Stats Corner: Looking at the Silver State Statistics – Mountain West Connection

Stats Corner: Looking at the Silver State Statistics - Mountain West Connection nevin manimala

Last week on Stats Corner we visited the beaches and looked at the Advanced Stats for San Diego State and Hawaii. This week, we are visiting the Silver State and looking at University of Nevada and UNLV.

Nevada

Year NFP OFP Rank OLF Rank DFP Rank DLF Rank
Year NFP OFP Rank OLF Rank DFP Rank DLF Rank
2018 -1.3 70.2 60 0.222 35 68.9 103 0.201 55
2017 -4.2 72.6 107 0.213 63 68.4 112 0.113 126
2016 -1.5 72.8 115 0.224 58 71.3 50 0.231 54
2015 -5.7 74.0 122 0.226 50 68.3 103 0.190 84
3rd Downs 3rd Downs 3rd Downs 3rd Downs 3rd Downs
Offense Per Game Rank Converted Conversions % Rank Defense Per Game Rank Converted
2018 14.7 50 4.7 31.82% 122 15.1 96 4.8
2017 13.5 99 5.3 38.93% 69 14.2 52 6.4
2016 13.8 95 6.7 48.68% 9 13.2 16 6.5
2015 13.9 97 5.2 37.72% 77 13.8 30 5.5
Red-zone Red-zone Red-zone Red-zone
Offense scoring % Rank attempts Rank Defense scoring % Rank attempts Rank
2018 83.33% 68 3.5 70 69.57% 2 3.8 78
2017 82.50% 70 3.6 52 80.00% 33 5.0 123
2016 83.72% 66 3.9 54 86.05% 79 3.9 71
2015 89.74% 15 3.2 81 73.47% 16 4.1 94

Last season the Wolfpack went 8-5, the year before 3-9, before then 5-7, and finally in 2015 they went 7-6. Every now and then Nevada will excel at something. In 2015 they have the 15th best red-zone scoring offensive percentage coupled with the 16th best red-zone scoring defense percentage. In 2016 there was the 9th best 3rd down conversions. While last year saw the 2nd best red-zone defense in the country at 69.57%, meaning 3 times out of 10 trips to the red-zone the opposing offense did not even score a field goal. The problem for the Wolfpack is their strength and successes are canceled out their weaknesses and setbacks. While the percentages were good in 2015, when the offense is 81st at just 3.2 trips a game and the defense is 94th allowing 4.1 trips into the red-zone, percentages lose value. Ditto for the 3rd downs in 2016, the percentage is nullified by the 95th ranked 13.8 trips per game and a defense that was 122nd in the country giving up 48.97% of 3rd downs. Last year may have been the lowest red-zone attempts the Wolfpack defense has given up at 3.8, but it was only 78th in the nation, still in the lower half. Nevada needs to stop shooting itself in its best foot.

Almost all the other stats for the Wolfpack are either trending steady but are weak, or trending in the wrong direction. Every season the Wolfpack start on average, at least 70 yards from the end-zone and either 21% or 22% of the time they are starting inside their 20 yard line. While 3 out of 4 years the opposing offense starts 68 yards from the end-zone. It is difficult to consistently start out that far behind and win games. Fortunately for the defense the number of 3 downs converted by opposing teams and the percent of conversion has dropped over the last three years, from 6.5 converted to 4.8 converted and 48.97% to 32.04%. Those are big drops and huge improvements. But once again, the Wolfpack prevent themselves from capitalizing. The number of 3rd downs the defense allows has increase from 13.2 in 20016 to 15.1 in 2018. It does not help that while the defense improved the offense regressed, 6.7 converted 3rd downs in 2016 to just 4.7 last season, and a respectable 48.68% in 2016 became a bottom 10 31.82% just last year.

The red-zone scoring has held sturdy at 82-83% and the number of attempts stays stable at 3 ish per game. The red-zone defense has shown improvement over the last 2 years 86% tumbling to 69%, while the number of attempts has stayed persistent other than 2017. The Wolfpack really do beat themselves, a positive statistics is countered with a negative statistics in the same area just the opposite side of the ball. If Nevada wants to compete for championships, improve in an area and hold steady on the opposite side.

UNLV

Year NFP OFP Rank OLF Rank DFP Rank DLF Rank
Year NFP OFP Rank OLF Rank DFP Rank DLF Rank
2018 -4.4 71.8 97 0.211 45 67.3 116 0.159 104
2017 -1.8 70.4 54 0.231 43 68.6 109 0.155 116
2016 -7.9 74.3 123 0.302 10 66.4 121 0.163 112
2015 -2.2 72.5 109 0.222 60 70.4 66 0.208 72
3rd Downs 3rd Downs 3rd Downs 3rd Downs 3rd Downs
Offense Per Game Rank Converted Conversions % Rank Defense Per Game Rank Converted
2018 15.9 12 6.0 37.71% 74 13.7 45 5.9
2017 14.6 48 6.0 40.99% 53 12.7 15 5.5
2016 14.9 50 5.5 37.20% 89 14.8 75 6.8
2015 14.7 68 5.3 35.80% 91 14 38 6.2
Red-zone Red-zone Red-zone Red-zone
Offense scoring % rank attempts Rank Defense scoring % rank attempts Rank
2018 88.24% 23 3.1 91 90.38% 111 4.7 117
2017 83.78% 62 3.4 69 78.18% 25 5.0 124
2016 91.89% 10 3.4 83 85.42% 77 4.4 99
2015 78.38% 98 3.4 76 91.49% 119 4.3 101

The Rebels are dependably below average, 4-8 in 2018, 5-7 in 2017, back to 4-8 in 2016 4-8, and 3-9 in 2015. A continual theme so far with statistics in the Mountain West has been starting field position and once again it shows up. The Rebels start behind their opponents every season, with -7.9 in 2016 the worst. Then there were triple digit rankings in where their opponents start, in both yards from end-zone (66-68 yards) and the percentage of opponents drives which start inside their 20 yard line (15-16%). In 2016 30.2% of Rebel drives starting inside their 20 yard line, that number dropped to 21-23% the other years.

The Rebels have been able to start putting together longer drives as evidenced by the number of 3rd downs increasing, however the percentage and number converted are steady. The defense allows too many 3rd down conversions, both in terms of percentage and total number. The red-zone offense is absolutely consistent, three straight years for 3.4 attempts per game, but when the national rankings are in the bottom half of NCAA teams, consistent is not good. The red-zone defense is going the wrong way, slowly allowing more attempts each year, 4.3 to 4.7, but triple digit rankings are not going to help the team.

While the offense has its problem, it is really the defense that is holding the team back with too many triple digit rankings. Three in red-zone attempts and the fourth year was ranked 99, two rankings in red-zone scoring percentage, three in defense field position, and while only one in 3rd down conversions the other three years the rankings were in the 90s. Until the defense improves the offense is not going to be enough to carry this team to even a bowl game.

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