FanPost

Is the UCLA defense really worse than last year?

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

I was working under that premise, as I have been very disappointed in the way the defense has given up big plays and seemed lost early in games. One thing Bruinsnation has taught me, though, is to actually look at facts before drawing conclusions. So, I looked at the stats (2009 stats are through the Cal game) , and this is what I found:

Year Rank Total Defense Yards per Game Rank Scoring Defense Points per game
2007 29 343 29 22.3
2008 47 337 85 29
2009 33 320 45 21.8

Source: 2009 FBS Football Statistics (NCAA)

So, what does this tell us? A few things to keep in mind:

1) Last year we turned the ball over so much, and were so offensively inept, I am not sure that it is really a fair comparison

2) Offenses tend to get better as the season wears on, so I am not sure that looking at totals tells you much, but I do think looking at rankings does, and we are a slightly above average defense relative to the rankings.

3) I think the real question is: Is the defense performing up to capability  if we are slightly above average?

I would argue we are not giving up as many points as  last year, but much of that is due to not turning the ball over, not the defensive play. I would further argue with our talent, we should expect to be in the 20s in defensive stats, like we were in 2007, not the 30s or 40s we are today. The defense is underperforming, but it is not a disaster, and I don't believe it is hopeless.

The game today will show us whether 1) The players are going to continue to work hard and improve and 2) The coaching staff is going to be creative against a qb in Arizona with little game experience. If we allow him to sit back and pass we are in for a long day and a long season. 

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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