Yesterday I gave you offensive plays per touchdown from last year's ACC teams. Today we have the defensive stats.
Winfield had a great point on defensive stats like plays per touchdown. It isn't always the most accurate when determining how a defense played overall. In my opinion, defenses adjust more to what offenses than the other way around.
But splitting the numbers by rushing and passing helps get rid of some of that. However, some of the numbers will still be skewed because teams will obviously run more on teams that aren't very good and stopping the run and will go to the air more against teams with bad pass coverage. You know, unless they're coached by Bryan Stinespring. I keed, I keed.
So now that I've told you these numbers are essentially meaningless, let's take a look at them. I think you'll be surprised by Virginia Tech's numbers.
Stats are from CFBStats.com. First, the rush defenses.
(TD - rushing touchdowns allowed; Rush - rush attempts minus sacks; PPTD - plays per touchdown)
The Hokies weren't as good against the run as we're used to. They were just a little bit better than average. Wake Forest, with its excellent linebacking corps and solid defensive tackles, led the league by a healthy margin. The surprising number belongs to Boston College. The Eagles came in at No. 11 despite having arguably the best front seven in the league last year. Will BC's numbers decline further without Raji, Brace and Herzy?
Moving on to the pass defense numbers, just remember that it's good to have Macho Harris.
(TD - passing touchdowns allowed; Pass - pass attempts plus sacks; PPTD - plays per touchdown)
You knew Clemson's numbers would be good with the secondary it had last year. But the Hokies are the surprising team. Yes, we had a true shut-down cornerback in Macho Harris. But with all the problems Kam Chancellor and the rovers had in the secondary, you would figure their plays per touchdown would be lower. Their ratio could drop without Harris or it could stay solid with the improvement that has been made in the middle of the secondary. Only time will tell.
NC State, which had an atrocious defense, especially at the beginning of the year, was predictably bad in both categories. I don't expect its numbers to get much better without Nate Irving patrolling the middle of the field.
What do you think? Do these numbers mean anything? Or do they just reinforce defensive stereotypes?