5 (or so) Things: FSU Defensive Progress

If you saw the product on the field, there's no mistaking the progress from the '09 Nole defensive unit to the '10 version. Or you could just look at Bud's signature line:

The '09 6-loss team featured an F/+ #3 offense and the #107 defense. The '10 4-loss team featured an F/+ #7 offense and the #41 defense.
The 66-rank improvement was the 3rd highest improvement in defense from '09 to '10, behind only Stanford (+90) and Illinois (+76).
  1. Versus FBS opponents with winning records in 2009, FSU's rushing defense gave up 5.74 yards per carry (109th nationally, 12th in conference). In 2010 FSU allowed 3.73 YPC (17th, 3rd), 35% less than the year before.

  2. Total yards as a performance metric belies the way those yards were accrued. 200 yards rushing seems like a good day. But there is a huge difference if you gave that up on 20 plays (10 YPC - sieve) vs. 50 (4 YPC - decent). This defensive statistic becomes even more meaningful when filtered to reflect opponents that had winning records.

    Stoops' first task was to fix the rushing defense. 35% reduction in YPC and a jump from the Bottom 20 to the Top 20? Check. Where did that 35% come from? In '09, FSU's rushing defense gave up 87 10+ yard rushing plays in 495 attempts, or 18% of all rushing attempts by opponents resulted in a 10-yard gain or more. In '10, that number was 53 in 528 (10%). 20+ yard gains? '09: 34 in 495 attempts (6.9%). '10: 12 in 528 attempts (2.2%).

  3. Versus FBS opponents with winning records in 2009, FSU's rushing defense gave up 1 touchdown every 16.2 rushes (94th nationally, 11th in conference). In 2010 FSU allowed 1 touchdown every 35.2 rushes (15th, 4th), an improvement of 117%.

  4. From Bottom 30 to Top 15. That's a 1 less rushing touchdown per game improvement.

  5. Versus FBS opponents with winning records in 2009, FSU's passing defense gave up 9.1 yards per attempt (106th nationally, 10th in conference). In 2010 FSU allowed 6.9 YPA (31st, 4th), 24% less than the year before.

  6. No free yards!

  7. Versus FBS opponents with winning records in 2009, FSU's passing defense gave up 1 touchdown every 12 passing attempts (102nd nationally, 12th in conference). In 2010 FSU allowed 1 touchdown every 22.5 passing attempts (33rd, 4th), an improvement of 88%.

  8. FSU has mercifully abandoned the Sieve Defense. Maybe WVU saw the '09 stat and figured they could pass for more touchdowns than rush for against us in the Gator Bowl? 

  9. Versus FBS opponents with winning records in 2009, FSU's passing defense gave up an opponent QB rating of 153.25 (90th nationally, 10th in conference). In 2010 FSU gave up a rating of 123.66 (28th, 6th), an improvement of 19%.

  10. 2010 FSU Defensive goal: Tighten up.

     

    Ok, I've included more than 5 stats in this article. Here's one final stat from 2010:

  11. Versus FBS opponents with winning records in 2010, FSU's defense gave up a 10+ yard rush/pass every 5.7 plays (13th nationally, 2nd in conference).

  12. **All data was used directly or computed from CFBStats.com. Give them a click, why don't ya.**

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