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SEC Stats: The Fife Factor

Taking care of the football is important, but teams can find other ways to dig themselves into holes.

Committing penalties will raise a coach’s temperature.  So will allowing sacks.  Toss in the aforementioned giveaways and you’ve got a category we call “miscues.”

Below, we take each team’s total miscues so far this season (giveaways, sacks allowed, penalties committed) and compare those numbers to the total number of snaps those schools have run.  That’s on offense and defense.

Since we’re talking about teams that shoot themselves in the foot, we call this stat “The Fife Factor.”  It’s a measure of how many plays a team can run (offense and defense) without committing a major miscue.

Below are the SEC leaders through three weeks:



School
Off. Plays
Def. Plays
Penalties
Giveaways
Sacks Allowed
Total Miscues
Total Plays
Plys/Misc
Auburn
236
209
18
3
2
23
445
19.34
Kentucky
141
125
11
3
0
14
266
19.00
LSU
182
212
13
3
5
21
394
18.76
Vanderbilt
219
196
13
4
6
23
415
18.04
Ole Miss
127
142
8
5
3
16
269
16.81
Alabama
218
164
19
3
3
25
382
15.28
Tennessee
197
168
11
9
4
24
365
15.20
SCarolina
210
182
20
3
6
29
392
13.51
Florida
205
186
22
5
5
32
391
12.21
Miss St
203
198
25
5
3
33
401
12.15
Arkansas
134
120
19
2
2
23
254
11.04
Georgia
175
214
34
9
5
48
389
8.10




Observations:

* The teams with the six best Fife Factors are a combined 14-2.  The teams with the six worst Fife Factors are a combined 11-6.  Just sayin’.

* Sometimes the Fife Factor can be rendered meaningless by pure talent.  Vanderbilt is a very well-coached team committing few penalties and few turnovers.  But they still don’t have enough talent to win consistently in the SEC.  Florida on the other hand can shoot itself in the foot game after game — and their offense IS currently struggling with this — and still have enough athletic ability to overcome their numbskullery.

* Gene Chizik and Rich Brooks have to be happy with the way their teams are playing.  Both teams are running an average of 19 plays in between miscues and negative plays.

* On the other end of the spectrum, Mark Richt must be in agony.  All preseason he stressed penalties in practice in the hopes of cutting down on last year’s league-leading numbers.  But so far, the Dawgs have committed a whopping 34 penalties… nine more than the next worst team in the league (Mississippi State).  Suffering a sack, turnover or penalty every 8 plays is no way to win football games.  Georgia will have to clean this up if they’re to be successful this season.

 


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