Let’s take a look at the kickoff numbers through week 8. After mentioning the possibility in last week’s entry, I’ve decided going forward to include all kickoffs in the data that I present, not just kickoffs from the 30 yard line (and from the 35 in 2005-2006).
Here are the kickoff numbers through week 8 of 2007 compared to 2005-2006.
|Season(s)||Kickoff Start||# Kickoffs||Kickoff End Avg.||TB||TB %|
Comparing 2007 to the previous two seasons combined, touchbacks are down 55% through week 8, and the average ending spot of the kickoff has moved 3.03 yards farther from the goal line. This is a week-by-week breakdown of the kickoff numbers.
|Kickoff Start||# Kickoffs||Kickoff End Avg.||TB||TB %|
|2007 week 1||All||688||8.87||80||11.63%|
|2007 week 2||All||690||8.33||79||11.45%|
|2007 week 3||All||723||10.19||85||11.76%|
|2007 week 4||All||701||9.42||80||11.41%|
|2007 week 5||All||620||8.99||77||12.42%|
|2007 week 6||All||620||10.16||102||16.45%|
|2007 week 7||All||608||10.30||88||14.47%|
|2007 week 8||All||602||10.81||98||16.28%|
In weeks 1-4 combined, 11.56% of kickoffs resulted in a touchback; in weeks 5-8 combined, 14.90% of kickoffs resulted in a touchback. For week 8, the kickoff end average was the highest of any week so far this season, while at the same time the percentage of touchbacks was the 2nd highest of any week.
Here are the kickoff return numbers through week 8 of 2007 compared to 2005-2006.
|Season(s)||Kickoff Start||# Returns||Return Avg.||Return End Avg.||TD||TD%|
Comparing 2007 to the previous two seasons combined, the average return is up 1.04 yards, and the average ending spot of the return is 3.4 yards farther upfield. Here is the week-by-week breakdown of the kickoff return numbers.
|Kickoff Start||# Returns||Return Avg.||Return End Avg.||TD||TD%|
|2007 week 1||All||570||21.33||30.51||5||0.88%|
|2007 week 2||All||579||21.88||29.87||3||0.52%|
|2007 week 3||All||596||21.52||31.18||4||0.67%|
|2007 week 4||All||574||22.37||31.17||11||1.92%|
|2007 week 5||All||512||21.41||30.52||6||1.17%|
|2007 week 6||All||476||21.61||31.77||7||1.47%|
|2007 week 7||All||474||21.16||30.85||3||0.63%|
|2007 week 8||All||474||21.05||32.26||1||0.21%|
Week 8 saw both the lowest average per kickoff return and lowest touchdown percentage of any week so far this season. Only one kickoff was returned for touchdown in week 8, a 98-yard return by Perrish Cox of Oklahoma State against Kansas State.
Now that I’m considering all data when looking at the new kickoff rule, I can bring back the list of individual leaders in kickoffs for touchback. To qualify for this list, a player must have a minimum of 24 kickoffs.
|Ryan Harrison||Air Force||41||20||48.8%|
|Matt Szymanski||Texas A&M||44||19||43.2%|
|Alex Trlica||Texas Tech||60||23||38.3%|
|Kevin Kelly||Penn State||53||17||32.1%|
|Jared Develli||Virginia Tech||37||11||29.7%|
|Jason Smith||Colorado State||37||9||24.3%|
|Chris Nendick||Northern Illinois||33||8||24.2%|
|Steven Hauschka||North Carolina State||34||8||23.5%|
|Jake Hogue||Ball State||52||12||23.1%|