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Hogs Smell Blood in the Red Zone

I harped on offensive efficiency in my latest column, but for the purposes of the thought experiment I had to ignore one garish number: The 2009 Hogs offense successfully converted 92.95% of attempts in the red zone.

Yes, that's better than the 2005 Louisville Cardinals. It's better than the 2009 Crimson Tide. It's even better than the 2008 Gators, a jump-passing machine much-ballyhooed for efficiency. As a matter of fact, I ran out of patience before I found a national championship team with more success in the red zone.

It's just one number, but it speaks to the Hogs' dominating athleticism, Mallett's ability to actually throw the ball for short yardage, and the Swiss Army-like utility of Petrino's offensive playbook. Plus, if you remember how hesitant Petrino was to use Tejada last year—just 12 of 47 red zone conversions were field goals—then you can only come to one conclusion: The Hogs are all-but-unstoppable when they smell the endzone.

Follow Derek Jenkins on Twitter @aboynamedsooie.