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Where Will CU's Defense Rank in 2015?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Gary Indiana, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. Gary Indiana

    Gary Indiana Club Member Club Member

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    CU's overall defense for the 2014 season finished up at 112th in the nation. My question is, how much improvement will we see this season?

    A large part of the issue was our run defense. To me it looked like our LBs struggled with gap responsibilities and providing support for the DTs. Perhaps the LBs were trying to do too much, but either way, they struggled mightily. Something tells me with the arrival of Leavitt and Gillam returning to health, this gets cleaned up a bit. Add in some quality JC transfers on the defensive line and we might be in decent shape.

    Can we get a pass rush going?

    Our Secondary looks pretty strong and returns a number of starters. Perhaps their play could lead to some coverage sacks and an increased number of turnovers.

    So, how far up the statistical ladder do we go?

    Edit: I made an attempt to add a poll but it did not show up in my post.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  2. mdelpizzo_1

    mdelpizzo_1 My Dixie Wrecked Club Member

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    I think we could be in the 70-80 range and that would be a huge jump from the level of play we've seen.

    I don't entirely blame the LB for run stopping woes, they are a big part tho. How often are we in a nickel formation and leaving only 2 LB with some coverage responsibility to also stop the run. With DC JL he should get the players in better position to make plays and we will see a definite schematic improvement over Baer. Now its on the players to make those plays.
     
  3. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    If offense stays in the top 50 and the D can get up in the 70-80 range, we will win more than we lose.
     
  4. Buffskier

    Buffskier Club Member Club Member

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    Mid 60's overall defense IMO.

    Biggest key for me will be turnovers. Forcing 3 picks and 8 fumbles over an entire season is unacceptable. We will need to double the number of picks AT LEAST going into next year. 11 turnovers is the 4th lowest in FBS. Schools that CU finished ahead of? Wazzu 8, Georgia St. 8, Michigan 10.

    Playing in the PAC - we will never have a top defense in terms of overall or scoring defense, but we need a defense that is opportunistic and can make some plays.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  5. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    I'd rather see a jump in the points/game category where we ranked 120th in FBS last year with allowing 39/game.

    To answer your question, though, I think we can potentially get up to about 70-80th.
     
  6. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Well-Known Member

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    65ish would be good, I don't really care so much about the yards given up. I want sacks, win the turnover battle, and be good in the red zone.
     
  7. bombay

    bombay Club Member Club Member

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    I think Leavitt knows how to construct a defense, and will put his players in the best position to perform well. In other words, I have a feeling the whole could exceed the sum of it's parts. I think we have some decent parts, so the defense could surprise in a pleasant manner.
     
  8. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    60's to 70's

    We have a lot of experience returning, plus Samson and the JUCO guys who should solidify us up the middle and along the edges. Gillam needs to stay healthy and we need to force a lot more turnovers. Create turnovers and we will win a lot more games.
     
  9. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Top 40

    [video=youtube;diwuu_r6GJE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diwuu_r6GJE[/video]
     
  10. leftybuff

    leftybuff Iconoclast Club Member

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    1st until proven otherwise.
     
  11. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    With a better run blocking OL and what looks to be some upgrades at RB along with Sefo making fewer bad turnovers I'm hoping the offense can keep the defense off the field and out of bad situations more. That alone should account for a move of a few spaces up the list.

    Last year our DBs were the strongest part of the D. We lost Hendo but with the guys coming back we should still be solid there.

    The D-Line was terrible early in the year and got better as the season progressed approaching mediocre. Sampson coming back and another year of maturity for some of the young guys and our DEs should be better, questionis can we develop some kind of consistent pass rush. Tupou and Solis are solid anchors inside.

    Biggest question is at LB, Can Awini impact, can Gillam come back and stay healthy, will one of the new guys like Watanabe impact. Will Rippy impact?

    I think we will move up to around the 80s. If we can get into the 60s we will probably be bowling but I don't expect us to get there but it this year will be a significant step forward.
     
  12. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    85-90.
     
  13. DavisBuff

    DavisBuff Club Member Club Member

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    82.
    A 30 place jump is optimistic; but, adding Leavitt, Tumpkin, Sampson, 3 Juco DLinemen, Bell, Hennington, Laguda and a healthy Gilliam warrants a little optimism.
    Also Crawley, Olugbode, Awuzie, Thompson, White, McCartney, Tupou and Solis should continue to improve.
    Rippy and Awini could surprise too.
    Go Buffs.
     
  14. hokiehead

    hokiehead Gobbler on the Mountain Club Member

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    Mostly based on opinions I read on AB, haven't followed the Buffs long enough to form a useful opinion of my own on the roster changes and coaching changes and their near term impact.

    But, I look at the changes, and the reactions here, and I think, improvement. we move up a few standard deviations.

    I look at the schedule, and think, 'fucjk -- we stagnate.'

    but, i'll go on the record with a conditional prediction:

    If the Buffs start 4-0, then moving into conference play players believe in the system and stay pumped despite a likely loss to UO, they continue to respond to coaching and fans keep showing up at Folsom and making noise ==> D finishes 50 - 60.

    Buffs start 3-1 or worse, then get hurt by Oregon -- none of the above happens. Coaches maintain a lessened level of player focus, then elimination from bowl contention all of which results in a notable number of lineup changes as coaches start first looking for an answer and finally start looking ahead to 2016 ==> D finishes 95 - 105.
     
  15. skibum

    skibum Peed in your Cheerios. Club Member

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    I can't believe people are honestly thinking in the 60s. That would be an amazing improvement. JL may be a good, even a great coach - but improving from 112 to 69 (or better) - and in this conference/division - would put him up there with some of the best defensive coaches of all time.

    I'm with Duff - somewhere in the 80s. A very respectable improvement, and truthfully one that would represent a heck of coaching job.
     
  16. onealcd

    onealcd Club Member Club Member

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    Yeah if that happens we can all say bye to leavitt. I am hoping for somewhere in the eighties but a wayyyyyy better turnover margin which of course depends on sefo too.
     
  17. mdelpizzo_1

    mdelpizzo_1 My Dixie Wrecked Club Member

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    Maybe a question is how much did Baer handicap us? He didn't exactly have a stellar track record as a P5 DC.

    With a more competent DC are we low 100's, high 90's last year? We know we didn't have the talent to be a top D, but a lot is schematic, use the offense as an example.
     
  18. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    To get to 85th using 2014 scoring defense stats would mean about a ten point drop. Would people really be unhappy with that progress?
     
  19. mdelpizzo_1

    mdelpizzo_1 My Dixie Wrecked Club Member

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    Most would be calling DC JL the next coming and anoint him the next HC...
     
  20. patebuff

    patebuff Downgraded to half a star Club Member

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    I think that is probably our best bet. Moving 50 some spots is going to be very, very difficult. I'd be very happy with 85 or so. We can make a bowl game with that defense, especially in the Pac 12.
     
  21. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    I think we already did that.
     
  22. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Looking at the scoring defense from 2014 and comparing it to 2013, there were 2 teams (West Virginia and SJSU) that were >100 in scoring defense in 2013 to the 80's in 2014. On average last year, teams ranked 1.52 (not really unexpected really) spots lower than they did the previous year with a stdev of 36.3 spots better. One team dropped 105 spots (Bowling Green) and one team improved 83 spots (Air Force). Overall, 28 out of 127 teams improved by 30 spots or more from 2013 to 2014.

    Any given team has about a 20.1% chance of improving 30 spots or more.
    Any given team has about a 28.8% chance of improving 20 spots or more.
    Any given team has about a 39.0% chance of improving 10 spots or more.

    [​IMG]

    So while optimistic, not wildly out there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  23. mdelpizzo_1

    mdelpizzo_1 My Dixie Wrecked Club Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  24. bombay

    bombay Club Member Club Member

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    Good research.
     
  25. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    I would be ecstatic with jumping 35 spots in the pts allowed/game category. Scoring defense is what I'm most interested in seeing get better, but I thought we were talking about total defense (yards)?

    Moving from 112th to 80th in Total Defense would mean a 49 yard/game decrease, using 2014 numbers.
     
  26. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    I don't give a **** about yardage outside a few key indicators.
     
  27. DiggerBuffs

    DiggerBuffs Well-Known Member

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    That gave this math nerd a mind boner. Will rep this tomorrow.

    Scoring defense is the key. Both Zona and Oregon were low ranked in YPG but in Top 75 scoring. Keys to success will be turnovers and getting in Top 90 in scoring defense. Both happen in 2015 w/ JL.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  28. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Total yards is largely irrelevant. If you're using a yard measure, it should measure yards/play. We were awful and those rankings correlate well with scoring defense. And logically, that makes sense. According to advanced stats, there are 5 factors to winning (similar to the 4 factors in basketball).

    • Explosiveness (35%)
    -Yards per play/PPP/PPP+

    • Efficiency (25%)
    -3rd Down Conversions/Success Rate

    • Field Position (15%)
    -Average starting position/FPA

    • Finishing Drives (15%)
    -Points per trip inside the 40/Red zone scoring/Red Zone S&P+

    • Turnovers (10%)
    -Turnover margin/Adj turnover margin/Turnovers luck

    -If you win the explosiveness battle, you win 86% (using PPP) of the time
    -If you win the efficiency battle, you win 83% (using Success Rate) of the time
    -If you win the drive-finishing battle (using points/trip inside the 40), you win 75% of the time
    -If you win the field position battle (using average starting field position), you win 72% of the time
    -If you win the turnover battle (using turnover margin), you win 73% of the time.

    All of that data was from 2013, but I don't see why there would be much variance in different seasons.



    http://www.footballstudyhall.com/2014/1/24/5337968/college-football-five-factors
     
  29. TSchekler

    TSchekler Darth's Hero Club Member

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    I would agree.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  30. Buffalo Brad

    Buffalo Brad Club Member Club Member

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    There are reasons to be optimistic about improvement, but we are not going to make a jump that puts us in the 60s. I would be happy with the jump to 85 Duff is suggesting and overjoyed with a jump to 75.
     

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