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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Expanding on How Huge the UK Defense Has Been in the Redzone

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Stoops talked a little bit about the redzone defense yesterday during his press conference, an aspect of the season so far that has gone overlooked in my opinion.  In fact, I think you could argue UK’s ability to limit points inside the 20-yard line has been the BIGGEST positive the team has had this season.  UK could very easily be 1-3 this season without the points saved by the defense in the redzone.  Take a look at the performance in each game so far, broken down by runs and passes and then overall stats at the bottom:

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (2 appearances, 1 TD, 1 FG)
Runs: 5 rushes for 18 yards, 1 TD
Passes: 1 sack for -8 yards

SOUTH CAROLINA (5 appearances, 1 TD, 3 FG)
Runs: 10 rushes for 29 yards, 1 TD
Passes: 3-7, 9 yards

FLORIDA (4 appearances, 2 TD, 0 FG)
Runs: 7 rushes for 30 yards, 2 TD
Passes: 4-7, 24 yards, 1 INT

MISSOURI (2 appearances, 1 TD, 1 FG)
Runs: 3 rushes for 3 yards
Passes: 2-5, 25 yards, 1 TD

COMBINED (13 appearances, 5 TD, 5 FG)
Runs: 25 rushes for 80 yards, 4 TD
Passes: 9-19, 58 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack for -8 yards
TOTAL: 45 plays, 138 yards, 5 TD

-3.1 yards per play
-3.2 yards per rush
-2.9 yards per pass attempt
-1 TD every 9 plays

But the most important stat is this one: UK opponents have had 13 appearances in the redzone, which at it’s maximum means that the opponent could have scored 78 points (13 times 6).  Instead, UK opponents have only scored 45 points in the redzone against the Cats.  Considering UK’s 3 wins have come by 7, 4, and 8 points, that means you could make a direct correlation between the points UK’s defense saved in the redzone and the Cats victories in those games.

Let’s not forget that the biggest worry for this team coming into the year was the defense, specifically the linebackers and secondary.  While they have not been perfect and have given up some yards in certain stretches, they have been CLUTCH in the key moments of the game.  In the 3 SEC games, when UK needed a stop in the 4th quarter or limit teams to FG’s, the defense has stepped up every time.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

4 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Expanding on How Huge the UK Defense Has Been in the Redzone

  1. TheDon
    8:41 am October 1, 2015 Permalink

    Great post. Love the analysis, good use of stats, and I 100% agree with the conclusion. Are we sure this is BTI posting?

  2. Stoppers
    8:56 am October 1, 2015 Permalink

    Kentucky has 38th ranked redzone defense per NCAA stats

    • TheDon
      10:26 am October 1, 2015 Permalink

      True, but that only rates the opponents scoring %. For example, UCONN is listed ahead of us because they allow only 70% score. However, all the scores are touchdowns, so UCONN is allowing opponents to convert 70% of available points. UK, although giving up a 76.9% rate of scoring, is only allowing opponents to convert 57.6% of potential points. Although I don’t have time to do all the math, looking at the stats I’d ballpark us in the top 15 in terms of points saved. Considering our schedule, thats amazing.

    • Just Say'n
      3:26 pm October 1, 2015 Permalink

      Wow, TheDon, you sound like Ryan Lemond!!!