Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The BG defense did improve

I know that there was some chatter during the season about the lack of progress our defense made in its first year under Carl Pelini's coaching.  I wanted to make a couple of points about that.

First, even as Eliano was being let go, we knew that BG had a lack of talent as well as a lack of good coaching.  The biggest complaint was the defense never seemed to improve and that's certainly a fair description.  The problem became worse with off-season transfers and dismissals as well as serious injuries to Konowalski, Murphy, Pence, Belton, Walder, etc, and lesser injuries to Croslen, Brooks, etc toward the end of the year.

It just wasn't going to be night and day given all that.

With that, the defense did improve.  Yes, from among the worst to merely bad, but the defense did improve.  As you can see, in MAC play, BG gave up 4.2 points fewer per game and .6 yards fewer per play, moving to 9th in both categories.  BG moved up to 11th in rushing yards per carry allowed and held ground in pass efficiency defense and 3rd down defense.

Again, not claiming this to be a stratospheric leap.  Just saying that its very possible the 18 defense had less talent than the 17 defense did and there was coaching involved even in this modest increase.  In contrast, despite having people back and relative health, BG's offense scored 6.5 fewer points per game and fell from 7th to 9th.

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