We Want Walker

DeWayne Walker for UCLA head coach.

The Numbers Game

Posted by wewantwalker on December 10, 2007

Take a gander around the country and you’ll realize that every great college coach has the same characteristics.

1) He must be a great gameplanner and have a mastery of at least one side of the ball.
2) He’s got to keep his kids motivated.
3) He’s got to be able to recruit.
4) He must have the ability to accurately evaluate talent (hello Charlie Weis).

We’ll take on all of these eventually, but we’ll start with the first item: DeWayne Walker’s numbers are nothing short of astounding.

Let’s start with some pre-Walker numbers to put things into perspective. Here are UCLA’s defensive statistics under Karl Dorrell the two years before Walker took over the defense.

Total Defense: Yards Per Game, 2005

Rank Name Games Plays Yds Avg TDs Ydspgm Wins Losses Ties
113 UCLA 12 931 5617 6.03 53 468.08 10 2 0


Total Defense: Yards Per Game, 2004

Rank Name Games Plays Yds Avg TDs Ydspgm Wins Losses Ties
106 UCLA 12 898 5195 5.79 37 432.92 6 6 0

There are 119 teams in Division-I, so if you’re in triple digits, that’s pretty friggin’ bad.

Walker came in in 2006 as a defensive back coach from the Washington Redskins. He was inheriting a team that had just lost 5 players, including its entire linebacking corp and its all-conference strong safety.

The numbers speak for themselves.

Total Defense: Yards Per Game, 2006

Rank Name Games Plays Yds Avg TDs Ydspgm Wins Losses Ties
35 UCLA 13 840 4088 4.87 31 314.46 7 6 0

In ONE year, Walker took UCLA from 113 to 35. That’s 78 spots. That’s incredible.

Total Defense: Yards Per Game, 2007

Rank Name Games Plays Yds Avg TDs Ydspgm Wins Losses Ties
34 UCLA 12 911 4197 4.61 33 349.75 6 6 0

Even though the defense only went up one rank, I think this year’s statistics are still very impressive for several reasons. First of all, a lot of people attributed Walker’s early success to the fact that there was simply no film on him and his schemes were a complete mystery to everyone outside of UCLA. As a result, his defense was harder to scout and, therefore, harder to prepare for. Even with a whole year’s worth of film, Walker’s defense held up. Secondly, as bad as the UCLA offense was in 2006, it’s even worse in 2007.  Notice that even though UCLA still has one game left, the defense has seen 71 more downs than 2006. Walker’s defense has, quite simply, anchored the team.

The best example of this, lest we forget, is right here:

Of course, that was a special game, and it had Coach Walker’s fingerprints all over it.

Walker after the SC game

Coach Walker after the 2006 SC Game: “Yeah, I’m a badass.”

Which brings me to, perhaps, Walker’s most impressive statistic. Before the 2006 USC game, USC had scored over 20 points in 63 straight games. Walker held them to under 10.

How’s that for numbers?

I’ll put up some more number soon, but these numbers outline Coach Walker pretty well. The man knows his side of the ball. One can only imagine what he will do when he brings top talent to UCLA.

Did we mention he’s good at that? Next, we’ll take on Walker and the defensive players he’s recruited and evaluate Walker’s defensive recruiting class coming in next year. It happens to be one of the best in the country.


4 Responses to “The Numbers Game”

  1. ABW said

    actually, you are missing something in your analysis. Due to changes in the rules regarding clock stoppage, most games had many more plays than last year. I dont have the numbers but it was something like 20%. So the fact that there were more plays doesn’t really signify that much.

  2. OCFan said

    The defensive rank inproved despite the fact they spent more on the field because the offense going 3 and out so often. That means the other team had more cracks at the Bruin defense and often on the UCLA side of the field. Oregon State anyone? They wouldn’t have scored a point if it wasn’t for the two turnovers deep in our own territory. One on a returned fumble. The other OSU had to go a measely 28 yards for a TD.

    Walker’s D wasn’t great every drive against every team, but count the number of times we turned the ball over and gave the other team a short field.

  3. MississippiBruinFan said

    I did not know that Walker held USC to under 10 points by himself as wewantwalker indicates in his post (“Walker held them to 10”). I guess I was under the assumption that the players had something to do with that.

  4. wewantwalker said

    Good points. But I watched the game and if you look really, and I mean, really closely, you’ll notice that Walker, indeed, is playing all 11 defensive positions on the field. Ditka has nothing on Walker.

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