Last week (or more accurately, a few days ago), we looked at how AAC teams fared in terms of yards per play. This week, we turn our attention to how the season played out in terms of the Adjusted Pythagorean Record, or APR. For an in-depth look at APR, click here. If you didn’t feel like clicking, here is the Reader’s Digest version. APR looks at how well a team scores and prevents touchdowns. Non-offensive touchdowns, field goals, extra points, and safeties are excluded. The ratio of offensive touchdowns to touchdowns allowed is converted into a winning percentage. Pretty simple actually.
Once again, here are the 2018 AAC standings.
costing me a few bucks. Tulsa was 1-3 in one-score conference games, including a heartbreaking 25-24 loss against South Florida where they blew a double-digit fourth quarter lead.
A Definitive Historical Examination of the Defense of the 2018 Connecticut Huskies (Peer Reviewed)
Everybody knows Connecticut had a terrible defense last season. But how bad was it? I’m going to make some points of comparison so you can decide for yourself just how bad their defense was.
If you read last week’s post, you know that in conference play, the Huskies collectively allowed AAC opponents to average 8.94 yards per play against them. That number was more than two yards per play below Navy, the second worst defense in the AAC last season. So over, the course of a few hundred defensive plays last season, Connecticut opponents averaged about nine tenths of a first down per play! That was by far the worst in-conference per play defense at least since 2005 (when I began tracking such things).
Colt Brennan, Case Keenum, Baker Mayfield, and Kyler Murray. However, not only did the Huskies allow a lot of yards, opponents frequently turned those yards into points. AAC opponents scored 55 touchdowns against the Huskies in eight conference games. If you are lacking a calculator, that is nearly seven touchdowns per game or about one and three quarters per quarter. For comparison, the best defense in the AAC (Cincinnati and UCF) allowed 18 touchdowns, or roughly a third of that amount! As with the YPP data, I have been tracking APR data since 2005, and Connecticut was the worst in terms of touchdowns allowed.
second New Mexico team comes close to catching the Huskies. However, that New Mexico team can take solace in the fact they allowed merely 7.68 yards per play to their Mountain West opponents.
So, yes, we can conclude that Connecticut was historically bad defensively in 2018. There is no question about that. The good news for Connecticut fans (if any) is that things cannot possibly get worse (at least defensively).