Inside the Numbers: In-House OC Candidates

Rob Spence

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood has two assistants with play-calling experience on his current staff and confirmed both as candidates for the vacant offensive coordinator position. ScarletReport.com looks in-depth Norries Wilson's and Rob Smith's experiences as coordinators at the Division I level.

Rutgers running backs coach Norries Wilson and quarterbacks coach Rob Spence are both candidates for offensive coordinator with Dave Brock gone to Delaware. Head coach Kyle Flood said he will look inside and outside of the program before making a decision, but confirmed interest in both experienced play-callers.

On day two of the offensive coordinator search, ScarletReport.com goes inside the numbers to break down both candidates.

Norries Wilson

Wilson has four years of Division I play-calling experience during Connecticut's infancy as a Big East program. In Wilson's four years calling plays, the Huskies established themselves as a legitimate Big East program. Wilson was offensive coordinator from 2002-05 before leaving to take over as Columbia's head coach. UConn was 28-19 in Wilson's four seasons as coordinator.

2002 — Wilson took over as offensive coordinator and helped groom quarterback Dan Orlovsky for the NFL. The Huskies averaged 31.1 points per game, including two offensive explosions late in the season. UConn scored 61 points in a win over FAU and 63 when beating Kent State. Orlovsky finished the season with 2,488 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. Running back Terry Caulley ran for 1,247 yards.

2003 — The Huskies had their best season in school history (until the Orange Bowl appearance) with a 9-3 finish. Wilson tendered his gameplan around NFL-bound Orlovsky, who threw for 3,485 yards and 33 touchdowns and finished averaging 34 points per game. As impressively as Orlovsky performed, the rushing game was just as potent with three backs pushing 600 yards and averaging a combined 180 yards per game.

2004 — Wilson was voted one of the top five assistants in the country for his play-calling in 2004. Led by a senior Orlovsky, the Huskies finished 8-4 and won three straight games to end the season with 30 points or more. The marquee win? UConn scored 41 points in a victory over Rutgers in Piscataway. Now playing for Greg Schiano and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Orlovsky shattered UConn records with 10,706 passing yards and 84 touchdowns under Wilson's tutelage.

2005 — Things did not go as well for Wilson in his final year as a coordinator. Struggling to replace Orlovsky, the Huskies finished 5-6 and averaged 12 points per game during a four-game losing streak to end the season. Three different starting quarterbacks combined for just 1,644 passing yards. When Wilson's tenure as offensive coordinator came to an end, the Huskies averaged 29.6 points per game during his four years.


Rob Spence

Spence worked as offensive coordinator with Syracuse, Louisiana Tech, Toledo and Clemson in the last decade. His first play-calling job at the Division I level came in 2000 with Louisiana Tech as a co-offensive coordinator.

2000 (La. Tech) — La. Tech went 3-9, but averaged 29 points per game in Spence's season as co-offensive coordinator. Future NFL quarterback Luke McCown threw for 2,544 yards and 21 touchdowns in eight games as a freshman.

2001 (Toledo) — Spence's first year with Toledo was an explosive one. Going 9-2 and averaging 35 points per game, Toledo fell one first down short of 5,000 total yards of offense. Future Minnesota Vikings star Chester Taylor ran for 1,430 yards as a junior and ranked seventh in the nation in rushing.

2002 — It got even better for the Taylor-led Toledo offense in 2002 in a strangely-long 9-5 season. Taylor found similar success on the ground, but took advantage of Spence's creativity with two passing touchdowns as well. Spence developed multiple NFL talents on the 2002 squad, including then-freshman quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. Spence led the offense to an impressive 6,611 total yards of offense and 35 points per game.

2003 — This time averaging 32.4 points and 463 yards per game as an offense, Toldeo was dominant in Gradkowksi's first season as a starter. As a sophomore, the future Oakland Raiders quarterback threw for 3,210 yards and 29 touchdowns as the No. 6 rated quarterback in NCAA football.

2004 — Spence finished his Toledo career with his team averaging 33.9 points and 463 yards per game over four seasons. Gradkowski's 9,225 career passing yards and 99 total touchdowns remain Toledo records with Spence in charge in the first three years of his development.

2005 (Clemson) — Spence was both a coordinator and quarterbacks coach in his time at Clemson and helped the Tigers find overall success. In year one, the Tigers went 8-4 under Tommy Bowden, but received underwhelming play from senior, NFL-bound quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. Whitehurst threw 11 touchdowns and 10 picks as a senior under Spence in 11 games. Spence had his lowest offensive output to date with the Tigers averaging 26 points per game

2006 — Enter C.J. Spiller. Spiller's arrival at running back gave Spence and the Tigers one of the best impact players of the decade. Spiking to 32.6 points per game and logging an extra 800 yards of total offense. In the Rutgers coaching search, Flood said he wants someone that makes use of its weapons and that is exactly what Spence did with Spiller, who went for 938 yards and 10 touchdowns as a true freshman.

2007 — Spiller and James Davis combined for 1,800 rushing yards in 2007 and quarterback Cullen Harper finished just short of 3,000 passing yards in a balance attack. The Tigers averaged 403 yards and 32 points per game.

2008 — The Tigers used Spiller as a dual threat in Spence's final year with the program. Rushing and receiving for more than 600 yards, the impact junior finished his Clemson career with 53 career touchdowns. At his second straight school, Spence made use of the halfback pass, with Spiller throwing a touchdown pass in the same fashion as Taylor at Toledo.

2009 (Syracuse) — Spence's final stop as a play-caller was not pretty. Doug Marrone's first year with the Orange ended at 4-8. Spence and the Orange offense put up just 21 points and 330 yards per game. Syracuse, however, had a 1,000-yard rusher in Delone Carter and embarrassed Rutgers at the Carrier Dome behind Greg Paulus and Ryan Nassib sharing time at quarterback and an impressive defensive line performance.

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