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Governor's Cup 2011: Key Stat Comparisons -- Defense vs. Offense

Morgan Newton passes the "look" test, but his execution has looked anything but good.
Morgan Newton passes the "look" test, but his execution has looked anything but good.

This will be one of several posts that compare some key statistics between the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals based on the two games they have played.  Disclaimer:  I know this is not enough data to make real judgments on, but it is all we have to look at.

This first comparison is just your basic defense vs. offense look.  The first table looks like this:

Kentucky Louisville
Kentucky Louisville
Offense Rank Value Rank Value Defense Rank Value Rank Value
Scoring 93 20.5 99 19 Scoring 8 7 33 16.5
Rushing 53 151.5 91 121 Rushing 47 114.5 36 94
Passing 115 105.5 22 297.5 Passing 45 194 51 198

What I've done is compare the rankings and the value of each statistic, and where it ranks nationally.  Since UK and U of L are in different conferences, conference rankings mean little.

As of this moment, you'd have to say that Kentucky has nominally played a slightly tougher schedule, merely because they have played to FBS teams and Louisville has played one FBS and one FCS team.  But overall, I'd say the competition between the two teams is similar, which is to say, not very good.

What stands out here, and largely why Kentucky is favored in this game aside from the fact that they are playing at home is because they win two out of three on both sides of the ball. Kentucky has been better at scoring, keeping opponents out of the end zone, rushing, and defending the pass. Louisville has been notably better defending the run, and has been much more successful throwing the ball than Kentucky has.

Here are a few more key stats:

Kentucky Louisville
Kentucky Louisville
Various Rank Value Rank Value Various Rank Value Rank Value
Penalties 26 37.5 41 45 Opp Penalties 9 77 90 39
TO margin 38 0.5 106 -1.5 Fumbles lost 31 50.00% 111 100.00%
Sacks 75 1 55 1.5 Sacks Allowed 96 3 104 3.5

Kentucky also comes out marginally ahead in this group as well.  Louisville has been penalized for more yards, probably due primarily to their extremely young offensive line.  Kentucky has benefited inordinately from opponents penalties, nearly doubling up Louisville's yardage.  That says less about Kentucky and more about the discipline of Kentucky's opposition.

Louisville has gotten to the quarterback more, a stat that should concern UK a bit, but Kentucky has allowed fewer sacks, so perhaps those two will balance out.  Kentucky has fumbled twice and lost one, and Louisville has fumbled four times and lost all four.  That can't be a comfortable statistic for Louisville.

We'll be examining some more statistics between now and Saturday trying to wring every bit of whatever they can offer.  One thing that surprises me about this UK team so far, on the plus side, is how well they have taken care of the football.  What surprises me on the negative side is just how pathetic our passing game has been to date.

Unfortunately, the big thing that we see in these stats is that neither team has played good football so far.