Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Stats help explain Gophers turnaround

Posted by: Joe Christensen under College football, Gopher quarterbacks Updated: November 18, 2013 - 4:08 PM

My assignment for the Tuesday paper was to write about the five biggest reasons for this year's Gophers football turnaround. Look for that later in tonight's first editions.

Meantime, I looked up a bunch of Gophers stats, comparing this year to last year. In no particular order, here's what I found:

Category: 2012/2013

Average time of possession: 31:03/33:23

Philip Nelson’s passer rating: 104.4/141.6

Turnover margin: -2 (22 committed, 20 caused)/+6 (9 committed, 15 caused)

Points scored per game: 22.1/30.7

Points allowed per game: 24.7/23.4

Yardage allowed per game: 358.6/380.8

Yardage gained per game: 321.4/367.9

Rushing yardage per game: 151.9/218.5

Leading rusher: Donnell Kirkwood 73.7 yards per game/David Cobb 94.2

Fourth down conversions: 7-for-16, 44%/11-for-14, 78.6 %

Penalty yardage per game: 50.2/36.4

Net punting average: Christian Eldred (primarily) 34.2 yards per punt/Peter Mortell 38.1

Field goals: Jordan Wettstein 14-for-22/Chris Hawthorne 12-for-15

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