Saturday, December 17, 2011

Football in Review: Defense, Red zone, 3rd downs

Continuing with our review of the BGSU football team for 2011, let's look at red zone and 3rd down plays, remembering that some plays mean more than others, and that we are ultimately trying to answer how much better BG was in 2011 than in 2010.

Conference games only.

Starting with the red zone...BG was pretty poor in 2010.  Opponents scored 5.29 points per trip (12th in the MAC), and BG only held the opponents without scoring 4 times and 2 of those were on missed field goals.  BG allowed 28 trips, which was in the middle of the pack.

For 2011, BG allowed more trips (33).  However, BG allowed only 4.94 points per trip, which was way up to 4th in the MAC.  (This probably partly accounts for something we have been seeing in the date, which is that BG's final scoring defense position (7th) was a lot higher than most of their stats.)  The improvement was mostly in having more field goals in the mix, as opposed to outright stops.

In terms of 3rd downs, in 2010 BG was 12th at 40.2%.  In a trend we have seen on a number of different measures this year, BG performed essentially the same in 2011 on 3rd down (40.7%) but moved up to 8th, relative to the competition.

So, on key plays that have more leverage than other key plays, BG was improved in real terms in the red zone and improved in relative terms on 3rd down, if not overall.

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