division 3 football computer rankings
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Round 2 Statistical Review

November 28, 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.

 

Seeing how there were only sixteen teams in action on Saturday, I'll include grades for each team, instead of only the Top 10.

 

Highest Graded Teams (Percentile Performance)

On the Around the Nation Podcast this week, Keith said that Wartburg's game was an easy one to not pay attention to. I whole-heartedly disagree. Wartburg's game was the second-highest grade of the season, behind only St. Thomas's 97-0 dismantling of St. Olaf. Yes, it was higher than St. John's grade against St. Scholastica, mostly because Trine is a heckuva lot better team than St. Scholastica.

 

Wartburg's defense stifled a Trine offense that still ranks in the Top 10 nationally in Y1P+. Even though their offense is centered around the run, Evan Wyse still post a TAY/P which accounts for yards, touchdowns, first downs, interceptions, and sacks) of 14.0 on the season, 6.0 yards/play better than the national average. Against Wartburg, he had a TAY/P of 1.1. Running the ball, Trine averages xxx yards per game, but only managed 124 against Wartburg.

 

On offense, Matt Sacia was his normal efficient self, throwing for a first down or touchdown on 13 of his 18 attempts. Conner Schrader regularly busted off long gains, and no Wartburg back was stopped short of the line of scrimmage on a single carry all day.

Highest Graded Offenses (Percentile Performance)

Elsewhere around the Midwest, UW-Oshkosh did what they've been doing all year, making a win against a Top 10 (I'm talkin ratings here, not rankings) opponent look easy. Dylan Hecker appears to be back to full strength, with fourteen carries and a 47-yard pass attempt to his credit (was recruited to play QB, remember). Between Hecker and quarterback Brett Kasper, the Titan offense averaged over 10 yards per dropback, and they scored touchdowns with long plays all over the field. It wasn't just the Hecker & Mentkowski show, either. Seven different Titan players had a rush or reception of at least 20 yards.

 

Mary Hardin-Baylor's raw offensive stats didn't jump off the page, but upon further examination, they were really impressive given their opponent. Carl Robinson didn't have the efficiency of more-seasoned passers like Sacia or Kasper, but he was effective against a Linfield defense that doesn't let quarterbacks be effective.

 

Mount Union had a relatively lackluster day offensively, and still had the second-highest offensive grade of the weekend. De'Angelo Fulford had one of his worst offensive games of the year, but still had 10 first downs, 4 touchdowns, and 233 yards. The Purple Raiders top two backs combined for 198 yards on the ground on only 27 carries, and their top three receivers (who were their only receivers with receptions) all had more than 70 yards. Mount Union has played their three worst games of the season in their last three weeks, but they still have enough talent to win the Stagg Bowl.

Highest Graded Defenses (Percentile Performance)

 

I already talked about Wartburg's performance above, and Mary Hardin-Baylor's defensive performances at this point are commonplace. Delaware Valley may have had one of the easiest paths to get to the quarterfinals, but they're not "playing down" to their opponents by any means. Against Husson, they didn't stop John Smith (nobody's done that for a couple years now), but they did enough in the passing game to make up for it. Husson, like Trine, couldn't accumulate 100 yards through the air, and the Eagles only managed three first downs passing. The Ram secondary picked off Husson four times, returning one for a TD.

Biggest Upsets (Predicted Line)

 

Upsets? What upsets? My Y1P+ model technically had Wartburg as a 4-point dog going into their game, but by using a blend of my score-based ratings (in which Trine's rating was slightly worse) and a boost for their playoff experience, they were favored slightly in a tossup, as you may have seen on d3football.com's Quick Hits. 

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