When Robert Anae left BYU at the end of the 2010 season, it was in the midst of a significant amount of fan discontent in the wake of a 7-6 season. That discontent seemed to largely drown out what had largely been a very successful 6 year run as BYU’s offensive coordinator. This blog post is not going to attempt to address criticisms of Anae’s first tour of duty in Provo, but rather highlight specific areas where BYU was particularly successful during that time. Even though the Anae v2.0 offense, influenced by his time with Rich Rodriguez in Arizona, may be quite different in some respects from the offense we saw from 2005 to 2010, there is a chance that we will see some of these same strengths in v2.0
BYU finished in the top 25 in scoring in 4 of Anae’s 6 seasons, finishing as high as 5th in 2006. BYU also averaged a solid 33.3 ppg in bowl games, including 2 of the 3 highest scores in BYU bowl history (44 vs Oregon State and 52 vs UTEP). Overall, BYU had the 15th highest scoring average under Anae v1.0:
3rd Down Conversions
From 2005 to 2010, BYU absolutely dominated their opponents on 3rd down, converting over half of the time during that span. So dominant, they converted nearly a full 2% more than Navy, the next best team on 3rd down.
It also didn’t matter where on the field BYU was during 3rd down; they were able to continue to convert 3rd downs as they got progressively closer to the end zone:
EDIT: Just a quick note that the first chart shows all 3rd down conversions, including conversions through defensive penalties, but the second chart only includes first downs via pass and runs. It’s a limitation of the data available.
Red Zone Efficiency
Perhaps most importantly, when BYU got into the Red (Blue) Zone, they were not just able to score, but score touchdowns. Only Texas Tech (Anae’s former employer) was more successful in finding the end zone once they had crossed the opponent’s 20 yard line:
So while Anae v2.0 may have some striking differences from v1.0, there’s still reason to believe that his offense will find ways to put points on the board by excelling in 3rd down situations, getting themselves into the Red Zone and turning those opportunities into six points.