Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Tale of 3rd Down

Anyone who knows anything about football knows that third down is huge. If you are on offense you want to try to avoid third down but if you find yourself there you want it to be third and short and you need to convert the third down to stay alive. If you are on defense it’s just the opposite. You want to force the opposing team into third down and you want it to be third and long to make it more difficult for the opposing team to convert.

That said Brian over at mgoblog came up with a great program that compares your team’s third down percentage against the national average. The Sooners looked horrendous offensively compared to the national average but are way above average defensively.

Red is not what you want to see here. It means you are below average and that is exactly what the Sooners were on offense. Notice, ironically, that the only area that OU excelled in was when they face 71/2 – 11 yards on third down.

When you look at the youth that OU has on offense and a healthy Adrian Peterson you have to believe that OU will only get better next season. At least we all hope!

Green is good! Anywhere you see green it means you are above the national average. Look at third and one. Nationally offenses converted 70% of the time on third and one. OU held their opponents to just a 46% conversion rate on third and one.

When you look at the fact that OU is returning 7 of 11 starters from last season’s defense and will have John Williams and Larry Birdine, two guys who were starters, back from injury gives a ray of hope that the Sooners will continue to dominate on defense.

OU is not your team? Go over to mgoblog and see how your team ranks against the national average.