WKUInsider is tracking Western Kentucky football's advanced stats in 2014, including breakdown by units and national percentile rankings.
1) Protecting leads: One of the most obvious issues for WKU the last two weeks has been leading by double-digits at halftime, only to fall apart in the second half and suffer losses. An interesting byproduct of these first halves I haven't heard anyone discuss yet--If you look at (some,) of WKU's rushing defense numbers, they actually aren't bad. WKU's biggest struggles on defense come in pass defense, and with their opponents trailing big at halftime, maybe they're passing more often than they usually would in the second period. Not sure there's any adjustments WKU can make to help that, but just noting the big leads (in a way,) are playing into opponent's hands, aren't helping the defense much.
2) Wide receivers: Taywan Taylor had another nice day against FAU, catching every pass he was targeted on. Taylor now has three games this year where he’s caught every pass thrown his way, catching 12-for-12 against BGSU, 6-for-6 against Navy, and 4-for-4 against FAU. The sophomore is averaging 11.7 yards per target, by far the most on the team among the WR's averaging 4 targets or more a game. The next closest is junior Antwane Grant with an 8.6 yards per target average.
3) Havoc: WKU’s Havoc rate against FAU was the defense’s worst of the year. In 89 plays defended, WKU only managed 4 tackles for loss, 3 pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble, for an 8.9 percent Havoc rate. 15.9 percent is the national average, and some of the best nationally average over 22 percent. I think Havoc is a big key for WKU’s defense, since they struggle getting stops so often on third down, maybe they need to force teams to be as far behind the chains as possible--forcing negative yardage plays or even forcing turnovers. WKU’s three best Havoc ratings this year were against Illinois (16.5 percent,) Navy (14.9 percent,) and BGSU (11.2 percent).