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Federal Marshal
Oct 15, 2003
So Cal
I borrowed this graphic from PFB, and I added the number of wins in those seasons that had the lowest points per drive (defense)


WINS 7 9 9 11 12 8 10 7 10 10 10 7

For all the hullabaloo made about defensive PPD, or defense in general, is seems as if our offense is what dictates the win totals in most seasons.

Our last 3 seasons of 10 wins were not much off of the national median... was that the difference between the 2010 and 2011 wind totals? I don't really know, those offenses were so prolific, and I think our TO margin was also better.
Jul 15, 2004
What I find interesting - Young was here in 2009 - 12.
2009, tied for 2nd in South (9-4)
2010, tied for 1st in South (11-2)
2011, 1st (12-1) 44 takeaways?
2012, tied for 3rd (8-5)

Then oSu went away from the taller defensive ends that Bill Young liked - Ugo Chinasa and Jimmy Bean (how many interceptions did UC and JB have?) and then the next DC had one good year with Young's defense and it went in the tank - also, four stars on D disappeared, like Caleb Lavey, Shaun Lewis, Justin Gilbert, Richetti Jones, Markelle Martin, Daytawion Lowe (from Rivals site).


Go Pokes!!!
Oct 30, 2007
Yes, the years the D was better was the difference. The PPD metric is not the be all metric. I suspect other D metrics would show why we averaged ABOVE 10 wins in those years. However, you need both O and D or you need to be absolutely dominant in one. We were that on O in 2011, but there is another critical factor called Coaching and it took a night off in 2011 thinking we could basically just show up. Not an easy thing to keep pushing on that night but cannot put that on the players. We should have come in with an attitude to dominate on O but we lost focus and did not play aggressive enough early.

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Aug 22, 2006
SE Oklahoma
Points per drive is a good metric to look at but I think you need to combine it with plays per drive to really get an understanding of the efficiency of either the offense or the defense. In the games that we looked horrible in last year there was a major difference in time of possession. If the defense gets a stop and the offense goes 3 and out it doesn't allow enough time for the defense to rest, that happened more last year than it had in a long time. Scoring quickly is exciting and fun to watch no doubt but sometimes you have to have a 8+ play drive to allow the defense to make adjustments and rest. I think if you average on the season 8+ plays per possession you're going to end with double digit wins.


A/V Subscriber
Apr 20, 2005
Turnovers play a huge key as well. The 2011 team had a near record number of turnovers and last years team was one of the worst in the entire county ranking at #117 in turnover margin, only 13 total takeaways for the defense. Yes their was a lot of other differences in those teams but I think people forget how big turnovers are, and especially were to that 2011 team.
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