Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Statistically Speaking: Michigan | by Pat

It Came From the Game Notes

• All five Irish touchdowns in the 35-17 rout of Michigan were scored by sophomores.

• Notre Dame recorded only three passing plays of 38 yards or longer all last season. The Irish, more specifically sophomore WR Golden Tate, has already registered three in the first two games.

• After giving up a school and NCAA record 58 sacks a year ago, Notre Dame has not
allowed a single sack over its first two games. The Irish had not gone consecutive
games without yielding a sack since 2003.

• A total of 29 different states are represented on the Irish roster. Among Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division IA), only Army has more states represented on its 2008 roster.

Most States Represented
Army – 35, plus American Samoa
Notre Dame – 29
Navy – 27
Nebraska – 25
Air Force – 25
Stanford – 24, plus two foreign countries
Northwestern – 23
Michigan – 21, plus Canada
West Virginia – 21
Colorado – 20
The Battle For First Down

After reading through the comments from last week, I decided to make a small change. I now consider a win, loss, or draw for 1st downs. A win is when the offense gets 2 or fewer yards on 1st down. A draw is 3 yards, and a loss is 4 or more yards. This doesn't change the Win Rate metric at all from last week as it still take a play of 2 or fewer yards to yield a defensive "win", but it does add a bit more context.

Michigan had 32 first down plays. They were the opposite of the pass-happy Aztecs as the Wolverines ran on 25 of those first downs and passed on only 7 of them.

Against the run, the ND defense won 14 downs compared to 9 losses and 2 draws for a Win Rate of 56%.

Against the pass, ND defense won only 2 downs and lost 5 for a Win Rate of 29%.

There are far too few data points to start drawing steadfast conclusions about what Win Rate against the run and pass would be considered "good" or "bad". But my gut feeling tells me that a win rate of over 50% against the run on first down is very good. Hopefully over the course of the season we'll be able to get a better feel for these numbers.

I set up yet another google document spreadsheet to track the season long Win Rates. Enjoy.

Gimme M.O.E.

The Irish offense continued to play largely mistake free as the M.O.E. numbers from the Michigan game add up to a low 8%. That is the 7th lowest M.O.E. score for the Irish offense in the 39 game Weis era. No sacks, no offensive penalties, and no lost fumbles were the main reason for the low score. ND also ran the fewest number of plays while Charlie has been coach. Remember, the idea is to come in under 12%.

Michigan on the other hand made mistakes across the board with penalties, fumbles, dropped passes, and interceptions to arrive at a 15% M.O.E. score. This doesn't include the fumble on the kickoff return as that was not an offensive play.

Season Long Running Stats

Dig through all the numbers and rankings here. It's still way too early, but the special team numbers are looking better.