Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics


FOOTBALL BLOG
By John Antonik for WVUsports.com
January 05, 2013 03:22 PM

Wasn’t it Mark Twain who once famously said, “Lies, damned lies and statistics?” Well, after scouring last Saturday’s Pinstripe Bowl stat sheet, and then reading the corrected version that came out yesterday, I have a feeling old Mark may have been on to something.

WVU football sports information director Mike Montoro noticed “several discrepancies” following West Virginia’s loss to Syracuse and sat down with assistant athletic director Michael Fragale on Monday morning at the Milan Puskar Center to go through the game tape and re-score it. Their quick review ended up taking four hours.

Once their work was completed, they then had to send the game file to Syracuse to get their approval (Syracuse was the home team and it is the home team’s responsibility to ship the stats off to the NCAA) before the file was eventually submitted.

There were changes to just about everyone’s final total – which, of course, ultimately affects the final career standing for WVU record breakers Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

For instance, instead of completing 16-of-24 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns, as was reflected in the box score issued after the game, it was determined that Smith actually completed 19-of-28 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

The discrepancy?

Plays that were recorded as Tavon Austin runs were actually passes. Therefore, Austin’s final rushing total was 45 yards instead of 54, and his receiving yardage total was 30 instead of 21 (this also happened during last year's Orange Bowl as well).

Stedman Bailey finished with five fewer receiving yards than were listed immediately after the game (121), and West Virginia’s rushing total actually ballooned from 88 yards after the game to 103 on the corrected version a week later.

Terence Garvin’s numbers were also dramatically affected. Instead of the 15 total tackles he was credited with after the game, the final stat sheet has him with eight, although Garvin did keep his two sacks, three TFL, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in an outstanding all-around performance.

For those who like to keep track, Geno now officially finishes his Mountaineer career completing 988 of 1,465 passes for 11,662 yards and 98 touchdowns; Tavon shows 288 catches for 3,413 yards and 29 touchdowns and Stedman has 210 catches for 3,218 yards and 41 touchdowns.

There were also some notable changes for Syracuse as well: Prince Tyson-Gulley actually finished the game with 213 yards rushing instead of 208, and Jerome Smith ended with 152 yards on the ground instead of 157.

The Orange still had 369 yards rushing.

However, the one change Montoro and Fragale couldn’t get Syracuse to agree upon was the final score. That remains 38-14 in favor of the Orange.
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