2012 Turnover Analysis – Updated Thru Purdue
Preseason Prediction (Which Is Looking A Little Better): Michigan will end the year with a +8 Turnover Margin (TOM) or better (2011 was +7). The prediction for TOM for M for this year is based on the prediction that M will be a very good team again this year and is not based on the actual TOM of last year. (Very good teams will have a TOM of +5 or better.)
Where Have All The Forced Fumbles Gone?: Yikes! M has only ONE forced fumble in 5 games. The opponents have basically dropped the ball (bad handoff, muffed KO, etc.,) another 9 times for a total of 10 opponent fumbles. It is, therefore, not really a surprise that M's recovery rate is a measly 40% because many of the unforced fumbles are in the backfield of the opponent with few M players around the ball. Last year M had 7 forced fumbles thru 5 games. Poor tackling, maybe? M is ranked #115 in forced fumbles.
Denard Robinson Interception %: This chart shows a comparison of Denard's Int% for 2011 and 2012. It is subdivided by out-of-conference (OOC) and Big Ten games because DRob did show marked improvement last year in his interception % over the final 9 games going from 8.3% in the first 4 games to 4.8% in the final 9 games. (BTW, average Int% for FBS is around 3.0%.)
As you can see, Denard actually finished the OOC this year with a lower Int% than last year (still horrible, just slightly less horrible than last year). If he can get his Int% down to just average, we should all be dancing in the streets. The Purdue game was a great start as Denard did not throw an interception (he also did not throw an interception in the first conference game last year).
We got back to Meeeechigan football against Purdue with just 16 pass attempts and 54 rushing attempts. That is a 77% run play percentage and only 6 teams ran the ball more last week. In 2011 M was ranked #11 at 65% run play %. M is now ranked #15 with a 62% run play % (M was ranked #31 with just a 57% run play % prior to the Purdue game).
Synopsis for Turnovers: With a TOM for the game of +3, M improved to – 4 TOM for the year (ranked #97).
M added 2 interceptions gained (Gordon & Taylor both got their second interception) for a total of 4 interceptions and is ranked #54. M recovered 2 fumbles for a total of 4 for the year (ranked #52). The total of 10 interceptions lost is ranked at #119. DRob did lose a fumble but the total of just 2 lost fumbles is ranked #14.
The folks at Football Outsiders – FEI are also doing weekly "Revisionist Box Scores" that strips out TOs, Special Teams, and Field Position. FEI calculates the value generated by each drive and then lost on the drive up until the turnover, as if the drive had concluded at that spot on the field. Thru Week #6, here is their summary:
(See the Section on Gory Details below for how the adjustment for Expected Points (EP) is calculated.)
National Rankings:M improved significantly. All rankings include games between two FBS teams ONLY and are from TeamRankings except for forced fumbles which is from CFBStats. The four columns with *** show the best correlation to offense and defense (per Advanced NFL stats).
The Gory Details
Details for Turnovers: Here is overall summary for all games by player (data in yellow was affected by this week's game).
Expected Point (EP) Analysis: Basically, the probability of scoring depends on the line of scrimmage for the offense. Therefore, the impact of a TO also depends on the yard line where the TO is lost and the yard line where the TO is gained. Each turnover may result in an immediate lost opportunity for the team committing the TO and a potential gain in field position by the opponent. Both of these components can vary dramatically based upon the down when the TO occurred, the yards the TO is returned, and whether the TO was a fumble or an interception.
Here are the details for the game.
The analysis is a bit tricky because: (A) the TO may directly result in lost EP for the offense but (B) only modifies the EP for the team gaining the TO because the team gaining the TO would have gotten another possession even without the TO (due to a punt, KO after a TD, KO after a field goal, etc.). The Net EP Gain must take into account the potential EP gain without the TO. The EP gain without the turnover is based on where the field position would have been for the next possession if the TO had not occurred.
The expected point calculations are based on data from Brian Fremeau at BCFToys (he also posts at Football Outsiders). Fremeau's data reflects all offensive possessions played in 2007-2010 FBS vs. FBS games. I "smoothed" the actual data.
Here is a summary of the smoothed expected points.