Michigan in the Big Ten stat leaders

Submitted by jmblue on November 9th, 2010 at 1:40 PM



-Michigan is #2 in scoring offense (behind OSU) and #1 in total offense by a mile. 

-(ATTN: DeAnthony Arnett) Michigan is #2 in passing offense, behind only Indiana

-Michigan leads the conference in first downs

-Michigan is last in the conference in TOP

-Denard leads the league in rushing by over 400 yards

-(PAGING Mr. Arnett again) Roundtree ranks #4 in the conference in receiving yards per game and Hemingway ranks #5

-Michigan has three of the top six tacklers in the conference (!), which I guess might be a factor of having a D that can't get off the field.  Mouton leads the league in tackles per game.

-Our defensive rankings are the polar opposite of our offensive rankings

-OSU looks insanely good by these measures.  They lead the conference in scoring and give up the fewest points.  Yikes.



November 9th, 2010 at 2:19 PM ^

Yea, I've always thought tackles wasn't the best stat for defensive players, but in every analysis of LBs tackles was always cited. Watching the Steelers last night, I kept thinking, wouldn't Woodley have a ridiculous number of sacks if the Steelers didn't force so many 3 and outs?

And it seems to be the opposite case with Mouton. He has a ton of tackles because he sees more plays on defense than almost any other linebacker in the nation. Probably why Ezeh has been on draft boards, scouts see his stats, not his film.

While stats are great for offense, they aren't very useful for defensive players, and largely a factor of the rest of the defense around them.


November 9th, 2010 at 2:45 PM ^

I couldn't disagree more.  A poor TOP ALWAYS hurts a defense.  It doesn't gaurantee that you will lose but it definately hurts a defense.  If you have a poor TOP because your offense sucks and you continually have three and outs (see 2008) your defense is constantly on hte field, gets tired, the opposition gets more posessions, and you lose.  If your TOP is poor because your offense is ridiculous and can score on damn near any play (see 2010), your defense is constantly on the field, gets tires, the opposition gets more posessions, and you win in a shootout or you lose. 


November 9th, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

It's true that a low TOP will hurt your raw statistics (i.e., yards and points allowed) on defense, since it usually means that the opponent gets to run a lot of plays.  However, whether it actually hurts a team's chances of winning is very much debatable.   Oregon's raw defensive statistics aren't great, which leads lazy analysts to conclude that they don't play D.  But they actually have an excellent per-play defensive average. 


November 9th, 2010 at 3:15 PM ^

Right.  I said that is doesn't mean that you are going to lose, but, those meaningless raw statistics you refer to DO matter.  I don't feel like pulling up all of the stats, but common sense would tell you that increased points allowed probably trends towards a lower winning percentage.  In the case of our offense or Oregon's, I would say that it wouldn't play as much of a factor, but overall I think you could statistically show a value to TOP.


November 9th, 2010 at 3:23 PM ^

The truest indicator of defensive quality - and offensive quality for that matter - is yards per play.  That's a tempo-free measure.  Yes, teams with good YPP often also have good raw statistics, but not always.  In this age of hurry-up, spread offenses, the correlation between the two is becoming weaker.


November 10th, 2010 at 8:03 AM ^

I guess I don't understnad your questions.  In a vaccuum with only the stats you presented on which to base an opinion, then yes, team B is clearly the better defensive team.  That really isn't what I was saying, though.  I was pointing out the fact that I don't care if my team gives up 20 yards a play, on average and 500 yards a game if they are somehow able to clamp it down in the red zone and only allow 10 points a game.  Obviously that is not realistic, and your point about yards per play probably being the best indicator is true.  That is why I said, "I agree."


November 9th, 2010 at 1:57 PM ^

OSU still has to play some of their toughest conference games:

Nov 13: PSU
Nov 20: @ Iowa
Nov 26: THE GAME

If our offensive production against IA and IL is any indication, OSU's defensive stats will take a major hit on the 26th.


November 9th, 2010 at 2:09 PM ^

For those interested tin the TOP debate it will be interesting to see what happens in THE GAME as OSU leads in league in TOP and Michigan is dead last.

Another interesting matchup - Michigan is 1st in sacks allowed (4 on the season!) and surprisingly OSU is next to last (19 allowed)


November 9th, 2010 at 3:16 PM ^

Michigan's offense could totally obliviate the logic of The Game, which dictates that ball-control and time-consuming drives win. 

This is the big reason I give RR the benefit of the doubt: Few teams in the last five years have beaten tOSU with a pro-style power running game, and only one conference team has done so (Wisconsin '10, USC '08 and '09, Texas '08).  They have many more losses against spread-style offenses, including several upsets and several conference losses (Purdue '09, Illinois '07, Florida '06, LSU '07, Penn St. '08).   


November 9th, 2010 at 4:03 PM ^

I think the way to beat OSU is to out muscle them, like Wisconsin did.  The 2006 Florida game doesn't matter.  Nobody on that team is on the 2010 team.  Plus, that was more of dink and dunk attack against a loose zone defense than anything.

LSU in 07 and Illinois 07 dominated the line of scrimmage and used a power running game.

USC 08 was a pro-style offense and just defensive domination.  USC 09 was Tressel ball.  Texas 08 was a toss up (and a decent defensive performance).  Penn State 08 was a defensive game.  Purdue 09 was all on Pryor.

Wisconsin 10 was also line domination plus power running.

I think Iowa is a much more difficult matchup for OSU.


November 9th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

Well, even in a spread offense you have to dominate the line of scrimmage to win, so yeah, you gotta out-muscle them.  It's just that they seem particularly vulnerable to moblie QBs and Michigan's offensive scheme.


November 9th, 2010 at 2:13 PM ^

Factoring in the defensive yardage hemorrhaging takes Michigan from its lofty perch to a middling (yet still #5 with a bullet) net. Shows a nearly perfect complement of +Great on offense to -Suck on defense to middle out where they do. And also looks rough when considering the 2 losses above and the 1 loss immediately below and the 2 opponents lying above in this chart. Makes this week's game seem promising on this stat alone.

Net Total Yards Per Game

  • Ohio State +221.6
  • Iowa +115.2
  • Wisconsin + 94.1
  • Michigan State + 88.9
  • Michigan + 82.2
  • Penn State + 23.4
  • Northwestern + 21.0
  • Illinois + 19.9
  • Indiana + 9.0
  • Minnesota - 48.5
  • Purdue - 50.4


November 9th, 2010 at 2:59 PM ^

OSU being at the top of the scoring heap has everything to do with beating the crud out of Minny and Purdue the past two weeks.  I fully expect UM to put a beating on Purdue this weekend (though to be fair, Purdue will probably put some of it back), so we'll see how this stat looks next week.

Check out the rushing stats:


1 Michigan 9 399 2461 6.2 30 273.4
2 Wisconsin 9 379 1944 5.1 29 216.0

Those are videogame stats.  6.2 yds/carry plus one of the most dynamic passing attacks in the conference is immensely impressive, and confirms the promise the RR hiring had for the offense a couple of years ago.  The defensive stats should improve (they really can't be any worse) in the coming years, but this offense is going to destroy teams for years to come.







November 9th, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

45 on Marshal, 43 on Ohio, and 73 on EMU, haven't hurt their scoring either. Looking at their schedule, against the only decent defenses they have faced, they put up 18 on Wisconsin, 24 on Illinois, and 36 on Miami, though that Miami team doesn't look quite so good anymore.


November 9th, 2010 at 3:26 PM ^

The other way of looking at it is that OSU's offense has been great against everyone except Illinois (when Pryor got hurt) and Wisconsin.  We'll see how they finish, but to date this is one of Tressel's best offenses.  The main difference between them and us may simply be that their backup QB is far below Forcier's level.


November 9th, 2010 at 3:26 PM ^

And Michigan's stats aren't inflated from a triple overtime game?

One interesting stat I noted before the Illinois game:

In their first four Big Ten games, Michigan was averaging 29.5 points/game (IU: 42, MSU:17, Iowa:28, PSU:31) only one touchdown better than last last year's 22.1.  If you told somone last week that Michigan was one TD better than last year in Big Ten play, would they have believed you?

Now, with Illinois factored in, Michigan's official Big Ten scoring average has ballooned to 37 pts/game.  A more realistic picture is acheived by taking out points scored in overtime to arrive at 32 pts/game, 10 pts/game better than last year.

OSU is at 36.2 pts/game in Big Ten play.

Tha Stunna

November 9th, 2010 at 3:36 PM ^

I can't believe they are too dumb to just go by points scored in regulation.  That's the only fair way to do it; otherwise, Michigan could have improved its defensive ranking by just letting Illinois score in the last few seconds.  It's sad how poorly some statistics are applied.

As for time of possession, it's still mostly unimportant until near the end of the game or near the end of a half.  Having the option to have a high time of possession is very valuable near the end of games.  Otherwise, it doesn't matter much.

I'm pretty sure time of possession is correlated with being a good team overall, due to bad teams giving up turnovers and going three and out.  If you eliminated those type of factors, I think there would be very little correlation left.

Tha Stunna

November 9th, 2010 at 5:36 PM ^

I'm not saying that the statistics shouldn't exist.  I'm saying that they should also provide a version for only points scored in regulation.  It's annoying to recalculate statistics so they actually provide a reasonable metric for comparison.  This sort of number game wouldn't be tolerated in the scientific community.

Wolverine Pride

November 9th, 2010 at 3:30 PM ^

Can't wait until we are debating who we will be playing in the Big 10 Championship game next year and enjoying the greatest stat of them all......12 wins and a BCS victory!