As we continue our Advanced Stats Report series, we look at the following twenty-three graphs exhibiting how the New Mexico Lobos (the Sun Devils third opponent on the 2015 schedule) match-up by the numbers against the Sun Devils. Be aware that in looking over the graphs they are actually comparing Pac-12 to Mountain West results. However, they do point out areas of strengths and weaknesses, along with the team’s approach against their level of competition.
What the Numbers Say
New Mexico is a little like Cal Poly offensively in that they too like to run the ball quite a bit more than they pass it. Last year the Lobos called a run play roughly four out of every five plays from scrimmage. In 2014, the Lobos actually gained about a half a yard more per play than the Sun Devils, but also averaged running 14 fewer plays per game. New Mexico have averaged over six yards per carry over the past two years. Their third down conversion rate is nothing to write home about, but they have been able to score red zone touchdowns when given the opportunities.
The killer for New Mexico head coach Bob Davie over the past two years seems to have been their defense. Over the past two years, the Lobos have surrendered an average of almost 40 points and 500 yards per game. Last year, they allowed over eight first downs more per game than their own offense was able to gain. The Lobos also yielded 40 touchdowns on the ground.
Although they weren’t bad at keeping their opponents from converting third down situations, they did average facing about 15 more plays than their offense ran. The Lobos also were not very good at keeping opponents out of the end zone once the opponents reached the New Mexico red zone.
Unfortunately for the Lobos in 2014, the quarter they surrendered the most points was also the quarter in which ASU scored the most points. However, in last year’s game in Albuquerque, the Devils scored their highest total in the first quarter.