division 3 football computer rankings
division 3 football computer rankings
division 3 football computer rankings
division 3 football computer rankings
division 3 football computer rankings

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Round 1 Statistical Review

November 21, 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)

Oshkosh and Brockport didn't exactly face world-beaters in Round 1, but they definitely left no room for doubt in the final result. The Titans shutout a solid Lakeland offense (#41 in offensive Y1P+), and were their normal explosive selves on offense. Oshkosh's first five offensive drives all resulted in TDs, and all but one of those drives were greater than 50 yards, while the Muskies only had two of their seven first half drives last for more than three plays. This one was out of hand early, and Oshkosh is looking every bit as dominant as the team that made the Stagg Bowl last season.

 

The most telling stat of the Brockport/Plymouth State game may be this:
 

First Downs

  • Brockport - 17 passing; 13 rushing

  • Plymouth State - 5 passing; 1 rushing

Plymouth State couldn't stay on the field, and they couldn't keep Brockport off of it. While UW-Oshkosh leaned on their penchant for forcing turnovers (+4 TO margin) to achieve an eye-popping final score, the Golden Eagles finished the day only +1 in turnover margin. If you were able to play this game over 10 times (to borrow a coach-speak cliche), a 66-point margin probably isn't going to be the worst outcome for the Panthers. Brockport had eight different players with a rushing attempt, seven different players with a reception, and six different players score a touchdown (plus their kicker with a field goal). All around dominance.

Highest Graded Offenses (Percentile Performance)

As a Wartburg alum, I'm not exactly thrilled about how Trine played on Saturday. Accepting that, though, the Thunder were doggone impressive. Over 50% of their passing dropbacks, and exactly 50% of their rushing attempts went for a first down, and they averaged over 10 yards per play against a quality Monmouth defense. Trine only needed 57 plays to amass nearly 600 total yards, but the final point total is misleading in favor of Trine. Two of Trine's TDs were interception returns for touchdowns, which don't "count" in Y1P+, because they're really really hard to replicate consistently. The interceptions themselves factor into the teams total rating, but whatever happens after that doesn't.

 

Franklin, Wartburg's opponent from Saturday, finished with the fourth-best offensive grade of the weekend, despite Wartburg having the better raw statistical performance in Waverly. The difference: Wartburg put up those numbers against one of the worst defenses in the entire playoff field, while Franklin did so against a Top 20-caliber defense. While I was pretty sure Chase Burton & Co. would have a decent day through the air, because pass-happy teams were the ones that gave the Knights the most fits this season, I thought Wartburg's veteran DL would get some pressure on Burton and completely shut down a mediocre rushing attack by the Grizzlies, but instead Burton was kept upright most of the day, and converted several 3rd & long attempts, and on the ground, Franklin moved the ball relatively well. Here's to hoping Wartburg learned the necessary lessons to come out more prepared against Trine this weekend.

Highest Graded Defenses (Percentile Performance)

Oh hey, look at that, UMHB had the best defensive grade of the week again. This season, the Cru have had the highest defensive grade for the week four times, one third of the season. I said it at the outset of the playoffs that their defense was good enough to win them another Stagg Bowl, but their offense would determine whether they actually bring it home. While Chapman's defense isn't exactly up to par with, say, Linfield's, 50 points is 50 points.

 

Speaking of Linfield, they held Hardin-Simmons and their stable of talented receivers and backs to just one offensive touchdown on the day and less than 100 total yards passing (75 total passing yards, including sack yardage). Like UMHB, Linfield's season has been defined by dominant defense and suspect offense, at times. It appears Linfield has finally found their offensive identity in the post-Riddle era. New QB Wyatt Smith passed for first downs on 40% of his dropbacks Saturday (national average is 33%), and threw for nearly 10 yards per attempt. While the Cru should still be the favorites in Belton this coming Saturday, I wouldn't expect a purely defensive battle.

Biggest Upsets (Predicted Line)

Most of these games are hardly "upsets," and if I were just predicting winner subjectively, I definitely would have flipped the winner for the Berry game, and probably for the Muhlenberg game, but still, a three-point game can hardly be called an upset.

 

The one true upset would probably be Husson over Springfield, and it was far from a fluke. The Eagles limited the Pride to just 47 total offensive plays, and allowed them to convert only 30% of their third down conversions, while only punting once. John Smith, semi-finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy, racked up 164 yards on the ground, 53 more yards than fellow semifinalist, Pride FB Jordan Wilcox. This was a great win for Husson, but I wouldn't expect another upset next week at Del Val. Teams from New England are winless against non-NE teams in the playoffs since Curry beat Ithaca 26-21 in 2008.

 

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