Week 8 Statistical Review

October 26, 2017

Since I finished my Y1P+ system recently, and it can provide more granular data than by merely looking at final scores, I'll be using that system instead of my main system for weekly grades for the rest of the season. 


Highest Graded Teams (Percentile Performance)

I think Glenn Caruso was just trying to out-do St. John's Week 1 blowout of St. Scholastica. I'm probably not going to say much more about that game.


Brockport shut down one of the best offenses in the East region. I had a personal feeling that this may be the trap game that almost always strikes conference favorites in the Empire 8. Instead, they sacked Hartwick's quarterbacks twelve times for over a hundred yards, and out-gained Hartwick by 333 total yards. 


Wheaton is also back at their old habits, playing like a Top 5 team, making their losses to Millikin and Illinois Wesleyan more confusing every week. One of the more striking stats from this game is the third down conversion percentage--75% for Wheaton and only 15% for North Park. Even 100 penalty yards couldn't slow down the Thunder.


The final score of the Trine/Hope game looks really absolutely dominant, and it was. You don't beat your conference's preseason favorite by five touchdowns by accident, after all. They more granular data, though, is merely impressive. Hope was held below their averages for yards/game and 1st down rate, but not their season lows in either. Same goes for the same stats defensively. Much of the discrepancy is due to Trine's +3 turnover differential. Hope lost all three fumbles, which is relatively unlucky, but Trine got their hands on several passes and intercepted one.

Highest Graded Offenses (Percentile Performance)

Nothing could stop Springfield's offense on Saturday, not Catholic, and certainly not themselves. Their first down rate against Catholic was the best of the entire season, as was their 6.18 points per drive, and their overall grade. Catholic isn't having the best year this season, but a near-perfect performance like Springfield's is impressive against any opponent.


Frostburg wasn't nearly as dominant as Springfield this week (nobody was) but they thoroughly dismantled a relatively decent Montclair State defense. Montclair's rush and pass defense are both in the Top 75 nationally, and Frostburg was 2 yards/carry above the national average rushing, and more than double the national average passing yards/dropback. Even a few miscues, an interception, a couple sacks, and a fumble lost, couldn't stop the Bobcats from scoring 62 points.

Highest Graded Defenses (Percentile Performance)

Predictably, Brockport's exploits against Hartwick resulted in the highest defensive grade of the year. Somewhat unusually, Linfield and George Fox had two of the top four defensive grades of the week. Neither team could get much going all game. George Fox was held to season lows in yards/play, 1st down rate, and points/drive, and George Fox's defensive performance against Linfield was only outdone by Mary Hardin-Baylor's. Combined, the two teams had a total of 17 non-penalty first downs, which is less than half the national average. Linfield had more return yards than passing yards, and they only had 34 return yards. There were almost twice as many punt yards between the two teams (560) as offensive yards (295). There were more penalties for double-digit yardage than offensive plays. 

Biggest Upsets (Predicted Line)

Similar to last week, there weren't many upsets total, but there were a couple big ones. Marietta hadn't been within 13 points of beating Heidelberg since 2008, and they hadn't actually beaten them in a decade (Heidelberg was really bad before 2007).


My model may have underestimate Union due to their relatively weak schedule up until this week, but probably not by twenty points. They're still a long shot to win the Liberty League, with games against RPI (who may also be better than my numbers give them credit for) and Ithaca still upcoming this year.


In the Iowa Conference, Loras keeps looking impressive, and Coe keeps looking like they're really missing last year's senior class. Coe is now #90 nationally in Y1P+ with a Top 60 passing offense, and Loras is at #118 with a passing defense ranking #155 nationally. A year ago, Loras was firmly in last place in the IIAC, and well below-average nationally, while Coe was in the Top 25 and on their way to the playoffs. It's wild how quickly things can change.

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