Thursday, October 01, 2009

At the third pole

Believe it or not, the Falcon football season is one-third over. While I expected us to be 1-3, there have been some ups and some downs. Certainly, you have to be happy with Troy and the first half against Missouri, but from there we have some less inspiring play.

Now, you can argue that BG is very close to being 3-1, and while you can't argue with that analysis (because we could be), I don't think it really describes what is going on. Both Missouri and Marshall found a weakness and exploited it without mercy, and the only surprise is that it took them as long as it did.

Some things I noticed in perusing the statistics:

Our offense is, so far, less productive than last season. (And, I know that our numbers should come up in the conference season, and we had a tough pre-conference schedule. These comparisons give us a nice place to start with. And last year's offense was pretty mediocore).

  • Offensive scoring: This year, 17 per game. (Last year, 27)
  • Running yards per play: This year, 3.4, last year 3.7
  • Passing Yards per play: This year, 5.1, last year 6.7
  • Our big play potential is down, with only 3.57 points per game from outside the RZ.
  • Our third down conversion is also down: 41% this year, 46% last year.

This is, in my opinion, a decent picture. We'll keep tracking it as we head into the regular season. The yards per passing attempt is especially concerning. The 6.7 yards per play last season was below the conference average, and 5.1 is pretty anemic. Beyond that, in three of the four games we have been 5.1 OR BELOW. Only a good average in the Troy game is keeping us afloat in this category.

On defense, we are struggling with big plays. BG has allowed 15.5 points/game from the red zone and 11.3 from outside the red zone. This is a ratio of only 1.38, or 1.38 RZ points for every non-RZ point. Last year, BG's ratio was 2.6 and the MAC was 2.44.

I also understand that these defensive numbers are partly influenced by that Top 10 team we just played. Just for flavor, here are a couple of numbers for the Broncos....

  • Boise made a first down on 38% of its plays.
  • They averaged 7.6 yards per running play and 10.5 per passing play.
  • Their 3rd down percentage wasn't so great, but they only ended up in third down on 16% of their plays, which is a good number.

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