A few data bites to follow up my Adjusted Line Yards diary last week. I’m pursuing the statistical analysis I mentioned in that piece – to quantify the offensive line contribution positive or negative to this years team. I’m a ways away from that but here are some sack numbers I looked at just tonight.
B1G Sacks and Misc. Passing Stats for 2012 (sans the Nebraska gefarkle last Saturday.) Sacks allowed are a part of most people’s appraisal of OL performance. Mich leads the B1G with the fewest sacks allowed.
Data pulled from ESPN
Woohoo…Go Blue!!!… Hail yeah!… I think to myself…another statistic to stow in my back pocket and share with my Outback buddies. But the sack rate tells a different story. Here Michigan is middle of the pack.
This is by far the more important stat here. Michigan is decidedly average by this measure.
Let me just take this opportunity to say WTF Indiana? I’m very surprised to find their protection and passing totals league leading. Hats off to them. If only they could have beat Ohio I’d really give them credit.
This sack rate doesn’t take into account scrambles though… let’s do that…uh…wait a minute… I don’t have a great way of doing that. Let me know how you might suggest. I’m pulling data from www.CFBstats.com . They like the NCAA count sacks and scrambles as Rushes. I could (and in fact did) look at all the passing downs though and factor any rush yards as scrambles. Passing downs are passes (regardless of down/distance …obviously) and 2nd and 8+ yards or 3rd/4th downs and 5+ yards. Here are those numbers…broken down by QB du jour.
Why so different? Same O line very different modes. As Taylor showed us in the game that wasn’t … scrambles can hurt you.
Photo from ESPN highlights
But Taylor was sacked 30 times for the Huskers (again without the “Championship” numbers added in.) Sacks and sack rates are deceptive numbers wrt OL performance. I think there is a general tell there but it says more about a QB’s style than OL protection.
Here I broke down the sack yard losses by QB for Mich…
You can begin to see the bimodal… trimodal nature of our QBs…
Here’s similar data including the positive scramble yards (again classified as rushing yards gained on passing downs.)
I labeled Denards long runs… to show how early they came in the season. Defenses stayed home later in the year (then rushed like the dickens when Denard went down.) Devin was able to make them pay – mostly with his arm.
In short – I’m not too impressed with sack stats to appraise college offensive lines. I wish I had snap to whistle time data for each play. I think that would be a better stat in terms of protection – though some QBs have the scramble down. Devin certainly has an eye for his blind side.
We’ll see if I have more time for this. See you guys at the Outback Bowl. Go Blue!