Inside the numbers: Western Kentucky

Posted: December 15, 2015 in Football
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WKU has a high flying offense that will throw the ball all over the field. Their defense is pretty good, but the Bulls should be able to run on them. Let’s break down the numbers between these two teams. 

Offense

The WKU offense is averaging 44.2 PPG on the season while the USF defense enters this game allowing just 21 PPG. They average 154.5 yards per game on the ground, 4.7 yards per carry, and have 27 rushing touchdowns (passing game opens up their running game). the USF rush defense allows just 140 yards per game, 3.6 yards per carry, and have given up 16 rushing touchdowns on the season. Through the air, they average 365.5 yards per game, 9.4 yards per pass attempt, 13 yards per catch, and have 47 passing touchdowns on the season. The Bulls allow 220.6 yards per game through the air, 6.6 yards per pass attempt, 12.1 yards per catch and have given up just 13 passing touchdowns all season long. The secondary vs. the WKU receivers and getting pressure will be the key to this match-up. Overall, they average 519.8 yards per game and 7.2 yards per play. The USF defense allows 361.2 yards per game and 5 yards per play.

WKU is 84 for 169 on third downs (50%) and 10 for 18 on 4th downs. The USF defense has held opponents to 74 out of 195 (38%) on third downs and 11 for 19 on 4th downs. They are 62 for 70 in the redzone with 51 of them (73%) going for touchdowns. The USF defense has held opponents to 30 out of 34 drives in the redzone with 16 of them (47%) going for touchdowns.

As a unit, they have allowed just 14 sacks all season and have thrown just 7 interceptions. Coach Allen’s Bull Shark defense has 90 tackles for loss, 32 sacks, and has 15 interceptions. Getting the turnovers and momentum shifting tackles will be key for this unit against a very talented offense that will sling the ball all over the field.

Defense

As a unit, WKU is allowing 25.2 PPG on the year while the USF offense averages 33.5 PPG. They allow an average of 156.6 yards per game on the ground, 4.2 yards per rush and have given up 14 rushing touchdowns. The Bulls average 242.9 yards per game on the ground, 5.3 yards per carry and have 25 rushing touchdowns. The Bulls have to run the ball in this game and control the clock while keeping up on the scoreboard. They allow 234.5 yards per game passing, including 7 yards per pass attempt, 12.8 yards per catch, and have given up 26 passing touchdowns. The USF passing game averages 185.8 yards per game, 8.3 yards per attempt, 13.6 yards per catch and have 24 passing touchdowns. We have seen Quinton Flowers throw the ball down the field more, mixing in all of his targets. He will need to do the same in this game. Overall, they allow 391.1 yards per game against them and 5.5 yards per play. The USF offense averages 428.7 yards per game and 6.3 yards per play.

Opponents are 69 for 185 (37%) on third downs and 19 for 32 on 4th down attempts. USF is 65 for 165 on third downs this season (39%) and 8 for 15 on 4th down attempts. Keeping drives alive will be huge for the Bulls in this game. Opponents are also 36 for 46 in redzone attempts with 28 of them going for touchdowns (61%). USF is 39 for 44 in redzone attempts with 30 of them (68%) going for touchdowns. Again, USF can’t settle for field goals in this game.

As a unit, they have 80 TFLs, 26 sacks, and have 17 interceptions. The USF offensive line has allowed 21 sacks on the season and as a team, USF has thrown just 9 interceptions. Keeping Flowers on his feet and safe will be huge in the game while opening up the running lanes in the process.

Special teams

On special teams, WKU averages 21.8 yards per kick return and 6.2 yards on punt returns. The USF coverage units allow 20.2 yards per kick return and 7.3 yards per punt return. They allow 19.2 yards per kick return and 8.7 yards per punt return (good news for Tajee Fullwood and the USF return men). The USF returners average 28.2 yards per kick return and 12.6 yards per punt return. The special teams units could help flip the field position in what could be a high scoring game.

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