Thursday, October 22, 2015

UConn, Cincinnati on opposite ends of ball security spectrum

In recent years when it came time to mention ball security in this blog, usually it was a case of trying to make sense of another non-offensive touchdown scored by a UConn opponent.

In the "how things have changed" department, I am about to throw some positive ball security numbers at you.

Anybody who looked at the latest NCAA stats can tell you that the Huskies are in the top 20 in that department (actually tied for 17th with a turnover margin ratio of .86) while Cincinnati is 126th out of 127 FBS programs in the same department.

Obviously the improvement is a two-step process as the offense is doing a much better job of holding onto the ball and although he had some risky throws in the early stages of the USF game, quarterback Bryant Shirreffs doesn't usually put the ball up for grabs. Also, the secondary is really turning into a ball-hawking unit.

"I believe that the players are taking more accountable leadership of when they have it and that is on a day to day basis," UConn coach Bob Diaco said. "They really do a nice job in practice of working on any time they have the ball in their hands being very careful with it.

"We are not a pressure, up the field operation (on defense) but that doesn't mean we aren't a turnover operation. When you have that deeper level of understanding of the plays, where to position yourself in relation to guy next to you is where you will get turnovers. The players that are getting the ball, they have a higher level of understanding of how they fit into the coverage so how they can position and bait a throw and pre-snap how they can bait a throw and dictate a little what they want, that is definitely a piece of why we are getting more turnovers."
However, I wanted to take it another step so I did a little number crunching. If my math is correct (and anybody who reads this blog knows that can be a pretty large if), UConn is tied for the largest jump in turnover margin from the first seven weeks of the 2014 season to the current time as we prepare for week eight of the college football season. Cincinnati happens to be tied for next to last in the same category. Bear in mind, these are raw numbers in teams of turnovers gained and lost because teams have played a different amount of games up to this point during the 2014 and 2015 seasons for me to do it any other way.

Here's the list

Miami (FL)     Plus 15
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014                   7      7-7                   7-9             -2
2015                   6     4-11                  1-11          13
Ohio                  Plus 15
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014                 7          1-5                  9-3          -6
2015                 7          6-9                  2-4           9
UConn             Plus 15
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014                6          4-1                  8-6             -9
2015                7          4-10                3-5              6
Texas Tech       Plus 14
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014               6           4-2                  2-12           -8
2015               7           8-15                6-9              6
West  Virginia    Plus  12
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014            6             0-4                    8-4              -8
2015            6             3-13                  6-6               4

Washington    Minus -16 
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014             6            10-5                1-0                14
2015             6             3-7                 6-6                 -2 
Cincinnati         Minus 13  
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014             6             7-3                 1-6                3
2015             6             2-3                 5-10             -10
Virginia               Minus -13
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014            6             10-9                5-9                 5
2015            6              4-0                 3-9                -8
Troy               Minus 12 
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014            6             3-6                  4-2                 3
2015            6             2-1                  5-7                -9
UTEP            Minus -11
                    Games F-Int Gained/F-Int lost   TO Margin
2014           6              5-4                  2-4                  3
2015           6              2-3                  6-7                 -8


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