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 3 Statistical Review

December 5, 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 eight teams in action on Saturday, I'll include grades for each team, instead of the Top 10.

 

Highest Graded Teams (Percentile Performance)

Mount Union scored about 2 points per drive more than FSU, and outgained then by nearly 5 yards per play. I watched most of this game until Wartburg's started, and the athleticism imbalance was pretty apparent. I will say, though, that I was impressed by Frostburg's quarterback. He began making some plays in the second quarter, not because his line started playing better, but in spite of them. Mount Union doesn't have the size of the Oshkoshes of the world, but those wide receivers are something else. Their D-Line wasn't "mauling" Frostburg, but they had excellent technique, were playing half a man, and playing low enough to make it difficult to get a body on them.

 

Oshkosh beat my alma mater. Their offensive line is big and athletic, and their position players can run over and around you. I know I'm biased, but I don't think Wartburg looked out-matched physically, but Oshkosh just did a better job of playing mistake-free for longer. Dylan Hecker is a matchup nightmare in the run game, and the Knights did a better job preventing him from getting into open space in the run game, but he was wide open on a couple of passes (doubling his receiving yardage from the entire season).

Highest Graded Offenses (Percentile Performance)

Wartburg wasn't without their own big plays on Saturday. Their three leading receivers all had at least five receptions and 50 yards, and Dylan Binion had over 75 yards on the ground on 17 carries. Sacia, Wartburg's Gagliardi finalist quarterback played the sort of game you would expect--efficient and mistake free--but without as many explosive plays as Wartburg's accustomed to. Part of this is by design for UWO's defense. Despite being ranking 7th in the country in overall defensive Y1P+, they rank only 35th in defensive efficiency. They're the epitome of a bend-but-don't-break defense, and that's essentially what we saw Saturday.

 

Brockport has a pretty great quarterback of their own, and he threw for more total yards than anyone not throwing to Mount Union's receivers in the quarterfinals. Though not nearly as efficient as Poorman, Sacia, or Kasper, Germinerio averaged 13 yards per completion. Brockport also did something Del Val found a little more difficult, keep their dual-threat quarterback (mostly) upright. Germinerio was sacked only twice, while Darden was sacked 7 times (yet still had a net +80 yards rushing).

Highest Graded Defenses (Percentile Performance)

How does a team win a game in the quarterfinals of the playoffs despite gaining only 143 total yards of offense? A couple return touchdowns and an all-time great defense usually helps. I've been asked a few times about why my model either over-rated UST or under-rated UMHB coming into the playoffs. Both are likely true, but I think it mainly comes down to three things:

  1. The ASC only played 4 non-conference games before the playoffs, so comparing its teams to the rest of the country is basically no easier than it would be for the NESCAC.

  2. There's a lower limit to how well a defense can perform (a shutout, duh), but not to how well an offense can perform (uh.. 97-0).

  3. Recency probably overplayed it's hand for both teams. UMHB allowed more than 10 points twice all season, both in its last two games, while UST scored over 50 in all of its last four games, going over 80 twice in that span.

Looking more closely at UMHB's defensive performance this weekend, they held one of the top offenses in the country, and one of the most physical teams in the country, to only 5 rushing first downs and 8 passing first downs (UST held UMHB to 3 and 5 first downs) and less than 2 yards per rush. If I were to pick a champ at this point in the tournament, the Cru's defensive consistency and greatness make them an easy pick. After all, they've already proven that 10 points in enough to win them a Stagg Bowl.

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