Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oregon Defense Topped Pac12 in 2011

    Oregon is known for their explosive offense.  In 2011, Oregon scored 46.1 points per game.  That’s almost 2 points for every minute they had the ball.  Oregon scores so quickly that the defense ends up on the field more than the offense.  Oregon ranks last in the FBS for Time of Possession at 25 minutes per game.  The defense sees ten more minutes of playing time than the offense.  How are we to judge a defense that sees more playing time than any other team in the nation?  To answer that question, you have to look at how many yards per minute Oregon’s defense give up.

    The Pac12 is offense heavy full of NFL-caliber quarterbacks, running backs and receivers.  The most talented recruits usually find a role on the offense.  In the SEC, the best talent will end up on defense.  It is no surprise that a conference like the SEC would lead the nation in defensive stats, especially yards given up per minute.  Alabama lead the nation with 6.75 yards given up per minute.  The SEC owned 7 teams in the top 10 in this category.  The Pac12 didn’t appear until the number 21 spot, and it belonged to the Oregon Ducks.

    That’s right; the Oregon Ducks lead the Pac12 in defense when you look at yards given up per minute.  Oregon gave up more yards and points per game since they were on the field longer than any other team, but as a unit, they outperformed everybody else in the Pac12 allowing 11.15 yards per minute.  The second best defense was Utah at 11.48 yards per minute, but Utah didn’t have the luxury of playing the top two offenses in the conference, Oregon and Stanford, in 2011. 

    Most people wouldn’t have thought of Oregon first when thinking of the best Pac12 defenses.  When you put it in perspective of time spent on the field, they are the best in the conference.  Sport analysts claim that Oregon will have an even better defense in 2012.  Can Oregon again have both the best offense and defense in the conference in 2012?  It all begins now.

Rank Team def yards/min
1 Oregon  11.15
2 Utah  11.48
3 California  11.87
4 Stanford  13.03
5 Oregon State  13.40
6 USC  13.49
7 Washington State  13.65
8 UCLA  13.72
9 Arizona State  14.11
10 Washington  15.04
11 Arizona  15.19
12 Colorado  15.19

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