Defense 1st Half vs. 2nd Half

Submitted by ToughD on November 7th, 2010 at 12:02 PM

I was impressed with the defense yesterday saving the offense's butt a couple times.  At one point Illinois could have been up 21-7 if it wasn't for the defense.  Also, I noticed the defense only gave up 14 points in the second half (regulation).  Interestingly, I did a little research and sure enough the defense gave up less points in the second half than the first in all but the Notre Dame and the UMass games.


Defense 1st Half vs. 2nd Half
Team 1st Half 2nd Half
UConn 10 00
Notre Dame 07 17
UMass 17 20
Bowling Green 14 07
Indiana 21 14
Mich. St. 17 17
Iowa 21 17
Penn St. 28 13
Illinois 31 14
Total 166 119

What does this mean?

A defense that gives up less points in the 2nd half is a good sign of coaching adjustments.  I'm not saying GERG is a great DC but he is making adjustments and it shows in the numbers above.  I also understand there is alot more to analyzing a defense than just points allowed.  On the other hand there is much frustration when a defense does give up more points in the 2nd half.

Yesterday I actually saw signs of hope in the defense.  The Barwis conditioning showed yesterday as they were ready for triple overtimes.  If the defense can keep the points low in the 1st half there is an excellent chance of victory.



November 7th, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

It is amazing that UMass has the most second half points on us this season.  BTW, did others notice that there were like 30 men on the field on the last 2-point conversion?  We are pretty lucky noone called that on us.  Would have been a shitty call, but still.  What a glorious day.


November 7th, 2010 at 12:30 PM ^

Turnovers and special teams miscues didn't help the defense. The offense's fumbles and interceptions continuesly put the defense on a short field. The special teams kickoff coverage including the kicker kicking the ball out of bounds also created a short field for Illinois offense. The t.o's. and special teams lapses need to be corrected.. The overtime points allowed by the D probably shoudn't be included in stats since the they are distorted by the offense getting the ball practically in the red zone to start..The D gave up some big plays and blew some coverages,however there was some good plays made by them too. They didn't quit and made a play at the end to win the game.


November 7th, 2010 at 12:44 PM ^

It could mean any number of things. Like the other team is ahead and playing more conservatvely. Or we turned the ball over more in the first half. We still are giving up way too many yards and points in the second half. Crediting the defensive staff for good "adjustments" is seeing what you want to see.


November 7th, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

This is a simplistic and misleading analysis.  In Big Ten play, MSU, Iowa, and PSU all had big half-time leads (or quickly opened a large third quarter lead) resulting in more conservative strategies on offense.  Michigan's defense made terrific adjustments in the second half against Illinois even though the game was close and Illinois was aggressively trying to score.  A much better study of the defense is here:…


November 7th, 2010 at 1:42 PM ^

or maybe the other teams gets tired of scoring ... jk.  I think the big reason is the young guys have a high learning curve and need to get familiar with what the other team is running.  Sometimes self-reflection at half-time can really help.


November 7th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

Your UMass numbers are incorrect - they scored 17 in the first half and 20 in the second.

Also - grammar snob alert - for quantifiable things (like points), use the word fewer.  For unquantifiable things, use less


November 7th, 2010 at 5:08 PM ^

But oversimplified.

Best take away point is that the D did not quit.  They looked like they did at PSU, but not against Illini (obviously this is just my opinion).

They made a big play when they absolutely had to.

Blue boy johnson

November 7th, 2010 at 5:19 PM ^

One thing I've noticed, in 6 of the 9 games we have outscored our opponents, leading to victory in every instance. Lets hope that trend continues in West Lafayette. I wouldn't be overly displeased with 8-4


November 7th, 2010 at 5:59 PM ^

I like to think that the differential in scoring defense between the first half and the second half is the Barwis Effect. Our team is so well-conditioned that they are not hanging on for dear life, waiting for the game to end. They are nearly as fresh as when the game started, albeit with some bruises, and this is why we play better. 

Wolverine Pride

November 7th, 2010 at 10:33 PM ^

I saw the same thing and was very happy that it was ignored.  Who was the assistant coach that tripped as the Michigan sideline ran onto the field?  Looked like RR hesitated and looked, but then kept on going, had a celebration to get to!


November 8th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

In the MSU, Iowa, and Penn State games....those teams were on a little bit of cruise I am not sure the trend holds completely....but I have noticed small improvements in the Illinois game (until OT) and Indiana game.