December 4th, 2013 03:00 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Auburn, Georgia, LSU, SEC
Defenses across the SEC struggled this year (as we showed you yesterday). While many have pointed to the number of top-notch, senior quarterbacks in the league this year as one explanation, 11 of the leagues 14 schools had to go with backups at one time or another due to injury. So the decline in defense can’t be attributed solely to veteran QBs.
Others have correctly noted that a number of defenses were in rebuilding mode this season — LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M, etc. But 12 of the SEC’s 14 teams allowed more yards per game than they did a year ago. It wasn’t just the young defenses who were struggling, it was just about every school’s D.
In our view, the boom in no-huddle, spread attacks in the SEC has had a larger impact than either of those other factors. We won’t know for sure until we look at the numbers next year and next, of course, but for now… that’s our argument and we’re sticking to it. Up-tempo offenses have put a hurtin’ on SEC defenses.
If quick offenses are the way of the future, who’s currently leading the way on that front? Below is a quick look at our Need For Speed measurement. Looking at SEC versus SEC games only, we’ve compared each team’s total time of possession to its total number of offensive snaps run. What you wind up with is the average number of seconds that pass between snaps.
Need For Speed (SEC vs SEC Games Only)
|School||Seconds of Poss.||Off. Snaps||Seconds/Snap|
Gus Malzahn has stated on many occasions that he wants his team to be the fastest in America. This past season, though, Auburn was just the fourth fastest offense in the Southeastern Conference. Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Georgia — on average — all played at a faster clip than the Tigers.
Missouri’s Tigers are right behind Auburn in this statistic, meaning that Saturday’s SEC Championship Game should look as much like a track meet as it does a football game.
At the bottom of the table sit Arkansas, LSU, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Florida. Four of those teams are run-first offenses. Vanderbilt wasn’t successful rushing the ball, but they still attempted 452 carries which ranked 10th in the league overall.
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