It's a Numbers Game
• BCF Toys has unveiled the first Fremeau Efficiency Index rankings of the 2007 season. The FEI is the brainchild of Brian Fremeau, fellow Domer and writer for Football Outsiders, an excellent NFL-oriented football stats site. There is a full explanation of the rankings for those who are interested, but this is the short and sweet summary.
Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI)It's an interesting way to look at team performance and I suggest you check it out. The Irish check in at #88 in the rankings.
College football rating system based on drive-based Game Efficiency data that rewards playing well against good teams, win or lose, and punishes losing to poor teams more harshly than it rewards defeating poor teams.
• Brian also has a note on Field Position Advantage in his latest article on Football Outsiders. FPA is the difference between a team's average starting position and their opponent's. Currently, ND is -7.7 yards in FPA, meaning the Irish opponents are, on average, starting each drive 7.7 yards further down the field than ND. That number puts the Irish at 111th in the nation.
• Nose tackle Pat Kuntz is currently tied for 14th in the nation in passes broken up with 7. The only other defensive linemen in the Top 60 are Philip Hunt from Houston, Chris Long from Virginia, and Sedrick Ellis from Southern Cal. Kuntz has already broken up as many passes as ND's team leader, Chinedum Ndukwe, from last year. The school record for passes broken up is 14 by Shane Walton.
• Notre Dame is 1 of 2 teams in the country that not yet played a team with a losing record. The Irish are also the only team in the country to play a BCS conference program in each of the first 8 games. That is double Florida Atlantic, which had the second longest streak with 4 straight BCS conference opponents to start the season.
• 22 Players have now made their first start for Notre Dame this season. 12 on offense and 10 on defense. The breakdown is 1 senior (Vernaglia), 5 juniors (Kuntz, Turkovich, Hand, Bruton, Duncan), 11 sophomores (Jones, Ryan, Parris, Olsen, Wenger, West, Carufel, T. Smith, Aldridge, McNeil, Yeatman), and 5 freshman (Clausen, Allen, Neal, Tate, Kamara).
Gotta Have M.O.E.
The Irish offense took a step back in the efficiency department with a M.O.E. score of 19%. One of the primary culprits this game was dropped passes. ND also had the highest number of offensive penalties since the Penn State game.
Breaking down the M.O.E. score by quarterback, both Clausen and Sharpley had an identical score of 19%. Clausen was on the field for 36 plays and the team combined to commit 7 offensive errors (2 interceptions, 2 drops, 3 penalties). Sharpley was also on the field for 36 plays and again, the offense committed 7 errors (2 sacks, 3 drops, 2 penalties).
The Eagles posted the second worst M.O.E. score of the year for an Irish opponent with 15%. The main cause for the subpar score was 10 offensive penalties called against BC.
The complete breakdown can be viewed here.
Season Long Running Averages
The overall numbers aren't getting much better. One bright spot: there is a noticeable decrease in opponent yards per pass completion. Corwin Brown said he wanted to take away the big pass play and so far the numbers seem to indicate success in that area.