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Defensive Benchmarks for the 2011 Georgia Tech Football Team

I already talked about some basic offensive benchmarks for tracking the progression of the 2011 offensive season. Today, I want to talk about some interesting defensive benchmarks. The first one is the one that was probably the most erratic of the three CPJ-GT squads: sacks. In 2008, Tech had 34 sacks and that dropped to 25 in 2009 and then 17 in 2010. The balance of linebackers:defensive line has also shifted under Al Groh's 3-4. From 2008-2009, Dave Wommack's defensive lines accounted for 80% of the team's sacks. Al Groh's defensive line only accounted for 24% of the sacks. So it's difficult to really tackle the sack issue as opposed to carries because we have completely shifted our defensive philosophy.

In CFB, defensive scoring doesn't necessarily correlate to winning percentage as much as offensive scoring but I think we should still review our defense's average ability to prevent points. The average opposing drive from 2008-2011 netted 2.15 points. In losses, this number jumped to 3.50 points allowed per opposing drive. Our average victories on the other hand saw our defense hold opponents to roughly one touchdown per seven drives or 1.22 points per drive.

A very good indicator of victory was opposing offensive play calling. For example, in Tech victories opponents' accumulated 20% more passing touchdowns than rushing touchdowns but in Tech losses opponents accumulated 18% more rushing touchdowns. An even simpler example would be pure play-calling. Opposing offensive coordinators called about 30 rush plays and 32 pass plays against Tech's winning defensive efforts. However, the average Tech loss saw an opponent call a much less balanced 40 rushing plays versus 25 pass plays.

One would say that opponents are beating Tech at its own game but in reality opponents are just beating us soundly in our losses. Average opposing passers in Tech losses are racking up an average passer rating of around 145 while Tech victories are still seeing opponents pass for around 120. For perspective, a 145 college passer rating is an elite ACC QB and a 120 is 50 percentile ACC QB. In short, CPJ defenses have a lot of work to do across the board based on their 2008-2010 predecessors.

Do you have any thoughts or comments?