Oregon State Defensive Preview

This post will look at the defensive side of the ball for Oregon State.  The post will look at the conversion rates allowed by OSU’s defense.  Then it will look at the yards and points per quarter allowed.  Finally, it will look at the yards allowed histogram for runs and passes.

Conversion Rates

First let us look at the conversion rates allowed per down.

About one in five 1st downs convert for a new first down against Oregon State.  About one in three 2nd downs do the same.  Oregon State is allowing quite a few 3rd downs through as well.  As much as USC fans complain about 3rd down defense, Oregon State has it worse.  OSU is ranked #116 in the country on 3rd down defense while USC is ranked #110.  Let us take a closer look at the 3rd down conversions allowed by OSU by distance.

The interesting thing here is that OSU allows more 3rd and Mediums through than 3rd and shorts.  22/37 3rd and shorts were converted by OSU’s opponents, which is pretty good 3rd and short defense.  However, 25/34 3rd and mediums were converted.  This is a very high percentage of 3rd and mediums.  22/61 3rd and longs were converted, which is about normal.

Now let us look at the average distance to go for OSU’s opponents and the average gain allowed by OSU’s defense.

The average distance to go is fairly normal.  Teams are gaining 5.74 yards per offensive play on average.  Teams gain slightly higher on 3rd down compared to 1st and 2nd down.  However, OSU is allowing a high percentage of conversions, which extends drives.  OSU’s opponents are averaging 6.26 offensive plays per drive.  The normal is probably somewhere around mid five.

Yards and Points per Quarter

First let us look at the yards.


OSU’s defense gets slightly better as the game goes on in terms of yards.  The 1st half of the game averages 220 yards allowed while the 2nd half averages 197 yards allowed.  Not a whole lot of change, but it is noteworthy, I guess.  Let us take a look at the points allowed per quarter now.

Oregon State allows the most points in the 2nd quarter.  The next highest points allowed is the 4th quarter.  The key for USC will be to take the lead early and keep holding onto it, much like the Arizona game.

Yards Allowed Histogram

Let us look at the yards allowed histogram.

On the running side of the ball, Oregon St. has stopped 62 runs (17%) for a loss or for no gain.  140 runs (37%) were stopped for a gain of less than three.  However, 48 runs (13%) were stopped for a gain of 10 or more, including 21 runs (6%) which were for 15+ yards gained.

On the passing side of the ball, Oregon St.’s opponents are completing 64% of their passes and have 97 incompletions this season.  Including incompletions, 44% of OSU’s opponents’ passes gain either negative yardage or no yardage.  Even accounting for completions only, 12% of passes are stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage, which is fairly high.  On the other hand, 88 passes (29%) were completed for a 10+ yard gain and 55 passes (18%) were completed for an explosive 15+ yard gain.

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