Post Week 4: Yardage Analysis and Predictions

Submitted by tpilews on September 26th, 2010 at 8:17 PM

If you remember from last week's diary, (, I predicted UM to finish the game with 763 yards of total offense, while at the same time holding BGSU to 343 yards of offense. My predictor proved to be fairly accurate despite starting with a small sample size. According to the results, UMs defense played particularly well, holding BGSU to 82% of their normal game output. This mark is the best of the season edging out their performance against UConn at 84%.

Let's move on to the matchup this week vs. Indiana.



Still to note is that UM is predicted to outgain all but one opponent on their remaining schedule. 5 of the 8 Big Ten teams on UMs schedule had their best offensive day this week, which closed the gap in several matchups including Iowa, MSU, and Wisconsin. Four of UMs Big Ten opponents had their best defensive day. If it weren't for UMs gaudy stat day, some of those teams may have overtaken UM on the predictions.

Despite UM having their best defensive day, stat wise, their overall percentage had a net -1.04% change. What effect will playing on the road have on UMs defense this weekend? Well, Ums defense has held every opponent under their season averages except for one; Yep, their lone away game against Notre Dame. Based on the percentage UM gave up against ND (137%), UM will give up over 570 yards against IU. Honestly, I don’t see that happening. Based on the opponent IU has played, I think their offense may be a bit overvalued.  I’ll stick with my predictor though and go with…

UM - 522

IU - 415



September 26th, 2010 at 8:53 PM ^

I love seeing how dominant our offense has been, however I'd be surprised if the predictions for the OSU game hold up,especially as both schedules turn to tougher opponents. I expect UM's offensive numbers to taper a bit, but still stay high since most defenses (Illinois, IU, PSU, MSU, Purdue) we'll see in the Big 10 won't have enough to stop the Denarding.


On the flip side, I think that once OSU gets into the meat of the B10 schedule, their offensive numbers will decrease, what with Tressel ball being instituted and all (that man just looooooves to eat up the clock). Still, with Pryor very much in the Heisman race, Tressel could loosen the slack on the leash more.


September 27th, 2010 at 10:02 AM ^

Don't put it past Tressel to call a WR reverse option pass back to Pryor when they are up 40 on Purdue (or whoever).  That'll skew the numbers like the halfback option pass back he called against EMU on Saturday that I mentioned in a previous thread.  Ridiculous.

That said, this is outstanding analysis and exactly the reason I read MGoBlog!


September 26th, 2010 at 9:06 PM ^

I'm surprised (and relieved) that IU's yardage totals to date aren't all that great, given their terrible opposition.  I would've thought they'd have gotten 500+ yards a couple times.  I feel better about our defense's chances seeing that.


September 26th, 2010 at 9:35 PM ^

I would lie awake nights with visions of men in winged helmets slashing and gashing with great speed through opponents.  Short and long passes would also move the ball at a fast pace down the field as the opposing team would be bent over gasping for breath.  What I saw Saturday, was pretty much what I was dreaming about back then.  God, I love watching this.  And I think that we are probably only seeing about 70%-80% of what this offense is capable of.

This has been worth the wait.  Keep rolling boys.


September 26th, 2010 at 9:58 PM ^

The Pistol is a tough offensive formation to defend against.  It's something we only see once a year if that.  Hopefully we come out aggressive and not let Indianas offense get early confidence.  Getting some early 3 and outs or turnovers will be paramount in how many yards we allow. I don't think we will have too much of a problem winning this game but I also think we are going to give up plenty of yards and some points regardless.


September 27th, 2010 at 12:34 AM ^

I am curious whether your yardage predications correlate to scores in any reliable way? 

With yardage totals > 400 for IU and > 500 for Mich., I presume it should be a high-scoring game with Michigan winning.


September 27th, 2010 at 1:34 AM ^

I suppose someone could determine a general "1 point = x amount of yards" by taking all yardage stats and points scored for every FBS team from last year. Or, to make it a little more complex, you could take those stats and use UMs rank for "scoring offense" to find where an offense like UM would fall. Hmmm.... I might take a look at this.


September 27th, 2010 at 8:20 AM ^

It seems like you would have to try and use the scoring offense stats to come up with a "yards per point" type of number for each team, since there could be great variation between a team's success in moving the ball and actually putting up points.  With Michigan, for instance, you see an unusually high red zone efficiency (I think headed into the BGSU game Michigan had 9 TDs in 11 red zone trips) combined with an unusually low FG percentage.  Most teams probably score TDs less often but have more success with field goals.  Then on defense, you see a lot of teams that will bleed yards between the 20s and then stiffen as the field compresses, so the number of yards they surrender may give a deceiving indication as to the number of points they give up.

Anyway, if you come up with anything I would be interested to see it.  I've been enjoying your diaries so far so nice job and thanks.


September 27th, 2010 at 7:18 AM ^

We can still out gain teams and lose.  Our REDZONE efficiency has got to remain solid and kicking the ball against Big Ten teams will be part of that total # @ the end ofthe year.  Pray we see improvement from our current stable.