In doing some research to find a '110' theme related to Iowa State Football, I found some stats that do not have a 110 theme, but I thought were interesting. I decided I would discuss this today, while it's still on my mind.
It's pretty well established that for the past handful of years, our defensive line has stunk. Actually, that's an understatement in some ways. For the past 2 years, our defensive line has been the worst in all of FBS football in sack percentage.
Not close to the bottom. The bottom. 120th. For real.
What is sack percentage? It is number of sacks dividend by number of opponent pass attempts. The Top 5 teams last year were WVU (10.95%), Boise State (10.82%), Arkansas (9.47%), LSU (9.33%), and Texas (9.23%).
What was Iowa State's percentage? 2.24%
What are the teams around Iowa State's level? New Mexico State (2.37%), Minnesota (2.72%), Air Force (2.75%), UTEP (2.86%), UNLV (2.99%),and Rice (3.03%).
Of the Top 30 teams in sack percentage, 6 had a losing record. Most of those with a losing record were 5-7, although there are a couple of 4-8s in there as well. Of the Bottom 30 teams in sack percentage, 22 had a losing record. The teams with winning records were 7-5 for the most part. Air Force and Navy rank low, but with what the competition runs in their league, it is going to be low.
It's terrible. Football is a team sport, and there is a lot more that goes into it than just sacks, but there tends to be a relationship between winning (or at least competitive) teams and sacking the QB.
So what is going to happen? I have no clue. Lattimer has 4 career sacks, Maggit has 0 career sacks, McDonough has 1 career sack, and Ruemphelhamer has 3.5 career sacks. These guys are upperclassmen, and they need to step up. I think a lot of people assume that because these guys are coming back, it's a plus, but this is still the team's biggest weakness to me.
There's going to be a lot of talk about the QB situation, but with David Sims leaving, and having to try out some different guys at safety, the secondary is going to be more vulnerable in the early going, and if our d-line can't pressure the QB, the Cyclones may give up some big plays.
I know Burnham has talked about wanting to blitz more, and hopefully we see more blitzing if we can't sack the quarterback. This team next year is only going to go as far as the d-line will take them.