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How Has Rhett Lashlee Done At Other Schools In His First Year?

When he was at other schools, how did Rhett Lashlee manage in his first year?

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Auburn Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Manny Diaz and the Miami Hurricanes announced that they had hired Rhett Lashlee as their new offensive coordinator. While the move is looked at by many as a “home run,” you can’t just expect instant success in a coaches first year at a new school, Dan Enos taught us that in 2019.

While it’s completely possible that Lashlee and the Miami offense don't gel right away in the 2020 season, I decided to take a look at how he’s done in his first season at his previous schools.

2011 Arkansas State Red Wolves: pre-Lashlee

  • 32.5 PPG (31st in nation)
  • 447.8 YPG (24th in nation)
  • 154.2 rushing yards per game
  • Quarterback Ryan Aplin: 3,588 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 63.9% completion, 7.5 yards per attempt
  • 41.80% 3rd down (47th in nation)

2012 Arkansas State Red Wolves: With Lashlee

  • 34.9 PPG (26th in nation)
  • 466.7 YPG (23rd in nation)
  • 206.2 rushing yards per game
  • Quarterback Ryan Aplin: 3,342 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 68% completion, 8.2 yards per attempt
  • 47.24% 3rd down (17th in nation)

2012 Auburn Tigers: pre-Lashlee

  • 18.7 PPG (115th in nation)
  • 305 YPG (118th in nation)
  • 148.4 rushing yards per game
  • Quarterback Kiehl Frazier: 753 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 53.4% completion, 6.5 yards per attempt
  • 29.19% 3rd down (122nd in nation)

2013 Auburn Tigers: With Lashlee

  • 39.5 PPG (12th in nation)
  • 501.4 YPG (11th in nation)
  • 328.4 rushing yards per game
  • Quarterback Nick Marshall: 1,976 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 59.4% completion, 8.3 yards per attempt
  • 43.83% 3rd down (31st in nation)

2016 UConn Huskies: pre-Lashlee

  • 14.8 PPG (128th in nation)
  • 320 YPG (122nd in nation)
  • 117.3 rushing yards per game
  • Quarterback Bryant Shirreffs: 2,010 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 58.7% completion, 7.1 yards per attempt
  • 31.93% 3rd down (116th in nation)

2017 UConn Huskies: With Lashlee

  • 23.6 PPG (103rd in nation)
  • 415.5 YPG (50th in nation)
  • 146.3 rushing yards per game
  • Quarterback Bryant Shirreffs: 2,287 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 65.8% completion, 8.8 yards per attempt
  • 40.11% 3rd down (60th in nation)

2017 SMU Mustangs: pre-Lashlee

  • 37.8 PPG (12th in nation)
  • 478.5 YPG (15th in nation)
  • 184.4 rushing yards per game
  • Quarterback Ben Hicks: 3,569 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 58.5% completion, 7.6 yards per attempt
  • 43.3% 3rd down (33rd in nation)

2018 SMU Mustangs: With Lashlee

  • 30.4 PPG (54th in nation)
  • 387.3 YPG (81st in nation)
  • 115.6 rushing yards per game
  • Quarterback Ben Hicks: 2,582 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 55.9% completion, 6.9 yards per attempt
  • 31.58% 3rd down (123rd in nation)

So as you can see, most of these offenses improved in Lashlee’s first year in almost every category. And while UConn didn't put up any crazy numbers in 2017 with Rhett as OC, there was clearly an upgrade, as they leaped from 122nd in 2016 in total offense to 50th when Lashlee arrived.

Obviously, SMU was the one that took a drop down from 2017 to 2018, as did quarterback Ben Hicks. Could that have something to do with Chad Morris leaving as head coach, and Sonny Dykes coming in? Perhaps.

The biggest thing to me that stands out is the points per game, because all but one of those years with Lashlee (2017 UConn) would’ve been better than the 25.7 points per game the Hurricanes averaged on offense in 2019. Only twice did Miami’s defense allow 30 points or more this year, so that means if UM’s offense put up at least 30 points per game, they go 10-2 in the regular season.

So I'm not saying Lashlee’s offense will have immediate success in 2020, but judging from his past jobs, it wouldn’t be the first time it happened.