Predicting the Cougars 2013: Debating the Defense


I’m going to hand out another podcast shout out to the Rise and Shout podcast.  They frequently do over/under stats for BYU and I thought I’d come up with some of my own for the AI family and see what we could come up with.  Check back this whole week for the next in depth look into BYU football.

BYU DefenseIn 2012, the BYU defense turned in arguably the best defense by a BYU team ever, if not, certain since that 1996 season.  They finished in the top 3 nationally in total defense and it was highlighted by players like Kyle Van Noy and Ziggy Ansah.  While names like Ziggy, Brandon Ogletree, Uona Kavienga, and Preston Hadley have left the team, Van Noy, Spencer Hadley, and a slew of newcomers will look to make 2013 an even better season.

Can 2013 be another top 10 defense that BYU can hopefully pair with a drastically improved offense?  In order to get near that top 10 ranking in total team defense, BYU may need to reach some pretty lofty goals.  Again, these numbers are representative of the 2012 top ten total defense, in which BYU was included.

Per game: 64.5 opponent plays, 285.5 yards, 1.5 touchdowns, 14.25 points
Season: 30 total sacks, 13 INTs, 15 forces fumbles
Miscellany: 4.25 yards/play, Final total defensive rank of 10

Carl: It’s safe to say we love the defense because Kyle Van Noy is returning for his senior year.  Still, there are a lot of moving pieces to fill and the competition again may skew the numbers.  Remember, a win is a win is a win, and this year’s defense won’t need to pressure themselves in to bettering last season’s staggering defensive numbers.  With the tougher schedule, the stats are subject to rise, but this defense will compete with every team in front of them.

Per game: 64.5 Opp plays/game = over   285.5 yards/game allowed = under   1.5 TD = over   14.25 ppg = over

Season: Sacks= Under   INT = under   Fumbles = under

Miscellany: 4.25 yards per play = over   Final Rank = over

Matt: If BYU is to truly “go fast and go hard” then I think that the defense should be fired up for the offensive production and step up their level of play.  While these numbers are an average of the top ten, in most of the per game stats, it is a number well below BYU’s 3rd place rank in 2012.  I think for the per game stats, BYU holds opponents under all the per game numbers.  Unless they can find a wrecking crew replacement for Ziggy though, the season numbers all fall short as well.  I think the final two stats work out to a push and a ranking higher than 10 but lower than the 3 they achieved in 2012.

Mike: I do agree that BYU’s defense last year was one of the best ever. Two reasons BYU won’t be anywhere near last year’s statistics.  1) BYU lost their highest defensive NFL draft pick ever, two great BYU linebackers and the meat of a great BYU secondary.  2) BYU’s 2012 strength of schedule was a whopping 48th.  Statistically USU (21st), San Jose St (30th) and Oregon State (43rd) were the top offenses BYU’s defense faced last year. BYU is facing perceivably their toughest schedule ever.  Even with Van Noy’s return I see BYU statistically looking very average next year.

Per game: 64.5 Opp plays/game = over   285.5 yards/game allowed = over   1.5 TD = over   14.25 ppg = over

Season: Sacks= Under   INT = under   Fumbles = under

Miscellany: 4.25 yards per play = over   Final Rank = over

Scott: OVER

Last season, BYU’s defense was absolutely amazing – probably the best ever. It is for this reason that I don’t think it will be recreated. Also, part of why the defense was so good last year – in my opinion – is that the room for error was zero. The defense didn’t have the luxury of giving up points and still winning games. The offense should be improved this year, and scoring more points coupled with the speed they wish to play at will make it difficult to keep the defensive statistics down.

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