Analytics - Todd Orlando

I did a high level analysis of coach MD earlier this week here. Here is one on Todd Orlando for comparison.

What the above data tells us: This analysis covers Todd Orlando’s coaching career as a defensive coordinatior at Utah State from 2013-2014, Houston 2015-2016 and Texas in 2017. We are going to break this up by University, first looking at Utah State, then UH, and then finally Texas.

Utah State

Todd took over at Utah State in 2013 where during the course of his tenure his recruiting class ranking average was 110. Before taking over the reigns as DC, the previous three years Utah averaged a class ranking of 108, leaving Todd with players requiring plenty of development. With these players, his total defense ranked #12 in 2013 and #30 in 2014, indicating that he possesses a strong ability to coach players. The recruiting class before Todd’s arrival was similar before and during his career at Utah, indicating that the recruiting class rank was a nonfactor in his ability to improve upon the total defensive ranking for Utah State.


Todd took over as a DC for the Cougars in 2015 where during the course of his tenure the recruiting class ranking was 62.5(average of 2015 and 2016). Houston’s total defense in 2015 ranked at 53 in the nation while in 2016 it improved to 13th in the nation. This improvement came on top of a step up in the SOS from 70 to 51 between 2015 and 2016. His time at Houston further supports Todd’s ability to coach players at a championship level regardless of their recruiting rank. Prior to Todd’s arrival, the Cougar defense in 2014 ranked 20 and in 2013 79, indicating that a talented pool of players were available for him to utilize. Another point to note here is that the players that Coach Orlando worked with were from recruiting classes which were ranked 63(average of 2012-2014).


Todd took over as DC for the Longhorns in 2017 where the Texas defense in the prior season ranked 94 with a recruiting class that ranked 11(average of 2014-2016) in the nation. In his first year at the helm at Texas, Todd improved the Longhorn defense to 41 in the nation, immediately showcasing his impact and his ability to deploy the right scheme with a talented pool of players.


Regardless of the biases built in all the data sets used and the assumptions in this analysis, it is difficult to deny based on these stats why Orlando was far more successful here at UH than Coach MD.


That is a lot of work you did there and in the end, you compared the amount of yards we allowed in 2015 and 2016 with the high school recruit rankings of offensive and defensive players that we signed at the end of the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Nothing “high level” about that analysis.

Now if you want to pull out the defensive efficiency rankings and compare them to what the average star rankings were of the defenders on the field under Orlando you would be getting closer to a decent analysis even though we all know about the bias in recruit rankings anyway.

I think that should be your data point, not the recruiting rank that year, the previous 3-4 class average. Of course if you want a lot more work, somehow doing just defensive recruits.

I think that should be your data point, not the recruiting rank that year, the previous 3-4 class average. Of course if you want a lot more work, somehow doing just defensive recruits.

I’m not sure where I can find such data without doing a tremendous amount of work. But yes, as I wrote and worked through the analysis, I started zoning into what really matters, taking low level players and building them into a competitive defensive unit.

Taking just defensive players from a talent perspective would be more granular work where data is not easily accessible, that is why I called it high level. As stated earlier, I would have to do it with all FBS teams.

This is a great suggestion, that may be a future analysis that I may consider working on and posting.

Right, which would be a good thing to show as proof. The major problem was you compared Orlando’s results with the ratings of players that were not on field.

Even then, how much can you “develop” players in one year? For example, it would be hard to credit Orlando with Jackson’s development when Jackson already was second team all conference in 2014 and Phil Steele had him preseason 2015 AAC first team and preseason all-american third team. He was also placed on the Jim Thorpe, Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award watch lists going into 2015.

All of that also goes to show how flawed the recruiting rankings are when players like Jackson and Keenum get rated with 2 stars based solely on which teams gave them offers and not how they performed on the field in high school.

Adding a little side rant.

I get that our defense has been disappointing these last two years and I was not a big fan of us hiring an out of work DC in 2017 and the same with an out of work OC in 2015.

What I don’t get, is the fight to not want to give credit to our hard working Cougar players for the defensive results on the field in 2015 and 2016. Especially when compare 2014 with 2015.

Defensive national rankings: 2014/2015/2016
Total Defense 20/53/13
Rushing Defense 37/8/4
Passing Yards Allowed 27/115/51
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 18/61/48
Scoring Defense 15/20/30
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense 50/3/19
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense 53/66/36
Red Zone Defense 94/119/93

You can attribute the improvement from 2015 to 2016 to Orlando but make sure to take into account that in 2016 we returned 9 starters and added Ed Oliver.

While Orlando immediately improved our run defense (yardage allowed) tremendously and did much better on third down conversions allowed, the pass defense was not nearly as effective and the points allowed went up.

Obviously our SOS was stronger in 2016 than 2015 and 2014 but we were in the same conference all 3 years so it’s hard to break down how much impact one or two tougher games over a 13 game season effected the over all stats. That is the problem with taking any analysis without a grain of salt. A person with an agenda can do a deep dive into 100 stats and find the 5 that support their preconceived opinion, produce them into a “factual” post and appear to be unbiased.

That is why I feel the need to say things like I wanted Orlando as a head coach before Applewhite because of the job he did and have since come to the conclusion not all of his accolades were 100% deserved in hindsight.

1 Like

I agree, data can be sliced a million ways, raw data like this is not to make definitive decisions about coaches but more to use as a data point along with other facts as you have stated to judge coaches.

I understand the need to credit players, these posts should not take anything away from them. Orlando’s whole body of work including his time at Utah and Texas also indicates improvements. Yes we knew more specifics as to what was happening here at UH but we will not necessarily know that sort of detail on other campuses. However, we could use these stats as a starting point or just a data point to vet coaches and try to understand some of their strengths and weaknesses.

Well here, let’s make it simple.

Maryland basic offensive numbers
vs Texas 34 points, 407 yards, 0 turnovers
vs Bowling Green 45 points, 565 yards, 1 turnover
vs Temple 14 points, 195 yards, 1 turnover

Tulsa basic offensive numbers
vs Central Arkansas 38 points, 470 yards, 3 turnovers
vs Texas 21 points, 353 yards, 2 turnovers
vs Arkansas State 20 points, 339 yards, 3 turnovers

USC basic offensive numbers
vs UNLV 43 points, 501 yards, 0 turnovers
vs Standford 3 points, 329 yards, 3 turnovers
vs Texas 14 points, 317 yards, 1 turnover

Stanford did better against USC, Arkansas State did the same job against Tulsa and Temple way out performed UT against Maryland. So unless you are arguing that Orlando is working with the same level of talent as UNLV, Central Arkansas and Bowling Green, I’m not seeing any evidence that UT has a quality defense this year.

Three way comparisons have their own drawbacks, but we can look at this another way.

Game 1: 34pts, 407 yards given up, 0 TO
Game 2: 21pts, 353 yards given up, 2 TO
Game 3: 14pts, 317 yards given up, 1 TO

Given the trend here, I think he’s headed in the right direction. We can argue strength of each team at the end of the season.

Ah, so if we hold TSU to less than 63 points, we will consider that the quality of our defense is trending upwards until we can evaluate the strength of the teams at the end of the season.

Well we typically know what FCS vs FBS will yield. UT’s first three opponents are prob a lot closer to each other. Again I don’t want to digress too much into a more granular view. I’m confident from both Orlando’s and Coach MD’s results that Coach TO is capable of developing his players or putting together better defenses than UT’s predecessor and Coach MD.

One Coog,
Appreciate the info. I think CTO is great DC. He has very good results overall and like all coaches has games where team didn’t perform well. What I will show doesn’t mean CMD is better. Nor does it mean that he is overall as aggressive in blitzing. It just shows that he does the same things that CMD is tortured about. And multiple/numerous times.
That being said at the end of the day CMD points allowed weren’t much different than CTOs from 2015 and 2016. So I looked at some film from UT game vs Maryland this year and see what CTO did. How he lined up etc. This was tough game for UT and didn’t play well. I know they played better vs USC but I couldn’t find full game video as of yesterday. Gonna post some pics in the thread because its about CTO rather than start new one.
Findings CTO rushed 3 and dropped 8 numerous times. CTO played his CBs 8 yards off ball 90% of time. Very little pressing. His players make mistakes just like CMDs and miss tackles too. First pic shows both CBs and slot DB 7 yards off LOS

Next shows CTO rushing 3 and dropping 8…pass was completed to WR in top left

Next shows CTO defense alignment on 3rd and 9 situation. CBs 7 yards off LOS. He will rush 3 and drop 8 in coverage again. 2 pics

Next 4 pics show CB lined up 9 yds off LOS on 3rd and 6
Initial alignment
WR runs out pattern and CB read.
WR catches ball.

Next is 1st down coverage both CBs 8 yards off LOS

A 2nd and 9 CTO again rushes only 3

3rd and 4 and rushes only 3

1st and 10 CBs at 7 and 9 yards off LOS

Next 3 pics show CTO player losing contain and 7 yard gain

Last 4 pics…i promise…show DE run past ball on quick jet sweep two missed tackles by unblocked defenders…play result was TD


Great analysis and footage takes. TO is not without his faults and may be running the exact scheme, but he seems to have better knowledge as to when and when not to use it. May be in the Maryland game he too didn’t make the proper adjustments when needed but if Maryland put up 30+ points first half, im certain he would have given the offense a different look.

We can take a couple of things away from Maryland vs Texas and use UH vs TT as a comparison, since both coaches got 2 attempts at the opponent:

Maryland vs Texas
Q1: 14
Q2: 16
Q3: 7
Q4 : 14

Maryland vs Texas
Q1: 14
Q2: 10
Q3: 0
Q4: 10

UH vs TT
Q1: 6
Q2: 7
Q3: 7
Q4: 7

UH vs TT
Q1: 14
Q2: 21
Q3: 14
Q4: 14

So both coaches lost both of these match ups. Todd Orlando showed a clear improvement from 2017 to 2018 while also showing improvement and the ability to make 2nd half adjustments. TO’s defense does terribly first game but does show improvement between quarters 1st Half: 30 pts vs 2nd Half 21 pts. In 2018 he holds Maryland to just 34 pts 1st half:24 2nd half: 10pts. So overall, great improvement from 1st game to 2nd and showcasing the ability to make half time adjustments.

Coach MD 1st game his defense did well and did what you would expect them to considering TT offense. Second game, he gets completely torched against a freshman quarterback, 1st half: 35pts 2nd Half: 28 pts. You can hardly call his game 2 2nd half adjustment a success with that kind of score on the board. I’m really not sure exactly what went wrong there. I understand the mismatches, I even saw pesiks, analysis which was great. But, this is where a coach separates himself from an average joe and finds a way to do the most with what he has on the field. I.e. deploying Ed Oliver and Johnson in a way to contain damage. This is just another data point, coaches can have bad games, its understandable. I think Coach MD will continue to have problems, im not sure if its his scheme, coaching, player ability or what have you, but one thing is clear, he is not doing something right.

Thanks appreciate your efforts as well. We can throw stats at each other all day. And both of us can make valid points…will explain

First, what would you do with IJ? He holds every time he’s man to man. Maybe strap his arms to his body?
I’m serious…he was on bench in 4th quarter…Kadarian Smith was in for him because he had PI penalties and got beat, and Smith fell down on a key 3rd and 9 when score was 49-42. I understand he’s fast and tall and everyone wants him to succeed but he’s not improving. CMD job is try and stop other team and right now Watkins and Myers are his best two options. He would be my 3rd CB right now and use him to spell the first two. In nickel I would play Joell Williams on slot as have so far.
I go by what my eyes tell me…and he’s not good. He doesn’t currently have instincts for position. He panics and holds. When he has coverage he doesn’t turn to find ball. CMD doesn’t coach him. I’ve seen IJ try and play press and he stumbled and got beat. He gets beat on double moves. He occasionally shows promise and makes nice break on ball and defends a pass. He does hustle…will run down long plays…ones not his fault.
He can either cover or he can’t. Right now he can’t much more often than he can. And if he’s gonna hold every time they run a fade…you might as well put somebody else in.
Regarding ED …he’s a nose guard. Could you line him up at DE some? Sure. I have seen him there in goaline this year but not otherwise. If you put him on one side do you think other guys might audible away from him? Probably. But now your weaker in middle because Fleming is huge step down. You want exotic blitzes for Ed? But what about CBs already discussed and young safeties Stuard and Sprewell? Although aggressive and good hitters…both miss tackles and have had coverage lapses…they are young in their defense and mistakes happen as you learn.
His stats last year were very similar to 2017 under CTO. I think he had 5 sacks under CTO and 2 were vs Louisville. He had a dominant 1st quarter vs TT. He drew two holding calls. They blocked him with center alone and he killed him. Had TFL and pressures. The announcers didn’t mention those things. They said he hasn’t had much effect…because Brady Quinn is a moron. They choose to take a play where CMD rushed 3 and show Ed triple teamed. And then the board says CMD rushed 3 all game!!! Not accurate. CMD played all soft zone. Not accurate again.

Did you know that CMD defense was #1 in country in 1st quarter Scoring Defense in 2017? Less than 3. Can verify on Our offense was 80 something in Offense Scoring for same quarter.
I guess CMD game plans pretty well. So does that stat make him the best game planning DC in country? According to your points allowed by DC method of evaluation. I don’t think so. But I think it shows to some extent that he prepares.

He and defense did well for first 6 series of TT game…did allow 2 TDs, but they were both directly off missed tackles.
You are just arbitrarily saying that Scoring went up because of CMD after that. Does player fatigue and substitution factor in?
Part of the point I was making, besides that CTO scheme isn’t 100 miles per hour all the time,
was that CTO players both missed tackles and made mental mistakes.
There is an always present argument here/board that mistakes are coaching issues. CTO is thought of very highly here and deservedly so…but his players and all players screw up.
Bama had CB beat on first play vs Ole Miss for 80 yard TD…that all gave up all day.
We also can’t just say that points allowed reflect the DC performance. The player performance variable has to be assessed as well.
For example…let’s say Opponent has ball on 5 yard line…3rd goal…and throws a fade. All DC play this the same. A CB man to man on WR. QB throws it up against DC 1 team…He over throws it.
Against DC 2 team great pass and WR drops it.
Vs DC 3 the CB deflects Pass. And Vs DC 4 CB gets beat on double move for TD.
According to your points allowed method of evaluation…all these 4 DCs are having their record effected by something totally out of their control at this point. Shotgun QB takes snap and releases in 1 second. Blitz not gonna get there.
So the DC who played the QB who over throws WR is better than the DC whose CB got beat?
And the DC whose corner made play and DC who benefit from WR drop have points allowed stay same.
This is an extreme example but individual matchups win and lose games all the time.
Anytime a DC puts a CB in man coverage his resume can be effected either way by whether he swats it away or slips and falls down. Last years Memphis game may have ended differently if Winchester holds onto ball…that one thing .
Last year CMD defense held USF to under 30 points for first time in 30 games…does that mean he’s a better DC than all 29 that played USF? No…different players played those games. I think it reflects well on him.
CMD defense rated pretty well last year in advanced stats…because they factor in your opposition. He had to face 5 teams that rated very highly in scoring and held all below their season average. So he can’t be simply compared to another DC that played crappy offenses and shut them down. There has to be an SOS factor involved.
Both CTO and CMD lost to Memphis. CTO gave up 5TDs in first half , shut them out in 3rd qtr…gave up 2 TDs in 4th.
CMD shuts them out for half and gives up 35 (7 on KO Ret) . Did both theses guys remember how to coach in certain quarters but forget how to coach on others?
There may be plays in there where they were out strategized…and they also won some mental battles in Quarters in which they did well. But players also made plays and failed to make plays.
So at end of day CTO resume shows 7 points scored against him because a player runs past Guy with ball and two other guys miss tackle. There was t anything flawed about his scheme…he had 2 unblocked tacklers there.
CMD gets -7 on him after a 5 yard pass becomes a 58 yard TD due to 2 missed tackles.
What about a defense that gives up TD on 5 yard drive after turnover and another that gives up 95 yard TD drive? Both gave up 7 points…but how it happened is much different.

I typically put player failures and their short comings on the coach as well. Their job to spot talent, their job to develop it, their job to find a scheme that puts the players in the best position possible. It’s okay to not do great every single game, it happens. But losing by the manner that we did against tech was horrendous.

continuing on, Game 4 went phenomenal against TCU, will update when I get the numbers

Following this thought…King of half time adjustments.


Q1: 6
Q2 :7
Q3: 3
Q4 :0

CTO will get offered a head coaching gig at some uni, guaranteed.

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