Bumped. - BN
I have been suspecting that our Football team's abysmal record last season was due to poor mastery of fundamentals. Assuming that poor fundamentals and sloppy playing leads to penalties, I looked at how many penalties we got and how many yards we lost.in each game. I tabulated it and the results shocked me - so I double-checked it. My assumption may have been wrong.
Unless the raw data I used was bad, we got more penalties than our opponents in only 5 games, fewer in 4 and the same number in 3 games. But that wasn't the shocker, the yardage was ... drum roll please ...
Here's the Summary Table: Penalties for UCLA Football 2010. I highlighted our few victories.
Shocker Alert Note the total yards lost due to penalties. It is almost always higher for us in the games we won. Oregon State and Washington are the two exceptions. This sounds intriguing but I couldn't tell just by looking at a table of numbers if there was a pattern to this. For one thing, the total yards of penalties varies wildly (as does total points scored) - but that can be compensated by taking the difference in our numbers and our opponents. The plot below shows a scatter plot of penalty differential and score differential, and it is much more compelling than the above table: The Bruins do better when we're racking up the penalties
The correlation coefficient is about .6 for this - I'm not sure how significant that is for N=12, but there is a definite trend of UCLA out-scoring opponents when we out-do them in penalties, too. The more excessive penalty yards we rack up, it seems, the more we outscore them. If we ignore the ASU and Washington games, the scatter doesn't fall too far from a straight line.
WTF? We must dig deeper.
Pass Interference We got eleven - 2 against Kansas & WSU, 1 against Stanford, Texas, Ca, Ore, Az, Wash, U$C
Roughing the Passer. Three - 2 against Houston, one against Oregon
Holding. We got 13. Stanford - 1, Houston -1, WSU 1, Cal 2, Ore St 1, Wash 2, ASU 3, U$C 2.
False Start. Seventeen. Kansas - 3, Stanford -2, Texas - 1, WSU -1, Cal -2, Oregon - 1, Ariz -2, Ore St - 2, ASU-2, U$C 1
Illegal Block. Five: Texas - 1, Ore S -1, Wash -2, ASU -1
Personal Fouls. UCLA racked up 20 out of 28 this season! Stanford - 1,Hous -3, Texas -2, WSU -4, Cal - 1, Arizona -1, Ore St -2, Wash -3, ASU - 2, and U$C only 1. Interestingly, we lost all six games in which we got less than two personal fouls: Kansas, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Ariz, and U$C.
It isn't clear that the penalties incurred during our victories were due to more aggressive play on our part. Perhaps, it was due to a lack of aggression on the part of our opponents? In reverse order here's the penalties committed by our opponents:
Personal Fouls. WSU - 1, Cal -1, Ore St -2, Wash -2, ASU -2
Illegal Block. Kansas-1, Stan -1, Houston -1, Tex -2, WSU -1, Cal -1, Wash -2, ASU -1, U$C -2
False Start. Kansas -1, Houston -4, Texas -2, WSU -1, Cal -2, Ariz -2, Pre St -2, ASU -2, U$C -2
Holding Houston -1, WSU -2, Cal -2, Ariz -4, Wash-4, ASU-3, U$C -1
Roughing the Passer Houston, Cal, ASU & U$C each got 1
Pass Interference Kansas -2, Stanford -4, Texas -1, WSU-2, Cal -2, Oregon -1, ASU -1
The most obvious pattern I can see is our low number of personal fouls in most of our losses... and I am not sure how to interpret that. Lack of passion?
[UPDATE - as promised (Now with plotted fits to data)]
Here is the scatter plot with plotted fits to data for the 2008, 2009 & 2010 seasons. A pattern seems to emerge - in the past two seasons we get more penalty yards when we win.