Thursday, October 02, 2008

Statistically Speaking: Purdue | by Pat

It Came From the Game Notes

• All but two of Notre Dame’s touchdowns this year have been scored by freshmen or sophomores (12 of 14). Senior WR David Grimes has the other two.

• Notre Dame managed just 188 total yards in the third quarter of its first three games (no points). The Irish ripped off 204 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday's third quarter alone.

• Notre Dame’s kickoff coverage unit ranks first in the nation in kickoff return yardage per return, allowing only 13.9 yards per kick return.

Battle for First Down

First off, thanks to Joel L. for crunching the 2007 Win Rates. We'll now have that much more context for our numbers. But first, the Purdue game.

While the previous three opponents have been fairly biased towards either the pass or run on 1st down, Purdue was somewhat surprisingly balanced. It was still 20 to 12 in favor of the pass, but that's more even than anything we've seen so far this year.

Notre Dame did their best job of the year against Purdue's 1st down rush offense with a 75% Win Rate. Even with the elusive Kory Sheets, 3 out of every 4 PU rushes on first down went for 2 or fewer yards.

Against the pass, ND tied the second highest Win Rate with a 60% score. There were four PU passes that went for 12 or more yards out of the 20 attempts, but ND didn't "lose" on the final 6 passes when the pressure was at its highest for the Boilermakers.

On the season, ND has a run game Win Rate of 60% and a pass game Win Rate of 54%. Thanks to Joel, we now know that in 2007, ND had a run game Win Rate of 34% and a passing game win rate of 51%. I included the entire 2007 breakdown on a separate tab with the rest of the 2008 First Down numbers.

Granted the Fighting Irish haven't played some of the tougher running teams yet, but the increase from a 34% Win Rate in 2007 to 60% in 2008 is very impressive. It's likely that the 60% number will drop a bit over the course of the season, but so far it is very clear that the defense has shown dramatic improvement against the run on 1st down.

Gimme M.O.E.

(M.O.E. primer here)

Another game, another low M.O.E. percentage for Notre Dame. Against Purdue, ND checked in with a season-low 6%. Purdue also played a relatively mistake free game with a M.O.E. of 9%.

The season-long numbers show the Fighting Irish with a cumulative M.O.E. of 9%. That's half of last year's 18%. In fact, it's lower than 2005 (10%) and 2006 (13%). It's perhaps a bit unrealistic for an ND team with so many young contributors on offense to keep the number that low all season. I wouldn't be surprised to see at least one game where the offensive mistakes pile up a bit and result in a high M.O.E. number.

I added a chart and list showing the M.O.E. scores for all 3.25 seasons of ND football under Charlie Weis to the M.O.E. spreadsheet.

Season Long Running Averages

I made a bit of a change to the season long stats table. There is now a column between the 2008 and 2007 final numbers with an arrow indicating if the current value is a statistical (not national rank) improvement or not from the previous season. It's basically just a quick way to get an overall glance of the numbers.