My most recent assignment involved me determining if the defense has made any improvement from 2019 to 2020. I’ve thought that the defense did, but I wanted to really take a look at some specific numbers. And to clarify, the reason I used these statistics is because they are freely available at the NCAA site with national rankings easy to identify.
So I did a little research.
there’s a lot of colors going on here, but at the end of the day it was really just to make it a bit more clear if there was improvement. As far as a legend for the colors on the 2020 National and 2019 National columns, the darker red is for any rank 100 or above, the lighter red was 70 to 99, the yellow is 50 to 74, and green from there. The colors on the right side indicate if the improvement is positive, negative, or neutral. Hopefully that’s not too confusing.
First and foremost, there’s a lot of dark red in the 2019 numbers. Other than tackles for a loss and punt return yards allowed, the defense was pretty well abysmal. The pass defense was pretty well terrible, the pass efficiency defense was terrible, the rushing yards per attempt, and average yards per play were just not acceptable (among other things, like kickoff yards allowed).
Generally speaking, there was improvement in 2020 with the worst marks coming in first down defense, passing yards allowed, scoring defense, and punt return yards allowed.
But there are plenty of areas where the defense did not make significant strides. The first yard defense is a huge statistic to be bad at because it just makes everything more difficult. Significant decreases in scoring defenses, tackles for a loss, and sacks are all categories that are important and one of the things that I’ve been worried about is where Texas Tech will get the sacks this year, although I think the tackles for loss will improve so long as the defensive line.
For improvement, well, the yards per play and the pass defense made significant strides as did the rushing defense.
Kind of a mixed bag, but ultimately, there’s been significant improvement in a lot of areas, but scoring is the one area that has to improve, otherwise I think there will be more of the same.