OU football: Defensive percentage not great
I wrote about defensive percentage yesterday. Took a look at Oklahoma State’s defensive performance this season and how the changed game, caused by OSU’s new Air Raid offense, can skew defensive statistics. I received some solid feedback, so I thought I’d check it out for OU, too.
And the results are interesting. OU’s defense has had some bad games, like everyone thought, but not necessarily the games everyone was all worked up about.
A refresher: defensive percentage is the frequency with which a defense gets off the field without allowing points. A touchdown is considered a 100 percent score and a field goal a 50 percent score. So a defense that gives up five touchdowns in 10 possessions has a 50 percent ratio, which is awful. A team that gives up two field goals and two touchdowns in 10 possessions has a 30 percent ratio, which is not great but not terrible. A team that gives up one TD and one field goal in 10 possessions has a 15 percent ratio, which is fantastic.
Anyway, here are the numbers for the Sooners:
Utah State: 21.8 percent. The Aggies had 16 possessions, with three TDs and a field goal. That’s an excellent percentage. That’s winning football. Everyone was all atwitter over OU’s defense after this game, but 16 possessions is a ton of possessions. The most possessions I’ve ever documented has been 17 in a game. I’m sure there are games with more, but the most an OU foe had in the wacky, wild season of 2008 was 17, so 16 is a lot. Which means 24 points is not bad. Some games, 24 points is not good at all — we’ll discuss that in a minute — but Utah State was a solid performance.
Florida State: 19.2 percent. This is even better when you consider Florida State scored a long TD on the last play of the game against scrubs. Until then, OU’s percentage was 12.5, which is fantastic. Florida State had the ball 13 times and scored two touchdowns and one field goal. And it was Florida State. That’s championship defense.
Air Force: 35 percent. Uh-oh. The wheels came off the OU defense; 35 percent isn’t awful, but it’s not winning football. Thirty-five percent will get you beat a lot of Saturdays. OU gave up the same 24 points it gave up to Utah State, but instead of 16 possessions, the Sooners faced only 10 possessions in this shortened game. The Falcons missed a field goal, lost a fumble and punted four times. They scored their other six possessions.
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