Archive for October, 2008

Stuffing the Run

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

A quick look today at team defensive leaders in stuffing the run. A stuff is defined as a tackle for no gain or behind the line of scrimmage on a rushing attempt. Since I want to only consider true rushing plays, I’ve removed sacks and team rushing attempts, such as kneel-downs at the end of the half and snaps over the quarterback’s or punter’s head.

CORRECTION: The rushing attempt totals in the original list still included sacks, which has been corrected. The stuff totals remain the same, but the stuff percentages changed so the rankings have changed. From the original top 20 list, Middle Tennessee, Rutgers, Wisconsin, and Boston College have been replaced by California and Georgia Tech. There were more than 20 teams in the original list because of ties in stuff percentage.

The complete list can be downloaded as a CSV file here.

Rank Team Rush Att. Stuffs Stuff %
1 TCU 162 57 35.2%
2 Nevada 193 61 31.6%
3 Auburn 214 65 30.4%
4 UCF 182 52 28.6%
5 USC 190 53 27.9%
5 Florida State 154 43 27.9%
7 Miami (Florida) 230 63 27.4%
7 Alabama 157 43 27.4%
9 South Florida 193 51 26.4%
10 Kentucky 230 59 25.7%
10 Texas 152 39 25.7%
12 Mississippi 238 61 25.6%
13 Duke 219 55 25.1%
14 Utah 241 60 24.9%
15 Louisville 156 38 24.4%
16 Miami (Ohio) 231 56 24.2%
17 Kansas State 270 65 24.1%
18 Kansas 196 47 24.0%
19 Georgia Tech 218 52 23.9%
19 California 209 50 23.9%

Trailers (For Sale or Rent)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Before last Saturday’s game against Mississippi, Alabama had not trailed in a game this season. That streak was broken with 5:25 left in the first quarter when Joshua Shene’s field goal put Ole Miss up 3-0. Alabama wasted no time starting a new streak on the next drive, taking the lead for good with a 4-play, 73-yard touchdown drive that took just 1 minute and 15 seconds.

While Alabama’s streak was broken, it still holds the lead among FBS schools in the least amount of time spent trailing this season. Here is the top 15:

Team G Trail Minutes Trail Minutes/G Record
Alabama 7 1:15 0:10.7 7-0
Boise State 6 6:51 1:08.5 6-0
Ball State 7 11:06 1:35.1 7-0
Oklahoma 7 11:37 1:39.6 6-1
Texas Tech 7 15:36 2:13.7 7-0
Florida 6 15:38 2:36.3 5-1
Penn State 8 36:29 4:33.6 8-0
Oklahoma State 7 31:56 4:33.7 7-0
Tulsa 7 42:35 6:05.0 7-0
Auburn 7 48:28 6:55.4 4-3
Texas 7 51:16 7:19.4 7-0
Boston College 6 50:10 8:21.7 5-1
TCU 8 75:41 9:27.6 7-1
South Florida 7 68:14 9:44.9 6-1
Georgia 7 70:27 10:03.9 6-1

Boise State is the only team that is relatively close to Alabama in not letting its opponent take the lead. Boise State has only trailed in the first half of its game against Oregon, taking 6 minutes and 51 seconds over three drives to reclaim the lead for good.

As you might expect even before looking at the list, the teams that trail the least generally end up with the best records. Every team on the list is either undefeated or has one loss, except Auburn. Auburn is helped because it never trailed in its four wins, and had 2nd-half leads in its three losses. Those 2nd-half leads slipped away for the most part due to an offense that is ranked 107th in Total Offense and 97th in Scoring Offense.

Offensive Three-And-Out Drives

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Early in the broadcast of the Missouri – Texas game on Saturday night, ABC displayed the statistic that Missouri had only had two three-and-out drives this season with Chase Daniel at quarterback. Not long after they showed that statistic, Missouri and Daniel went three-and-out on three of their first four drives against Texas. Missouri rallied though, and did not have a three-and-out drive over their last seven drives of the game.

Such a low number of three-and-out drives is impressive, but I wondered how that compares to other teams in the FBS (Division I-A). Since I track every play and drive of every game involving an FBS team, I can answer the question. The caveat is that I don’t have a way to assign a drive to a particular quarterback since the play-by-play does not list the quarterback for every play. So I can only answer the question by looking at team totals rather than individual quarterbacks.

The following table shows the top-ten teams with the lowest percentage of three-and-out drives through week 8.

Team 3-And-Outs Drives 3-And-Out % Total Off. Rank
Tulsa 5 89 5.6% 1
Texas Tech 6 85 7.1% 2
Missouri 7 84 8.3% 5
South Carolina 8 91 8.8% 81
Florida State 8 78 10.3% 30
Houston 10 94 10.6% 3
Illinois 10 94 10.6% 9
Colorado State 9 80 11.3% 73
Ball State 9 78 11.5% 15
Ohio 10 86 11.6% 61

Tulsa – check, Texas Tech – check, Missouri – check, South Carolina – ch…oh, wait. South Carolina? Yeah, that one threw me when I saw it, so much so that I went back and manually checked every South Carolina drive. Sure enough, South Carolina, which is 81st in the FBS in Total Offense through week 8, has had only eight three-and-out drives this season. But South Carolina is not the only team in the top ten that seems out of place, Colorado State and Ohio rank 73rd and 61st respectively in the FBS in total offense.

On the flip side, here are the top-ten teams with the highest percentage of three-and-out drives through week 8.

Team 3-And-Outs Drives 3-And-Out % Total Off. Rank
Louisiana-Monroe 31 90 34.4% 77
Tennessee 28 83 33.7% 106
Florida International 31 93 33.3% 116
San Diego State 32 97 33.0% 114
Utah State 30 91 33.0% 101
Wyoming 30 93 32.3% 117
Vanderbilt 28 88 31.8% 119
Duke 24 76 31.6% 87
Temple 29 93 31.2% 115
Michigan 31 100 31.0% 108

No real surprises here, most of these teams are near the bottom in total offense. However, the team that has the highest percentage of three-and-out drives this season among 120 FBS teams, Louisiana-Monroe, ranks higher in total offense (77th) than the South Carolina, the team with the 4th lowest percentage!

Week 8 Statistics Available

Monday, October 20th, 2008

The statistics through week 8 of the 2008 season (through 10/18/2008) are now available.

The New Clock Rules – Week 7

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

This week’s look at the impact of the new 40-second clock rule is available at The Wiz Of Odds.

Clock Losers Outnumber Gainers Five to One

Check it out.

Week 7 Statistics Finally Available

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

The statistics through week 7 of the 2008 season (through 10/11/2008) are now available. Thanks again for your patience.

Week 7 Statistics Delayed

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Who would schedule a wedding for a Saturday during college football season? My sister, that’s who. I tried to convince her that spring weddings are better, but she wouldn’t listen. Hopefully we can at least find a TV to watch at the reception. Who cares about toasting the happy couple when you’ve got the Red River Shootout to watch?

I probably won’t get back home until late Sunday afternoon at the earliest, so it’s doubtful that the site will be updated by Monday morning. Unfortunately, I don’t have a team of assistants to do all the work while I’m gone.

I hope to have the site updated by Monday evening. Thanks for your patience.

Teams With No Penalties In A Game

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

In his Inside The Numbers article this week, sports editor Mike Huguenin notes, using data from, that both Purdue and Fresno State had no penalties in their games last week.

How rarely does that happen? Since the start of the 2004 season spanning 3370 games, they are the 24th and 25th teams to accomplish that feat. Since each game has two chances for a team to finish with no penalties, there have been 6740 chances, meaning that it has happened in only 0.37% (25/6740) of the chances.

As Mike notes in his article, being penalty-free did not help Purdue or Fresno State, they both lost!

Week 6 Statistics Available

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The statistics through week 6 of the 2008 season (through 10/4/2008) are now available.