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)
Either UMHB is really, really good, or every team they've played in the playoffs just happened to play their worst game of the year against the Cru, and unlike Mount Union, Mary-Hardin-Baylor looked like a Stagg Bowl team for four quarters. Like almost all of their games this season, their defense was the star of the show. Brockport featured the East Region offensive player of the year at quarterback, and an offense that hadn't been held below 28 points all year, and they were unable to cross the goal line in Belton even once, despite making it deep into opposition territory multiple times in the game. Mary Hardin-Baylor made their living by being aggressive to start the halves. Three of Brockport's first four drives ended without a first down, and two ended via turnover before even making it to third down, while UMHB's offense scored three touchdowns on their first three drives. Two of those drives were thanks to short fields from turnovers, but Carl Robinson III also executed the longest scoring drive of the game on their second possession. In the third quarter, Brockport only had one of four drives go for positive yardage. My model is bullish on Mount Union's odds of winning in Salem on Friday, but don't tell that to a defense that to the Cru defense, which is on the verge of surpassing the 2013 Whitewater defense for the best rating ever.*
Highest Graded Offenses (Percentile Performance)
For just over 35 minutes on Saturday, UW-Oshkosh was doing something that has only been done once in the last twenty-some years, they were kicking the shit out of Mount Union. I have to admit, I was going on a Santa Express train ride with my nieces and nephew on Saturday afternoon, and after UWO scored to go up 25 early in the 3rd, I stopped watching. Then a couple of my college friends texted me "holy shit," I knew what was happening, and I was that guy on the Santa Express streaming the 4th quarter of a game I had no direct ties to. Don't judge me.
The turnovers in the second half don't take away what Oshkosh did over the course of the entire game, which included scoring drives of 98, 86, and 82 yards. For some context, Mount Union's defense has allowed fourteen touchdown drives all season (including the playoffs), and those three drives are the three longest drives allowed by the Purple Raiders.
Of course, turnovers in the second half inevitably doomed the Titans, and Mount Union, led by DeAngelo Fulford, took advantage of short fields in their comeback, but they also looked fresher than Oshkosh, pushing the Titan D backwards on several fourth quarter rushing touchdowns. If the Purple Raiders are able to do to Carl Robinson III, a freshman making just his sixth start, what they were able to do in the second half to Brett Kasper, a four-year starter and Gagliardi Trophy finalist with Stagg Bowl experience, the Cru will likely have to rely on defense and special teams to score in Salem.
Highest Graded Defenses (Percentile Performance)
Oh, look, Mary Hardin-Baylor with a defensive performance head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Where have I seen this before?
How good is this Cru D? Well, they held to best offense in the East Region a full standard deviation below national averages for yards per play and first down rate, while posting a shutout. They held the best player in the East to 196 yards on 53 attempts, or 3.7 Y/A. If you want to include all dropbacks (by adding the Cru's 7 sacks), that number falls to 2.45 AY/A. If you throw in TDs (of which there were none) and INTs (there were 2), his numbers were 0.95 ANY/A. National average in ANY/A for all quarterbacks is 5.9. I guess what I'm trying to say is, this might be the best defense to ever do it, and you're not going to want to miss this year's Stagg Bowl.