There's been a lot of discussion about the speed of the Oregon Offense. I've decided to take it a step farther and really break down just how fast Oregon Is. How efficient are they? Is the Ducks Offense really putting up 49 points per game? Is there something hidden in all of these stats that we might discover? What about a per quarter breakdown, what might we find out about our team if we dissected the results from each quarter of each game.
Some of the answers might surprise you, they certainly caught me off guard in some areas. Inside we explore just how does Oregon's offense change when we get to the 4th quarter with a lead, and how that skews the Time/Play stat that is oh so popular when discussing Oregon's Offense.
For those of you who just need to get your stats fix on like I do when there's no football for a month this will I hope prove to be a delicious treat while we wait.
First of all I’d like to say these stats are inherently incomplete. The only time record that is kept for the box score is measured against the Game Clock. Since there are no stats that are kept regarding time as it is expiring off a play clock while the game clock is paused I cannot accurately recount a time/per play in real time. In the seconds between two snaps of the ball when the game clock is paused no stats are recorded that consider how the play clock is behaving. Therefore all stats in this exercise are measured against the game clock.
All stats were gathered courtesy of GoDucks.com
UNM and PSU game stats were thrown out the window as these were obviously inferior 1-AA teams that only skew the actual stats against FBS level opponents.
I found it interesting that Oregon’s largest TOP advantage came in the Cal Game where we held the ball for 32:22 but scored the fewest points of the season, 15. Of those 15, only 7 were scored by the offense
Equally interesting was Oregon’s lowest TOP came in the UCLA game where the Ducks had the ball for only 21:29. However this game was our highest offensive output where Oregon scored 60 points all on offense. For the about of time UCLA had the ball and the quality of their offense neither Oregon’s defense nor special teams scored a single point (this is under the assumption that PAT team falls under the offense. If you want to be technical then the PAT team is special and they scored a couple two point conversions and a bunch of PAT kicks.)
Following the pattern set then, it stands to reason the less the ducks have the ball and the faster they run their offense the more points they score right? Not true, the most plays the Ducks ran in a game were 89 against WASH and was our second highest offensive output at 53 points and second longest TOP in our favor at 30:35
That pattern is further displaced when you see that the least number of plays we ran were 67 against WSU and was our offense's third lowest output at just 36 of the 43 points scored by offensive drives. The WSU game was also our second lowest TOP at just 25:21
If you were to look at the TOP and # of plays run and not know the score with an average team, you would expect the team to score the highest or win most convincingly against WASH and CAL and play very close games or lose against WSU and UCLA. Obviously we know this is not true. TOP wise CAL was our most convincing win. This shows just how useless TOP is most of the time and why ‘Big Balls Chip’ doesn’t care about the stat.
Oregon’s fastest quarter came against STAN in the second quarter where the Ducks ran just 13 seconds off the game clock between plays.
On Average The fastest quarter is the second quarter where through 10 games Oregon averages 17 seconds of game clock time between plays
Our slowest quarter came against TENN in the first game of the season. In the 4th Quarter Oregon ran a whopping 37 seconds/play off the game clock. In the 4th Quarter the Ducks rushed the ball 13 straight times after a scoring drive of 3 complete passes and 2 rushes. In 18 straight plays in the 4th Quarter the clock only stopped on Time outs and first downs.
On Average our slowest quarter is the 4th for obvious reasons. Comparing to the Ducks fastest quarter, the second, at 29 seconds/play the difference in time per play is +12 seconds. Often the Ducks are running plays at ½ speed in the 4th quarter.
Points per Play gives you an idea of how many plays does it take before the team scores offensive points. It also takes into account weather or not you're settling for FG or getting TD. A 7 play drive that results in a TD will have a Points/Play value of 1.000. A 7 play drive that results in a FG will give a points/play value of just 0.428, a significantly lower number. Therefore we can use Points/play to value a team's efficiency.
Our most efficient quarter came against USC. In the 2nd Quarter Oregon scored 21 points in just 16 plays, the points pre play is very high at 1.313 points/play. This means that for the number of plays Oregon ran they scored very quickly and did not settle for FG tries.
The Ducks least efficient quarter can be interpreted in a couple different ways. One: Oregon failed to score points in 5 quarters this season, twice against CAL in the 2nd and 4th quarters, against ASU in the 4th, against WSU in the 4th, and against ARIZ in the 2nd. If we look a little deeper though, we see that we ran 29 plays off for 0 points in the 4th quarter against CAL. Again, however we also had our highest TOP and highest Number of plays of the year run in that quarter. We might say that the least efficient quarter was actually the 4th quarter against WSU where we has a season low 6 plays, a season low 3:28 TOP and scored 0 points.
On Average Oregon’s most efficient quarter is the third quarter where Oregon’s scored the most points, 139, at the highest rate, .626 points/play.
On Average the Ducks’s least efficient quarter is the 1st where we've only scored 81 points, Oregon only scores at a rate of .400 points/play. To be fair the Ducks only scored 80, one less point in the 4th quarter, however they score more efficently in the 4th quarter at .519 points/play
While the 2nd Quarter is on average the Ducks fastest quarter at just 17 seconds/play Oregon also run fewer plays, an average of 19.6, than every quarter except the 4th, an average of 16.3 plays. This makes me wonder if Oregon might get going too fast at times, if that ludicrous speed actually might get in the way of execution. If Oregon were to reel off 3 plays in 9 seconds/play but only gain 3 yards, the time between plays will look very good! You have to ask yourself though was it a good possession?
Over 10 games Oregon has lost the overall TOP by a combined 50 minutes.
Oregon has only had an advantage in TOP three times Against WASH, CAL and ARIZ.
On Average the TOP favors the opponent by only 2:28. At the most UCLA out possessed Oregon by 8:31, the next highest opponent TOP was ASU who held the ball 4:46 longer than Oregon.
In Conference play including against TENN our Offense is only averaging 41 points per game. Our Team is averaging 45.1 which means our Defense is good for 4.1ppg. You might be surprised by this statistic after reading in the news and on ESPN about our 49ppg offense. Since this data set omits the UNM and PSU games the 71 and 69 point games are thrown out the window which drops the average score by about 8 points. Consider this as well; of those 72 and 69 point scores at least a third of them came on either special teams or defense.
The most important stat though as far as I’m concerned, the most relevant and accurate stat that I can think of is one that really points more than anything else to show where Oregon Football is now. It also gives an astounding clarity to why the Ducks are in a position to go to the NCG. That stat is 12-0. It’s the only real stat we need to know that we’re the two time defending Pac-10 Champions. It’s a stat that tells me that no other team will ever be a Pac-10 champion. It tells me that this team has more than a fighting chance against Auburn. It tells me that on January 1st It will have been a full calendar year since our last defeat. It tells me that in two years we only have one loss in Pac-10 play; no other team will ever be able to boast that again.
I think that’s pretty cool.
In closing, here’s a link to the stats I compiled in spreadsheet form and I hope you’ll take a look and see what other statistics or observations you can derive from it.