Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Statistically Speaking: Michigan | by Pat

It's a Numbers Game

• One bright spot from last week's game was the shifty Golden Tate who side-stepped a number of tackles on his entirely too many kickoff returns. With a 26.7 yards per return average, he's currently 32nd in the nation.

• Finding a new way to express ND's putrid offense, ABC resorted to comparing ND's offensive output to its punting output. I updated their numbers to reflect the current standings.

Total Offense - 345 yards
Punting - 1019 yards
• Teds found even uglier numbers by digging up these stats.
20 of our 39 drives (51%) have ended in three plays or fewer. Only 2 of the 39 (5%) have gone for 10 plays or more.

• Only 12 of the drives (31%) have resulted in 10 yards or more gained. Nearly that many of the drives -- 10 (26%) -- have resulted in negative yardage.
We're #1! Notre Dame is currently ranked first in the nation in 4th down conversion defense. The Fighting Irish have stopped the lone fourth down attempt against them, putting them tied with 16 other teams for the honors. Hey, you gotta start with something.

• I pored through the stat sheets to find that one, elusive, sabermetric-ish stat that would completely explain Notre Dame's woes and offer great hope for the future. I couldn't find it. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens on Saturday.

Gotta Have M.O.E.

Well, the M.O.E. metric is kind of useless when your team fails to score a single point. And not surprisingly, Notre Dame put up the worst percentage -- 29% -- of Charlie's tenure in the Michigan game. For the third straight game, Notre Dame's offense made mistakes at more than twice the recommended daily allowance of M.O.E.

The Michigan offense fared much better; not surprising, as a run-heavy offense is less likely to make mistakes. The number of fumbles boosted their number slightly, but at 9% they still fell under the magic 12% benchmark.

As always, full breakdown here. I also added charts for the visually inclined.

Season Long Running Averages

If you're a glutton for punishment, and clearly you are if you're still reading, here's the season long running stat breakdown.