Virginia Tech Defensive Efficiency in 2010

Yesterday we looked at the Hokies' offensive efficiency stats and saw a very balanced team. Today, we'll see something very different when we look at the defensive numbers.

Once again, these are based on how many yards the Hokies gave up compared to how many they were expected to give up based on the number of plays the opposing team ran in the game. It's a watered-down version of what you'll see at Football Outsiders from Brian Fremeau and Bill Connolly. For a comparison, take a look at the 2009 and 2008 stats.

We'll start with some fairly ugly rushing numbers. Raw data is from cfbstats.com. Remember, unlike the offensive numbers, the lower the number the better when it comes to defensive efficiency.

Abbreviations: YPC - yards per carry (rounded); Rush - opponent carries minus sacks; ExYds - expected yards for the opponent (rounded); Yards - opponent yards with sacks taken out; Eff - VT efficiency.

VT Defensive Efficiency - Rushing 2010
Opponent YPC Rush ExYds Yards Eff
Boston College 4.7 22 102.5 116 1.132
NC State 4.5 32 142.6 153 1.073
Wake Forest 4.2 24 100.7 260 2.581
Duke 4.1 28 115.3 103 0.893
Georgia Tech 5.9 48 281.3 359 1.275
North Carolina 4.5 28 125.5 140 1.115
Miami 5.6 40 225.8 272 1.205
Virginia 4.3 30 128.0 83 0.648
Florida State 5.4 27 145.8 56 0.384
Total 4.9 1385 1369.1 1542 1.126

2009 Rushing Efficiency: 0.992
2008 Rushing Efficiency: 1.058

Next are the passing numbers, which looked a lot better.

Abbreviations: YPA - opponent's yards per attempt (rounded); Pass - opponents pass attempts; ExYds - expected yards for the opponent (rounded); Yards - opponent yards; Eff - VT efficiency.

VT Defensive Efficiency - Passing 2010
Opponent YPA Pass ExYds Yards Eff
Boston College 6.5 32 209.2 180 0.860
NC State 6.7 49 328.0 362 1.104
Wake Forest 6.1 17 103.0 92 0.893
Duke 6.3 36 225.0 116 0.516
Georgia Tech 7.2 10 72.1 80 1.110
North Carolina 8.7 33 285.5 197 0.690
Miami 6.9 33 227.5 202 0.888
Virginia 6.9 26 179.8 221 1.229
Florida State 7.3 32 234.9 288 1.226
Total 6.9 268 1856.4 1738 0.936

2009 Passing Efficiency: 0.867
2008 Passing Efficiency: 1.138

Put them together (and add the sacks back in) and we have total defensive efficiency and scoring efficiency.

Abbreviations: YPP - opponent yards per play (rounded); Plays - opponent plays; ExYds - expected yards for the opponents (rounded); Yards - opponent yards; Eff - VT efficiency. PPP - opponent points per play adjusted for non-offensive points (rounded); Plays - opponent plays; ExPts - expected points for the opponent (rounded); Points - opponent points minus non-offensive points; Eff - VT efficiency.

VT Defensive Efficiency - Yards 2010
Opponent YPP Plays ExYds Yards Eff
Boston College 4.9 60 295.2 250 0.847
NC State 5.2 82 424.8 507 1.193
Wake Forest 4.4 42 186.7 346 1.853
Duke 5.0 66 329.9 208 0.631
Georgia Tech 5.9 61 357.2 426 1.193
North Carolina 6.0 65 389.4 314 0.806
Miami 6.0 75 450.1 464 1.031
Virginia 5.4 60 322.0 291 0.904
Florida State 5.9 60 356.3 341 0.957
Total 5.4 571 3100.8 3147 1.015
VT Defensive Efficiency - Points 2010
Opponent PPP Plays ExPts Points Eff
Boston College 0.260 60 15.6 0 0.000
NC State 0.371 82 30.4 30 0.985
Wake Forest 0.267 42 11.2 21 1.875
Duke 0.318 66 21.0 7 0.333
Georgia Tech 0.315 61 19.2 21 1.094
North Carolina 0.365 65 23.7 10 0.421
Miami 0.329 75 24.7 17 0.689
Virginia 0.276 60 16.6 7 0.423
Florida State 0.457 60 27.4 33 1.204
Total 0.331 571 189.0 146 0.772

2009 Defensive Efficiency: 0.859
2008 Defensive Efficiency: 0.963

2009 Scoring Efficiency: 0.711
2008 Scoring Efficiency: 0.902

What jumps out at me is how good the Hokies were in scoring efficiency despite giving up more yards than they were supposed to. There are two good explanations for this. First, the Hokies had 25 takeaways in 2010, which led the ACC. They also led the conference in red zone scoring percentage, allowing ACC foes to score on just over 69 percent of their red zone chances.

Basically, the Hokies did a lot of bending in 2010 and had their only terrible scoring efficiency game against Wake Forest. If they had allowed nearly twice their expected points against any other team (except Duke), they probably would have lost a conference game. But since the Deacs' defense was so sieve-y this year, it didn't matter.

The rushing defense struggled until the final two conference games and the passing defense was great until the final two conference games, when they were without Rashad Carmichael for the entire UVa game and the first half of the FSU game.

Tech's struggles against the run have been well documented by every beat writer and even myself throughout the year. The Hokies were extremely undersized in the front seven at the beginning of the season and even more so when they started playing a lot of nickel. That looks to change next year when with the departure of John Graves at defensive tackle. We'll get Kwamaine Battle back from his ACL injury and hopefully add 300-pound Nick Acree to the mix.

Replacing Graves' leadership and work ethic will be next to impossible, but getting bigger up front can only help the Hokies in the long run. I expect the rushing numbers to get back below 1 next year. I also expect the passing numbers to go up with the loss of Rashad Carmichael and Davon Morgan. We have good young players in Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum and they'll have more experience than the typical sophomore next year. But losing Rock will still be tough.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Gobbler Country

You must be a member of Gobbler Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gobbler Country. You should read them.

Join Gobbler Country

You must be a member of Gobbler Country to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gobbler Country. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker