national champs baby
Turnovers & Special Teams–Updated Thru Purdue
Defying the Odds: With a Turn Over Margin (TOM) of minus 7, M has defied the odds with a current record of 7-3 and a guaranteed winning season. Only 28% of teams with a TOM of –4 or worse had records of 6-6 or better (basis: all FBS AQ (automatic qualifying) teams over the last 10 years).
Synopsis for Turnovers: OMG, WTF, and Arrrgghhhh! Yeah, the weather was ugly but, for the second game in a row, M gave it away 5 times. Thankfully, the D really stepped up in this game and got 5 takeaways of their own. Leaving a net TOM of –0-.
There were 2 meaningless TOs (one by each team) – the M interception by Rogers at the end of the first half on the Purdue Hail Mary and the Hopkins fumble on 4th and 1 (because the ball would have gone over on downs anyway). [EDIT: I went back and looked at the Hopkins fumble. The blocking was there and it definitely looks like he would have had the 1st down without the bad exchange.] There was 1 meaningless TO (the M interception of the Purdue Hail Mary at the half). In reality, M had a –1 TOM.
Denard had a terrible day with 2 interceptions, 3 fumbles, and 2 lost fumbles. Similar to last year, the QBs are turning the ball over a lot. It was a total of 15 Ints, 15 fumbles, and 7 lost fumbles for the QBs last year. So far, it is 12 Ints, 10 fumbles, and 4 lost fumbles this year. This is primarily due to lack of experience (true freshmen last year and true sophomores this year).
TOs lost are now 125% of the average team and TOs gained are just 80% of average. Since we have a negative TOM, the overall ranking actually improved but is still FUGLY at #103. Just two weeks ago, M had a #31 national ranking in TOs lost but 10 TOs lost in the last 2 weeks has dropped that to the current #96. The 5 TOs gained improved M's ranking from #106 to #77 in TOs gained. Wisconsin does not turn the ball over (ranked #1 in TO lost) but also does not get many TOs (#88 in TO gained). So – HOLD ON TO THE GOD DAMN BALL AND THROW THE GOD DAMN BALL TO OUR RECEIVERS!!
BTW, blocked punts, blocked field goals, on-side kick recovered by the opposing team, roughing the kicker penalties, etc. are not considered to be "official" turnovers but have the same effect. I will continue to track these also.
Synopsis for Special Teams: Hagerup continued to launch punts into orbit with a 72 yarder and an average of 47 yards per punt. Despite a net 11 yard punt by Denard and a net 19 yard punt by Tate, M ended with a net of 40 yards per punt. Purdue had one return for a –9 yards (and a fumble). Hagerup put one KO into the end zone and M remains very good on KO return yards allowed (#27) with opponent average starting position the 30 yard line. The attempted FG wasn't even close and both KO returns and punt returns remain anemic (M did not return any punts – probably due to the weather).
Details for Turnovers: Here is the Summary by Game. According to the folks at Football Outsiders a first down TO is worth 5 points, second down TO is worth 4.5 points, and a third down TO is worth 4.0 points (regardless of field position!).
The extrapolation is a straight line [Totals] X [13 Total Games / Games Played]. AQ Best and AQ average is over the past 10 years. AQ Best is kind of funky because the team with the "best" in each category is different so the numbers don't add. But, it does provide a point of reference.
Here is the detail of each fumble/interception and a comment providing insight if the turnover (or lack thereof) was significant. Note, blocked punts are not considered a turnover and an interception of an extra point is not considered a turnover (player does not get credit for a interception).
Here is the overall summary by player (data in yellow was affected by this week's game).
Details for Special Teams: Here are the Punting and Kickoff statistics. (Touchbacks are included as –20 yards when determining net yards.)
Remember here are the correlations of TOM to WLM at season's end.