Wednesday, December 07, 2011

MAC Benchmark Comparisons....

We have been tracking certain benchmark stats through the year, some of which I made up.  Before we pick through the Bowling Green season, I wanted to look at the MAC at whole because I think it presents a nice context.

First, these are MAC-games only.  When something is ADJ, it means the number has been sack adjusted--that sacks have been moved from rushing attempts and yardage calculations to passing attempts and calculations.  Doesn't make a huge difference, but it does make a difference.

The biggest one I have mentioned here before.  Interceptions in 2011 were down 47% over the year before.  Also, this is true both in raw numbers, and as a percentage of passes attempted.  In 2010, interceptions were 3.9% of pass plays, and they were 2.0% this year.  Also, sacks were down almost 11%, meaning that negative pass plays fell from 10% to 7.5%.

This was not necessarily reflect in other passing stats...for example, completion percentage was down (were passers just better at getting rid of the ball?), and yards per attempt and yards per reception increased only modestly.

Overall, per game scoring (not on chart) went from 25.1 points per game to 28.4 points per game (a 12% increase) and yards per play increased by 7.5%, so overall, the MAC had more productive offense this year, and in pretty significant numbers.  Run averages were up about 3%.

The MAC was also more effective, creating 9% more red zone trips (expected with yardage increases).  Football often boils down to red zone and 3rd down execution, and red zone scoring was up 9% and 3rd and 4th down conversions were up 5.5%.

Given that there were some very high scoring games in the MAC, this won't be too surprising to anyone.  In fact, if anything, a national observer basing their opinions on those November games might be surprised that the numbers are this LOW.

Anyway, for our purposes here as a Falcon blog, here's the important point.  When we see BG's offensive improvement from 2010 to 2011, we have to remember that our competition was getting better at the same time.  We would need increases just to stay where we were.  On defense, obviously, the reverse is true.

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