2016 17th 38.6 14th 494.8
2015 14th 39.5 22nd 480
2014 76th 27.6 85th 378.8
2013 13th 39.1 37th 448.8
2012 3rd 45.7 4th 547

Mike Gundy has been on the coaching staff at Oklahoma State since 2001 and took over as head coach in 2005 when Les Miles left for LSU. Gundy played quarterback at Oklahoma State in the 1980s, so it might take a hefty financial offer to lure him to Knoxville.

Gundy knows how to build an offense. He’s been competitive in his time with the Cowboys and has proven he’ll find the right players for his system.

It’s possible Gundy has reached the ceiling of what he can accomplish at Oklahoma State. Senior quarterback Mason Rudolph might be the best signal-caller Gundy has had in his tenure, and the Cowboys still finished 9-3 with a loss to rival Oklahoma.

It’s also difficult to sustain success at Oklahoma State. Look at the dip in the numbers from 2012 to 2014. It’s a place where every few years you can make a legitimate run at a special season — just not every year.

Tennessee could offer Gundy a new challenge with a higher ceiling for success.

Kevin Sumlin – formerly Texas A&M

Year Pts rank PPG Yds rank YPG
2017 44th 31.1 77th 389.6
2016 34th 34.8  24th  467
2015  71st 27.8  50th  424.7
2014  28th 35.2  32nd  455.4
2013  5th 44.2  4th  538.4
2012  4th 44.5  3rd  558.5

Texas A&M cut ties with Kevin Sumlin on Sunday, but he likely won’t be out of work for long. He coached the Aggies for six seasons and finished with a record of 51-26.

Sumlin came to the Aggies from Houston, with the reputation of having a quick-hitting offense that can score points in bunches. It was an interesting experiment to see if the no-huddle, fast-paced offense could succeed in the SEC.

The first two years were greatly successful. However, there is a clear dip following the 2013 season, after Johnny Manziel went to the NFL.

Can Sumlin’s offense work at an elite level without one of best college quarterbacks of the generation? That remains to be seen.

Jeff Brohm – Purdue

Year Pts rank PPG Yds rank YPG
2017 97th 24.2 76th 390.4
2016* 1st 45.5 5th 523.1
2015* 3rd 44.3 9th 526.4
2014* 6th 44.4 4th 534.6
2013**  53rd 30.8 30th  458.5
2012^  68th 28.3  50th 419.1

* – Head coach for Western Kentucky

**- Offensive Coordinator for Western Kentucky

^- Offensive Coordinator for UAB

Jeff Brohm is an interesting candidate. He fits into the up-and-comer category, but he also has a year of coaching experience at a Power 5 program. Previously, he guided an offense which put up terrific numbers in three years at the helm of Western Kentucky.

His offensive numbers at Purdue didn’t make a big jump this season, though. Purdue ranked 97th nationally in scoring offense this season with 24.2 points per game. Last season, it ranked 101st with 24.6 points.

Of course, Purdue is a difficult place to win and there isn’t a magic wand to wave to make an offense better in Year 1. Still, Tennessee needs a coach who can make an immediate impact on offense.

Purdue will play in a bowl game with a 6-6 record after going 3-9 last season. So, Brohm did improve the team despite the offense not making a large statistical jump.

Mike Norvell – Memphis

Year Pts rank PPG Yds rank YPG
2017 2nd 47 5th 529.5
2016 15th 38.8 28th 463.7
2015* 32nd 34.6 24th  477.4
2014* 16th 36.9 36th 442.3
2013* 10th 39.7 32nd 457.3
2012*  14th 38.4 25th 464.5

*- Offensive Coordinator for Arizona State

Mike Norvell, 36, is the youngest coach on this list, and he has the least amount of head-coaching experience with only two years under his belt.

There is an argument to be made that Norvell benefited greatly from the success of former Memphis coach Justin Fuente. Norvell came to a team that had won 19 games in the two seasons prior.

Norvell hasn’t just kept the winning going, though. He’s elevated the program from when he took over. The Tigers are 10-1 record and will play UCF in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Saturday. The winner will represent the Group of 5 in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

The Tigers have with one of the top offenses in the country, led by former Tennessee quarterback Riley Ferguson.

Norvell’s biggest knock is his lack of experience. It’s also easier to elevate a team’s success rather than successfully rebuild. Tennessee has talent on its roster, but the Vols’ chances to win immediately don’t compare favorably to what Norvell inherited at Memphis.

Chad Morris – SMU

Year Pts rank PPG Yds rank YPG
2017 8th 40.2 12th 493.8
2016 71st 27.7 55th 427.3
2015 71st 27.8 76th 382.8
2014* 54th 30.8 61st 408.3
2013* 8th 40.2 9th 508.5
2012* 6th 41 9th 512.7

*- Offensive Coordinator at Clemson

Chad Morris walked into one of the toughest jobs in the country at SMU in 2015. The Mustangs offense performed near the middle of the pack nationally during his first two seasons in Dallas. But considering SMU’s offense ranked last in the country in 2014, averaging 11.1 points, that is a significant improvement.

With three years of head-coaching experience, he is still relatively new to leading a program. The Mustangs are 7-5 this season, which marks the program’s first winning season since 2012, when Morris was a coordinator at Clemson.

Morris has proven he can build a solid offense out of nothing. It took him three years at SMU, but likely wouldn’t take as long at Tennessee, where there is far more talent in place.

The post Mike Gundy vs. other Tennessee candidates: A statistical look appeared first on SEC Country.

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