Seeking Relationships In The Big Ten Rushing Game

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on December 26th, 2012 at 9:30 AM

“SEEKING RELATIONSHIPS IN THE RUSHING GAME”

In a similar fashion to a diary about correlations in the passing game that I presented a little over a week ago, I decided to do a quick analysis of all 144 regular season Big Ten games and their rushing statistics. Once again, this is to see if the relationships that we believe we see do in fact present themselves mathematically in some fashion.

One of the driving forces behind this particular analysis, as with the passing correlations, is to probe certain (perhaps insignificant admittedly) aspects of the so-called “eye test”, which to me has always been a somewhat nebulous term that people used to encompass broad perceptions of games, regardless of the actual relationships which may exist within the game.

I managed to collect the total carries, total yards and yards per carry for each of the 144 regular season games for the 2012 season, so this should be a sufficient sample size to find some evidence of the three tested relationships that I chose to look at. These are “Carries / Yards”, “Carries / YPC” and “Yards / YPC”.

RESULTS:

 Relationship R Carries / Yards 0.768 Carries / YPC 0.442 Yards / YPC 0.884

DISCUSSION:

On two of the above relationships, there is a rather strong correlation. In the case of carries being positively correlated to total rushing yards, we know that this is generally true unless your team either has a substandard rushing attack which they wield anyway, or alternatively when a team runs often against a superior rushing defense. Both scenarios are evident in the individual game statistics of the Big Ten this season. Yards and Yards Per Carry have the strongest relationship, and in my own opinion, one of the major contributors to that are games where good rushing teams have gone against substandard rushing defenses, accumulation prolific yardage and, by extension, longer runs.

So, as was true with the passing diary a week or so ago, you aren’t necessarily being told something you didn’t already know implicitly. The idea here was to explore the possibility that the relationship you believe you see does in fact exist in the numbers, and in the case of the rushing game, at least for this season, it would seem to be the case.

SUMMARY STATS:

 CARRIES YARDS YPC AVERAGE 40 176 4.2 STD. DEV 10 96 1.7 MAX 67 564 9.3 MIN 19 4 0.2 MEDIAN 40 162 4.1 MODE 41 74 3.0

ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOMENTS FROM "THE CRITIC", JUST BECAUSE: