Stats Academy: Numbers That Shaped 2012

Here's the latest attempt to unpack one 2012 statistic for the three service academies.


STATISTICAL SPOTLIGHT: ONE STAT THAT STOOD OUT FOR EACH ACADEMY TEAM IN 2012

NOTE: Stats are courtesy of the website http://www.cfbstats.com

AIR FORCE: Quarterback hurries – none recorded in 2012


It seems hard to believe, doesn't it? Air Force broke up 33 passes last season. The Falcons collected 11 fumble recoveries and snagged 8 interceptions. They blocked two kicks. They recorded 17 sacks. Yet, they did not record a single "hurry" against an opposing quarterback. Maybe the definition of a "hurry" is too narrow, but even then, the complete absence of hurries is an indication of a marked inadequacy on defense. A more consistent pass rush tells an opposing quarterback that he can't expect to settle in the pocket on most plays. The Falcons must make opposing signal callers feel far less comfortable in 2013.

ARMY: Field goals – converted 13 of 20 last season

Missed field goals, in the aggregate, might not always matter, but they did come back to bite the Black Knights in the back in 2012. Missed field goals delivered substantial setbacks to Army's efforts against Rutgers, Ball State, and Navy. Missing a few kicks in a blowout won't be remembered. Missing kicks in the midst of that defensive slugfest against Rutgers – before the Scarlet Knights pulled away in the fourth quarter – is quite another matter.

NAVY: Pick-sixes – Navy's one pick-six in an FBS game came when trailing by 10 points and led to a win.

What does a successful, bowl-bearing season look like? How is it shaped? Don't focus on the interception here; focus on the fact that it came precisely when the Midshipmen needed it. Pay attention as well to the fact that Navy still trailed after the defensive score but was able to leverage it into a victory. Good teams rescue themselves and maximize tipping-point moments. Navy did that in 2012, returning to the basic template that briefly disappeared in 2011.

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