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Statistical Analysis - Cal Football 2015-2018

January 29, 2019
3,092

Pac 12 Football Rankings for University of California

Direct Link to Data (if Table below is hard to read) : Offense/Defense   Special Teams

Loved to get your thoughts on comments with regard to the data.  

Discussion from...

Statistical Analysis - Cal Football 2015-2018

UrsusTexicanus
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Good, comprehensive information. Quick conclusion is Cal has had great offenses and defenses the last four years, unfortunately, just not in the same season.
heartofthebear
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It seems that playing a punting game should be good for Cal with a great defense.
However, according to the stats. we don't do well on punts, regardless who is punting and regardless of the year.
The exception being the punts themselves. But returning and/or defending the return is not a Cal thing, apparently.

The other thing that stood out was that our defense in 2018 was markedly better than in 2017. I did not realize that. There was only one category (opponent red zone conversion %) where the 2018 dropped below the 2017 ranking.
wifeisafurd
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This is really great stuff and demonstrates in very glaring terms the reversal in defensive results (this last season in particular) and the reversal in offense (this last season in particular). Also, some surprises, like Sonny's offenses being that good in the red zone. Thanks for posting.
calumnus
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wifeisafurd said:

This is really great stuff and demonstrates in very glaring terms the reversal in defensive results (this last season in particular) and the reversal in offense (this last season in particular). Also, some surprises, like Sonny's offenses being that good in the red zone. Thanks for posting.


Contrary to what people thought Sonny's offenses were good in the red zone, good at preventing sacks and good at 3rd down conversion.

One stat that has come up is our better "rushing" numbers this year over last, but that is entirely due to QB running. The stats for the RBs were down.

Our rating in Sagarin for the same 4 years:
2015 #26
2016 #62
2017 #50
2018 #56

The odd year schedule is tough. The defense cannot improve much so we will need a dramatic improvement on offense to get back to #25 or better and the top half of the PAC-12.

GMP
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UrsusTexicanus said:

Good, comprehensive information. Quick conclusion is Cal has had great offenses and defenses the last four years, unfortunately, just not in the same season.
2016 was not a great offense. The passing yards per attempt was about as bad as it has been the last two years.
calumnus
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GMP said:

UrsusTexicanus said:

Good, comprehensive information. Quick conclusion is Cal has had great offenses and defenses the last four years, unfortunately, just not in the same season.
2016 was not a great offense. The passing yards per attempt was about as bad as it has been the last two years.


It was good at getting first downs, avoiding losses and turnovers, red zone conversion and scoring points.

A more complete analysis would count sacks and interceptions as passing attempts and adjust accordingly.

Morevover, 6+ yards per pass attempt can be good or bad, depending the variance. At an extreme, if you get 6 yards every single time you attempt a pass you can just pass on first and second down every time for 12 yards and a first down, until you score a TD on every single drive. That gets at the essence of what Bill Walsh did with Montana and has evolved into the Air Raid.

I was at the game in Austin, Texas in 2016 for our 50-43 comeback win and our offense was beautiful. Nothing like our current offense at all except the spread formations. Now the defense, that's another story...
RealBear65
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Calumnus:

You stated: "It was good at getting first downs, avoiding losses and turnovers, red zone conversion and scoring points."

I'm confused by your above statement. We weren't good at any of these 2018 offensive categories as per our conference ranking for each of the above.

1st Downs = 11th
TFLs Allowed = 10th
Turnovers Lost/Game = 12th
RZ Conv = 12th
Scoring Ppg = 12th
Yogi Bear
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RealBear65 said:

Calumnus:

You stated: "It was good at getting first downs, avoiding losses and turnovers, red zone conversion and scoring points."

I'm confused by your above statement. We weren't good at any of these 2018 offensive categories as per our conference ranking for each of the above.

1st Downs = 11th
TFLs Allowed = 10th
Turnovers Lost/Game = 12th
RZ Conv = 12th
Scoring Ppg = 12th

He was talking about 2016, not 2018
GMP
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calumnus said:

GMP said:

UrsusTexicanus said:

Good, comprehensive information. Quick conclusion is Cal has had great offenses and defenses the last four years, unfortunately, just not in the same season.
2016 was not a great offense. The passing yards per attempt was about as bad as it has been the last two years.


It was good at getting first downs, avoiding losses and turnovers, red zone conversion and scoring points.

A more complete analysis would count sacks and interceptions as passing attempts and adjust accordingly.

Morevover, 6+ yards per pass attempt can be good or bad, depending the variance. At an extreme, if you get 6 yards every single time you attempt a pass you can just pass on first and second down every time for 12 yards and a first down, until you score a TD on every single drive. That gets at the essence of what Bill Walsh did with Montana and has evolved into the Air Raid.

I was at the game in Austin, Texas in 2016 for our 50-43 comeback win and our offense was beautiful. Nothing like our current offense at all except the spread formations. Now the defense, that's another story...

Your argument re passing yards per attempt is so silly that I almost didn't respond, but here I am. No, 6 yards per attempt is NOT good. Never. Would you take 3.4 ypc, too? After all, run it three times and you'll never be stopped! Find me a passer that has a 100% completion rate and I'll accept a guy who throws 6 ypa.

As I've argued over the last few years, Dykes' system was not efficient offensively. It put up big numbers because they ran a lot of plays. But when you look at efficiency and rate, it was was not great. In 2015 it was very good, because the team had a soon to be #1 pick who is playing in the Super Bowl three years later. But in 2016, with a QB who grew up in the system, and would soon be a third round pick, the yards per attempt were bad. And the conference ranking were bad. So, sure. Our offense was good when we had a #1 overall pick. It wasn't even good though when we had a third round pick, our highest picked QB other than Goff since Aaron Rodgers, by a long shot.

Btw. You may have thought our offense was beautiful in 2016, but your memory is way off. I was at the Cal/Texas game in Austin, too (not that being there gives you or me some superiority in opinion). But it wasn't in 2016. It was in 2015, when Goff was the QB. We had a huge lead in the second half and nearly blew it. In 2016, with Webb, we had had a minor comeback (as we lead at halftime and never trailed by more than 5 in the second half), but the game was in Berkeley. And yes, Webb had a nice game. He was a good QB. But even in that game, the offense averaged less than 10 ypa and less than 3 rush yards per carry. It was not a beautiful offense that season, not by a long shot.
CalPaTroll
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This just proves we can't play both sides of the ball in the same year.......
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