During this past weekend’s game I tweeted the following “Stop running between the tackles on 2nd and 10, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!”. I stand by this statement, but felt like it needed some stats. And now I have them. These are the stats of what happens when you run the ball on 2nd and 8 or longer this season. This is what happens when you… well Larry, you should know by now.
Pretty awesome huh? If you run the ball on 2nd and 8 or longer you have an 18 percent chance of getting into manageable down and distance(3rd and 4 or less). 18 percent is pretty good right? It could be worse, it could be 15 percent.
One thing that did surprise me was the rate at which MSU extended the drive or scored(46.2 percent without taking out statistical oddities). There were a couple of drives MSU started in FG range and so would have gone three and out in a further part of the field. Or the Sadler Scurry! But it seemed unfair to not count these as successful drives because they were in fact successful, even if they weren’t optimally successful.
MSU has converted on 3rd down at 38.79 percent clip this season, so in plays where MSU didn’t score later in the drive their 3rd down percentage dropped to 14/38 or 36.84 percent. MSU basically assures below average 3rd down performance by running on 2nd and 8 or longer. And we’re not even talking about the garbage time runs against CMU in the second half which still provides a bit of bump to these numbers.
So if the plan is to get tricksy by hitting them with a 2nd and long run when they least expect it, with an 18 percent conversion rate, MSU isn’t putting Maxwell into manageable down and distance. If MSU converts the third down it’s usually in spite of their current down and distance on third down instead of because of it.
Anyway, just some numbers behind the rant.