Gary Doran

Advanced Stats Report: UCLA Bruins

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As we continue our Advanced Stats Report series, we look at the following 24 graphs exhibiting how the Sun Devils second conference foe the UCLA Bruins (the Sun Devils fifth opponent on the 2015 schedule) matches-up by the numbers. Comparing the stats of ASU and UCLA truly is a comparison of apples to apples, as both coaches started at the same time, both took over under achieving programs and both teams play in the Pac-12 South Division.  The only real difference was that one coach came in with high accolades, and the other with a tarnished reputation.

Offensive Production

Pts_Scored

– In 2014, the UCLA offense averaged scoring over 11 points more per game on the road than at home, (38.6/27.5)

– In 2014, the Bruin offense averaged a touchdown and PAT more per game against ranked teams than against unranked teams, (36.7/29.7)

– During the regular season in 2014, the Bruin offense averaged scoring fewer points per game as the season wore on (Sep-38.0/Oct-33.5/Nov-27.3)

Pts_Scored_Qtr

– In 2014, the Bruin offense scored less than 20% of its total points in the fourth quarter, whereas the ASU offense scored over 27% of its total points in the fourth quarter

– In 2014, both ASU and UCLA scored the most points in the second quarter of their games

TDs_Scored

– In 2014, almost 40% of the rushing touchdowns by the Bruins were scored by their quarterback Brett Hundley

– In 2014, over half of the rushing touchdowns for UCLA were scored on a first down play

– In 2014, only three of the 26 Bruin rushing touchdowns happened in the fourth quarter

Plays_Run

– Roughly 56% of the plays by the Bruins in 2014 were running plays, whereas ASU ran the ball about 52% of the time in 2014

– In 2014, the Bruins averaged running 1.5 more plays per game than the Devils, (76.3/75.0)

Yds_Gained

– In 2014, the Bruins averaged almost 500 yards per game against ranked teams, which was about 60 yards per game more than their average against unranked teams, (495.3/435.8)

– In 2014, the Bruins averaged 60 yards less in total offense per game in home games compared to 2013, (447.0/508.2)

– In 2014, the Bruins averaged 80+ yards per game more in conference games than they did in conference games in 2013, (474.9/392.8)

Run_Gained

– In 2014, the average yards per carry for the Bruins decreased from 5.22 in the first half to 4.61 in the second half, however, in 2013, the yards per carry dropped even more from 5.16 in the first half to 3.93 in the second half; almost a 1.25 yards per carry decline

– In 2014, the Bruins highest yards per carry average happened when they were behind by more than two touchdown, (6.37), and the lowest when they were winning by a touchdown or less, (4.00)

Pass_Gained

– In 2014, UCLA averaged 9.0 yards per pass attempt in their first four games, then tapered off to 7.3 for the rest of the regular season

– In 2014, the Bruins averaged 9.1 yards per pass attempt against ranked opponents and only 6.4 against unranked opponents

– In 2014, the Bruins averaged the highest yards per pass attempt in the fourth quarter (4th-8.9/3rd-7.4/2nd-6.9/1st-8.2)

Completions_Made

– In 2014, the pass completion percentage rate for the Bruins dropped in each month in the season

– In 2014, the pass completion rate for the Bruins was the highest in the first quarter, then dropped significantly in the second quarter, and then steadily increased back, (1st-72.1/2nd-64.7%/3rd-69.8%/4th-69.3%)

Interceptions_Thrown

– In 2012, the Bruins threw an interception once every 43.5 pass attempts, in 2013 it was an interception once every 41.2 pass attempt and in 2014 it dropped to once every 78.4 pass attempts

– In 2014 games on the road, the Bruin offense only threw one interception in 233 pass attempts

#rd_Dn_Made

– In 2014, UCLA converted over 50% of their third down opportunities against ranks opponents and only 34% against unranked opponents

– In 2014, the Bruins converted more of their third down opportunities in their three losses than in their ten wins, (46.7%/42.0%)

RZ_TDs_Made

– In 2014, the percentage of times the Bruin offense scored a touchdown when it was in its opponents’ red zone steadily decreased in each month during the season, (Sep-76.9%/Oct-64.7%/Nov-52.9%/Bowl-50%)

– In 2014, the Bruin offense score a touchdown in a red zone opportunity in only 60.5% of the time in games won and 75% of the time in games lost.

Defensive Output

Pts_Allowed

– In 2014, the Bruin defense allowed roughly the same amount of points per game to ranked as to unranked opponents, (28.0/28.2)

– In the regular 2014 season, the Bruin defense allowed a ten-plus points per game average increase in October than in the other months of the regular season, (Sep-24.8/Oct-35.8/Nov-22.0)

Pts_Qtr_Allowed

– In 2014, the Bruin defense allowed more than a third of all points scored to be scored in the second quarter of its games which also happens to be the quarter in which ASU scores more than 33% of all its points

– In 2014, the Bruin defense average giving up only about four points per game in the first quarter of its games

TDs_Allowed

– In 2014, the UCLA defense allowed a touchdown pass once every 22.6 pass attempts, while the 2014 ASU defense allowed a touchdown pass once every 20.6 pass attempts

– Of the 19 rushing touchdowns allowed by the UCLA defense in 2014, 17 of them happened within the UCLA red zone

Plays_Faced

– In 2014, the Bruin defense faced 4.0 fewer run plays per game than its offense ran per game, while the Bruin defense faced 4.7 more opponent passes per game than what its offense attempted

– In 2014, the Bruin defense faced about three plays more a games than the Devils did, (77.1/74.2)

Yds_Allowed

– In 2014, the Bruin defense allowed almost as many yards per game against unranked teams as it did against ranked teams, (396.0/400.7)

– In the last four games of the regular 2014 season, the UCLA defense allowed almost 120 yards less per game than it did in its first four games of the season, (450.8/333.3)

– In each month of the regular 2014 season, the Bruin defense gave up fewer and fewer passing yards per game, (Sep-313.8/Oct-221.8/Nov-194.5)

Run_Allowed

– In 2014 when the Bruins were either tied or ahead, they allowed only 3.45 yards per carry, however, when they were behind, the average increased to 4.79 yards per carry

– In 2014 when their opponents faced a 3rd down and three yards or less to gain a first down, the Bruin defense allowed an average of more than five yards per carry

Pass_Allowed

– During 2014, the UCLA defense allowed an average of 6.89 yards per pass attempt in the first half of their games and 6.24 yards per attempt in the second half of their games

– In 2014, the UCLA defense allowed an average of 7.2 yards per pass attempt on first down, and an average of 6.0 on second and third downs

Completions_Allowed

– During 2014, the Bruin defense allowed close to the same percentage of opponent passes to be completed in the 1st: 63.2%, 2nd: 63.9% and 3rd quarters 65.5%, but then clamped down significantly in the 4th quarter allowing only 55.8% of the opponent passes to be completed

– In 2014, the Bruin defense allowed 75% of the 4th down opponent passes to be completed

3rd_Down_Allowed

– In the 2014 home games, the UCLA Bruin defense allowed 42.4% of their opponents’ 3rd down opportunities to be successfully converted to a first down, while only allowing 37.6% to be converted on the road

– In their game against ASU in 2014, the Bruin defense allowed the Sun Devils to convert 55% of their third down opportunities

RZ-TDs_Allowed

– In 2014, the Bruin defense allowed opponents to score red zone touchdowns more than 70% of the time when the games were played at home, and only 54% of the time in games on the road

– In the game against Colorado last year, the UCLA defense allowed the Buffalo offense to get into the Bruin red zone more than any other team in 2014, holding them to only three touchdowns in six tries

TFLs_Made

– The Bruin defense registered almost one-quarter of all their TFL yards for 2014 in their bowl game against Kansas State

– In 2014, the Bruin defense averaged 7.0 TFL per game against ranked teams and only 5.2 TFL per game against unranked teams

Sacks_Made

– Six of the 13 games in 2014, the Bruin defense registered only one or no sacks in a game

– In two out of three of the games UCLA lost in 2014, the Bruin defense did not register a sack in those game

– One-quarter of all the sacks made by the Bruin defense in 2014 happened in their bowl game against Kansas State

Interceptions_Made

– In 2014 when UCLA was ahead in the game, the Bruin defense intercepted a pass once every 39.3 opponent pass attempts and only once in 61.0 pass attempts when the Bruins were behind

– In 2014, the Bruin defense intercepted only two passes at home and nine on the road

– In their three losses in 2014, the Bruin defense did not register a single interception while facing 64 passes in those games

What the Numbers Say

Many of the key offensive categories for the Bruins decline in 2014 from the previous year. Points per game were down, offensive touchdowns were down and yards per pass attempt were down. The one area that saw an improvement was the average yards per carry on the ground, which saw nearly a half a yard per carry gain from 2013 to 2014. The total offense also saw an increase over 2013. The critical third down conversion rate and the important rate of scoring red zone touchdowns also declined from 2013 to 2014. It remains to be seen how the Bruin offense will perform with a  projected inexperienced signal caller in 2015.

From an aggressive defensive standpoint, the Bruin defense has seen its registered interceptions and sacks decline year-over-year in the Mora era. The TFLs also dipped from 100 in the first year of the Mora era to 78 and 80 over the past two years. The average points per game in 2014 was the highest in the Mora era too. In fact, the 28.1 points per game average last year was a bit higher than that of the ASU defense at 27.9 when the Devils had to break in nine new defensive starters. The Bruin defense has consistently allowed opponents to complete over 60 percent of their pass attempts, but yet has been able to keep the average yards per attempt to under 7.0 yards over the past two years. The Bruin defense has also seen the average yards per carry on the ground decline over the past two years. It will be interesting to see how these numbers change with a new defensive coordinator.

One last point to be made is how many offensive and defensive categories the Bruins perform better against better competition.  Is this a case of playing down to the competition or getting motivated for better competition?

About Gary Doran

Gary Doran

Gary graduated from ASU many years ago. After careers working in banking, finance and the financial administration of academic research funding, he is now interested in utilizing his passion for numbers towards two things he thoroughly loves; Arizona State University and college football. He is looking forward to finding the “stories” buried within the numbers on a football stat sheet. He has gone to ASU football games all the way back to the days of Frank Kush and the WAC. He has been married to an amazing ASU graduate for almost forty years, and they currently live in Ventura, CA. Although this may disqualify him from talking football, he and his wife enjoy the practice of yoga and dancing the Argentine Tango. Ole!

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