May 21st, 2013 10:40 AM║ 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: Alabama, Ole Miss, SEC, Yds Carry
Running or passing?
We wanted to know which statistics provided a more accurate group of overall success during the 2012 SEC football season. When talking about the SEC, defense is usually the first word out of the mouth of any coach, fan or pundit. Should it be?
In an effort to find out, we took six key (but simple) statistics from last season and compared them to the win/loss records of each of the 14 SEC schools.. We used only stats from conference games (SEC versus SEC) and we’ve compared only last season’s conference records. Last year’s SEC title game was not included in our study.
In this piece, we’ll look at the defensive side of the ball. Below you will find last year’s SEC teams ranked according to their opponents’ yards-per-carry average:
2012 SEC Rushing Defense / Opponents’ Yards-Per-Carry
|School||Opp. Yds/Carry||SEC Record|
* Just as pass defense meant a little bit more than pass offense, rushing defense means a bit more in SEC play than rushing offense. Teams that held their opponents to under four yards per rush attempt totaled 44 wins against just 20 losses in SEC play last year. Teams that allowed more than four yards per carry finished a combined 12-36 in the league.
* Again, there were some exceptions to the rule, but there were fewer of them. Arkansas and Ole Miss stand out among the teams near the top of the chart, but those two squads led the league in giveaways last season, undermining their ability to stop their foes’ ground games. Vanderbilt was lone winning team ranked in the bottom six of this category, but four of their five league wins came against other teams that allowed more than four yards per carry.
* Simply put, running the ball effectively helps, but stopping opposing teams from running effectively is much more important when it comes to winning football games in the SEC.
* To compare these numbers to SEC squads’ rushing ability last season, click here to find our breakdown of teams’ in the offensive yards-per-carry category. Also, check out our pass game comparisons by clicking here to see yards-per-attempt data and by clicking here to see opponents’ yards-per-attempt data.
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