Update

Why Are College Football Defenses So Bad?

It is time to take a look at college football defensive statistics. The most recent data shows that the average stop rate of FBS teams has decreased by about four points since Week 5. As of the end of Week 8, forty-six of the 130 FBS defenses are within five spots of their Week 5 ranking. This includes teams such as Wake Forest, which gave up 24 points in the fourth quarter against North Carolina. Meanwhile, Alabama and Florida both improved by nearly 10 points, making them the worst defenses in the country.

One reason for this is that the pace of the game is too fast, limiting the time players can look at the scoreboard. Because teams play fast, coaches have to mimic offenses on the sidelines. The pace of the game means that defensive players don’t have much time to read a scoreboard or study a defensive scheme. In addition, the pace of the game forces teams to play more offensive snaps than they have time to study a map of the field.

In addition to their sloping defensive statistics, the Big Ten has the most pressure-intensive teams in college football. Big Ten defenses pressure opponents on 31.2 percent of their dropbacks, the most of any conference. Big 12 teams are among the best in the nation when it comes to scoring touchdowns. The Big Ten defenses are also among the best when it comes to stopping opposing teams’ offensive schemes.

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