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Friday, May 31, 2013

Statistical Review: Navy #68

Navy's offense was 123rd nationally in sacks/pass allowed (13.95%) and 6th in TFL/run allowed (9.4%). In Navy's defense, their QBs were sacked only 24 times, but Reynolds and Miller combined threw only 167 passes. Just four fewer sacks would drop that sack rate down much closer to the league average. Also, Navy ran the ball 90% of the time on 2nd/3rd and short, but threw the ball 70% of the time on 3rd and 11 or more; if other teams only threw the ball on pin-your-ears-back-and-rush-the-quarterback downs, they'd have a poor sack allowed rate, too.

Navy was only 6th nationally in rushing yards. For most programs, that's quite good (obviously), but for Navy, who runs 80% of the time and gets sacked once every six passes, that's not good enough. They also fumbled over the ball on 1.6% of plays, which is a bigger deal when you tend to have longer drives and fewer possessions. Long drives are good, but every play of a drive is another opportunity to turn the ball over. Still, they eked out a respectable 2.3 points per possession.

Navy was able to maintain drives (6.2 plays per possession) and shortened the game by not stopping the clock, so their opponents got only 10.7 possessions per game and fairly bad average starting field position. This is a big deal, because the Navy defense was sieve-like. The defense helped themselves by being stout in the red zone (only 3.4 points per trip) and preventing explosive plays. In other words, as bad as the Navy defense was, they did exactly the right things to maximize their offensive strategy.

The Statistical Review breaks down teams along a number of performance categories, everything from red zone scoring to field goal percentage, and compares that performance against the rest of the FBS. All 124 teams will be reviewed from 124 to 1 by the hybrid rankings. You can find short descriptions of the stats used in the table below.

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