Outback Bowl Preview By the Numbers

In part five of his preview series, Badgermaniac examines what we should expect from the Badger passing attack in the 2008 Outback Bowl contest against Tennessee.

In today's analysis, I take a look at the Wisconsin passing attack vs. the Tennessee passing defense.

Wisconsin Passing Offense

The Badger offense averaged 16 completions on 27 attempts (56%) for 213 yards per game. Their TD/INT ratio was 14-10. They averaged 7.8 yards per attempt and allowed sacks on 9 percent of their attempts.

Wisconsin opponents typically allowed 20 completions on 34 attempts (59%) for 223 yards per game. Their TD/INT ratio was 182/132. They allowed 6.6 yards per attempt and sacked the QB on 8 percent of the passing attempts.

So what does it all mean?

1. They typicaly threw the ball 7 fewer times per game, which makes sense given they were generally playing with leads.

2. The Badger completion percentage was 3% lower than your average QB. Donovan's accuracy was slightly below average and/or there were more drops or some other factor which lead to a lower completion percentage.

3. Yards per attempt was above average, picking up 1.2 yards per attempt. This is down a little from last year, but still indicative that they like to throw the ball down the field.

4. Their TD/INT ratio of 1.4/1, which was almost exactly average.

5. As it has been in the past, the sack percentage allowed was a little high, allowing sacks on 9% of attempts.

I think the biggest stat of note is the sacks allowed. I don't think Tyler Donovan and company are going to scare anyone, but they have proven that they can be effective if given the time to throw. In their three losses, they allowed 17 of their 28 sacks. In their 9 wins, the Badgers were sacked just 11 times.

Tennessee Passing Defense:

The Tennessee defense averaged 25 completions on 42 attempts (59%) for 290 yards per game. Their TD/INT allowed ratio was 24-15. They averaged only 5.1 yards per attempt allowed and sacked the quarterback on 4% of their attempts.

Tennessee opponents in non UT games averaged 21 completions on 36 attempts (58%) for 248 yards per game. Their TD/INT ratio was 256/161. They averaged 6.9 yards per attempt and allowed sacks on 6% of the passing attempts.

When taken as a whole, here is what we know about the Tennessee passing defense:

1. Teams threw a little more than average against Tennessee, which again is probably just a function of UT being a winning team.

2. They allowed 1% more in terms of completions, which essentially means that they were average.

3. They allowed right about average in terms of yards per attempt.

4. Their TD/INT rate of 1.6/1 was almost dead on average.

5. Their pass rush was below average, notching sacks on just 4% of attempts.


Much like the rushing analysis, what is interesting here is that where one team is weak, the other team doesn't look to be in position to take advantage. Wisconsin is vulnerable to a strong pass rush, but this is probably the worst aspect of the Tennessee passing defense. Wisconsin's accuracy is a little lacking, but teams generally do not struggle in terms of completion percentage against Tennessee. Tennessee allows a very average TD/INT rate, but Wisconsin's is even a little worse.

The big edge looks to be in yards per pass. I expect Wisconsin to complete a fair number of passes, but the big thing is how many of them hit for big plays. This would appear to be an area Wisconsin could exploit. I am sure they will try to get Beckum into a seam or something, though I don't expect a lot of single coverage.

Edge: Wisconsin

Next: Tennessee Passing Offense vs. Wisconsin Passing Defense

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