As always, we use:
- Yards Per Stop to measure efficiency
- Yards Per Play to measure explosiveness
- Points Per Drive to measure scoring
- Points Per Trip Inside the 40 to measure drive finishing
- Field Position Margin to measure field position
- Turnover Margin to measure turnovers
The long Paul Perkins touchdown run and good efficiency in scoring position saved what was otherwise a pretty bad offensive performance against a mediocre defense. The Bruins only averaged 42.42 Yards Per Stop against a team that is allowing 50.75 to a pretty mediocre slate of opponents. The Bruins also averaged half a point less per drive than the Buffaloes allow on average.
On the season, we see an offense pretty solidly stuck in that solid but unspectacular 26-50 ranking tier. As we hit the home stretch, that jibes pretty well with what we’ve felt so far this year—good but not good enough.
A week after turning in a deceptively good performance against a very good offense, the defense again wasn’t dominant but held the opponent well beneath their season averages. The defense held the Buffaloes below their averages by 10 Yards Per Stop, 0.15 Points Per Drive, and 0.35 Points Per Trip Inside the 40 (a very important stat, as the defense was able to hold the Buffaloes to 6 points in 2 overtime possessions). The Buffaloes did beat their season Yards Per Play average by 0.2.
On the season, the defense is in the mediocre 51-100 ranking tier, but the last two weeks have been encouraging performances against solid offenses, a very good response to the capitulation against Oregon. No rest for the weary—homecoming brings another of the best offenses in the league to the Rose Bowl.
It was good to see the Bruins win the hidden battles for the first time since the Arizona State game. The Bruins had their second largest Field Position Differential victory of the season and finally won the turnover battle. Colorado had been struggling in those areas, but after three straight weeks of getting dominated in those areas we’re happy to finally be able to count those as wins for the Bruins.
The Bruins were unconvincing over the first two rounds of the playoffs, but they survived. Let’s not mince words: if UCLA (especially the offense) plays like they did the last two weeks, they will be playing for nothing more than pride by Thanksgiving. The Bruins have played just well enough to put themselves in position to still have everything to play for—five more wins and UCLA is the conference champ.
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