Defensive S&P+: #42
Defensive FEI: #10
Breaking down Texas in S&P+, our specific rankings are:
Success Rate+ (% of opponent plays that gain enough yards to be successful, opponent-adjusted): #18
ISOPPP+ (measures the explosiveness of an opponent's successful plays, opponent-adjusted): #20
Rushing S&P+ (efficiency/explosion of opponent rushing plays, opponent-adjusted): #14
Passing S&P+ (efficiency/explosion of opponent passing plays, opponent-adjusted): #36
Standard Downs S&P+ (opponent's efficiency/explosion on 1st down or when at/ahead of the chains, opponent-adjusted): #20
Passing Downs S&P+ (opponent's efficiency/explosion on 1st down or when at/ahead of the chains, opponent-adjusted): #19
Overall Havoc (Total TFL's [including sacks], passes defensed [breakups + INTs} and fumbles forced as percent of total plays, unadjusted): #56
Front 7 Havoc (Presumably TFLs + fumbles forced, unadjusted): #113
DB Havoc (Presumably Passes Defensed): #25
A straight average of our pure results stats (Success Rate+ through Passing Downs S&P+) would be about #21, so either they're mixing in some unadjusted stats to the mix (which wouldn't make a lot of sense,) weighting Passing S&P+ pretty damn heavily (which would kinda make sense) or dinging us pretty significantly for our low front seven Havoc rate. I like sacks and TFL's as much as (or probably, significantly more than) the next guy, but if you're stopping people you're stopping them however it gets done.
Our opponent adjustments are hilariously large, taking our Success Rate from #49 in the country to #18 and our ISOPPP from #100(!) to #20 - AND that's still with us getting boned on an adjustment basis by USC's O-line decimation and the de-Piggifying of Maryland's attack.
FEI is a pure results-based measure with no stylistic descriptions thrown in - Defensive FEI (DFEI) is defensive efficiency on a per-drive basis adjusted for the strength of the opponent. We're 10th overall in DFEI, and on the sub-components:
Defensive Efficiency (The value generated by opponents' drives relative to starting field position): #24
DDS (Percentage of opponent drives that generate value > starting field position): #34
DAY (# of yards surrendered relative to the # of total available yards): #40
DFD (Percentage of drives that result in a TD or at least one first down): #63
DTD (Percentage of drives that result in a TD): #30
DTF (Percentage of drives that allow at least on first down which end in a TD): #26
DTO (Percentage of drives that end in an opponent turnover): #73
It didn't take long to reason out that the individual component numbers for FEI aren't opponent-adjusted - take a look at the individual components for us and TCU relative to teams that don't play in the crucible of the Big XII:
For my money we've legitimately been (let's say) about the 20th best defense in the nation up to this point, with the chance to be Top 10 down the stretch if we've left the bulk of our coverage busts behind us and found ways to see more Dime, Gary Johnson and sub-package rushing from Hager & McCulloch and less Wheeler and Hughes. We're an Orakpo- or Kindle-type dude away from real greatness, but we're pretty damn good.
Also - only Top 15 DFEI team with a losing record, holla! As to how we’ve achieved that distinction...
Offensive S&P+: #72
Offensive FEI: #102
Breaking down Texas in S&P+, our specific rankings are:
Success Rate+ (% of plays that gain enough yards to be successful, opponent-adjusted): #62
ISOPPP+ (measures the explosiveness of successful plays, opponent-adjusted): #88
Rushing S&P+ (efficiency/explosion of rushing plays, opponent-adjusted): #84
Passing S&P+ (efficiency/explosion of opponent passing plays, opponent-adjusted): #70
Standard Downs S&P+ (opponent's efficiency/explosion on 1st down or when at/ahead of the chains, opponent-adjusted): #80
Passing Downs S&P+ (opponent's efficiency/explosion on 1st down or when at/ahead of the chains, opponent-adjusted): #65
Adjusted Run Rate (Run rate versus expectation for standard/passing downs): #106(!)
Adjusted Pace: #13
All that kinda tells us a lot of stuff we already knew - the run game is both inefficient and unexplosive (owing in large part to a beat-up OL), teeing up defenses to overplay the passing game and retain a two-high shell on nearly every play that derails our ability to get downfield. We get bullied out of the run, putting a ton on our QBs’ shoulders and forcing the same beat-up OL to do what they’re even worse at - pass block. We exacerbate our personnel issues by:
- Running zone stretch plays with downhill backs
- Running zone stretch plays AT ALL
- Sprinting away from concepts that have achieved a modicum of success previously or in a given game
- Insisting that this team - not next year’s team, not our Carved In Stone Program Identity, but THIS TEAM RIGHT NOW - should primarily base out of 11 personnel
- Largely eschewing modern offense’s Easy Button, the Run/Pass Option, and never using it to target second- or third-level defenders with throws past the line of scrimmage
- Running play action with no identifiable target or plan for exploiting the defenders who’ll actually trigger on play action, often based on a run concept which has yet to be deployed in that game
- A grab-bag approach to personnel deployment and splitting non-threats out in five-wide alignments.
That last one is particularly nettlesome when you look at our Adjusted Pace - 13th in the nation.
We do not have to be in a hurry to be this bad.
If you want to go four- or five-wide, do it with five wide receivers. Don’t exclusively take your deep post shots to Lorenzo Joe. Don’t ask Jerrod Heard to make key blocks in the screen and outside run game. Don’t let defenses off the hook by keeping 6’5” dudes off the field in the red zone.
Stop inflicting personnel matches on yourself and start causing them - even if it means swapping personnel and slowing down.
Offensive FEI paints an even grimmer picture:
Offensive Efficiency (The value generated by drives relative to starting field position): #87
ODS (Percentage of drives that generate value > starting field position): #69
OAY (# of yards gained relative to the # of total available yards): #94
OFD (Percentage of drives that result in a TD or at least one first down): #105(!)
OTD (Percentage of drives that result in a TD): #87
OTF (Percentage of drives that gain at least on first down which end in a TD): #82
OTO (Percentage of drives that end in a turnover): #52
All the results-based stuff in FEI are symptoms of the more descriptive elements in S&P+, but seeing that the only result we’re achieving at a better than 50th percentile nationally is avoiding turnovers is just retina-searing.
As to who we’ll be facing on Saturday:
Baylor Bears (0-6)
Offensive S&P+: #63
Offensive FEI: #101
Defensive S&P+: #122
Defensive FEI: #86
The Bears’ offense has put up some solid counting stats. They legitimately threatened OU, racked some garbage time stats against Okie State and nearly turned garbage time into real time once West Virginia had turned their collective interest back to meth and moonshine. Their offensive S&P+ is buoyed by a Passing Downs S&P+ rank of 54th and...not much else as they’re #120 in Success Rate, #99 in Isolated Explosiveness, #103 in Rushing S&P+ and a woeful #127 on standard downs. They’re still carrying the burden of a couple of execrable QB starts before they turned things over to Zach Smith (with a dash of Charlie Brewer,) but their fair-to-middlin’ work on passing downs is almost entirely a product of Denzel Mims at wide receiver. Get this team behind the chains and bracket Mims and they have no real answers.
Their defense is just flat-out horrendous. They’re able to inflict some negative plays with stunts and blitzes, but they give up a ton of explosives on the ground and in the air and are utterly devoid of playmakers in the secondary. If Texas game plans with some solid Inside Zone/Isolation out of 11 personnel, dusts off the G-Lead and a few draws out of 10 personnel and works on exploiting a woeful secondary with bubble screens, a two-man game to the boundary and switch routes down the field while mixing in some routes that actually target linebackers in play action, they’ll flush the Bears down the Toilet On the Brazos by halftime.
Let’s get back to .500, boys and girls!