NOTE: For purposes of showing everyone where the conference is at in a more meaningful way perhaps, we’ll go back to cumulative statistics for this one - report-card (sort of) style.
SCORING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
All in all, the conference is not having a lot of problems scoring points. Indeed, all but two teams are currently averaging 30 points or more on the season. On the flip side, only two teams are giving up more than 30 points on average, which isn’t the best but also isn’t bad within the whole of Division I. You’ll know that four teams, in fact, are typically giving up less than 20 points per game. The point differentials are also mostly positive (save for Purdue).
TOTAL OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
We’ll focus on Michigan here for a moment – we’re ninth in total offense by total yards, but fourth in the same metric on defense. That might not help with anyone’s confidence right now per se, but it should be noted that we still give up less than we gain. You can see on the differential chart that we still maintain a positive yards per play differential, something which I believe is far more telling when it comes to success.
RUSHING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
I’ll keep the focus on Michigan here since the running game is foremost in a lot of minds. Compared to our conference compatriots, we don’t excel in this regard but we do a decent job of stopping it, which might even be more important in the end. The top performers here on offense are pretty much the same as they’ve been all year, and the bottom performers on offense also have not moved much.
PASSING OFFENSE AND DEFENSE:
The stats were posted in a few threads yesterday, but from a production standpoint, Michigan is improving here even if you don’t think of being fifth in the conference as stellar right now. Indiana and Penn State top the conference in passing offense right now, but we’re not in bad company. On defense, the numbers after six or seven games (depending) are interesting. A fair number of teams appear to be having similar success here.
The chart here is top-heavy on offense – it takes ten teams before you find someone with less than 40% success on third down conversions. On the other side of the ball, there are six teams that allow less than 30% of third downs to be converted, and I am sort of pleased that Michigan is – if nothing else – the first team below that bar, not that 37.1% is impressive. The differential chart now might be starting to paint a picture of how the conference might pan out.
Here is the first down differential chart, which shows us that Michigan is getting only slightly more first downs per game on average than their opponent. I show this as a supplement to any discussion of third downs.
SPECIAL TEAMS STUFF: