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Rushing, passing, and receiving broken down by half, quarter, down and distance, field position, and score. Situational statistics are provided by team and player.

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New Kickoff Rule – Week 8

October 24th, 2007

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 %
2005-2006 All 15,413 6.58 4,489 29.12%
2007 All 5,252 9.61 689 13.12%

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%
2005-2006 All 9,820 20.42 27.58 80 0.81%
2007 All 4,255 21.56 30.98 40 0.94%

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.

Player Team Kickoffs TB TB%
Adi Kunalic Nebraska 39 22 56.4%
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%
Jason Bondzio Arizona 46 17 37.0%
Vincente Rico Idaho 33 12 36.4%
Swayze Waters UAB 36 12 33.3%
T.J. Lawrence Houston 49 16 32.7%
Jose Martinez UTEP 43 14 32.6%
Scott Webb Kansas 59 19 32.2%
Kevin Kelly Penn State 53 17 32.1%
Jared Develli Virginia Tech 37 11 29.7%
Taylor Mehlhaff Wisconsin 46 13 28.3%
Tim Masthay Kentucky 59 16 27.1%
Garrett Hartley Oklahoma 62 16 25.8%
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%
Joel Monroe Minnesota 39 9 23.1%