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Defensive stats that matter

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There is a good article in the Statesman this morning about which stats the Texas defensive coaches are emphasizing the most.

In the past, defensive coaches paid most attention to rushing defense stats: total yards and yards per carry. Now, Texas opponents are generally throwing it twice as much as they run it so these stats aren't that important. Who cares if their running back is averaging 5 yards per carry? He's carried it seven fucking times.

Texas fans have been slow to adjust to this so they have unrealistic expectations against passing teams. You're not going to sack Graham Harrell half a dozen times. You're not going to hold Chase Daniel to less than 200 yards passing. So if you look at sack totals or yards passing, you're going to be disappointed.

So what matters now?

Yards per passing attempt. This is the new black. Texas is currently giving up 6.18 with Muschamp's goal being 5.0. Last year Texas gave up 7.61.

Third down conversion percentage. Muschamp wants to force opponents to punt 70% of the time after third down plays. Opponents are currently converting 31.9%. Last year they converted 39%.

Red zone defense. Last year opponents scored 77,8% of the time in Texas' red zone. This year they're only scoring 54.5% of the time.

Scoring defense. Always be the most important defensive stat. Texas is currently only giving up 11 points a game, much improved over last year's 25.3 points per game.

Our defense is a lot better than it was a year ago.