We Want Walker

DeWayne Walker for UCLA head coach.

UCLA is 71st in Pass Defense and why that is awesome

Posted by wewantwalker on December 13, 2007

The numbers don’t lie. I keep saying it and I apologize that this time…

..they still don’t lie. Walker’s pass defense is legit.

“71? out 119? That sucks!” is what I expect most fans to be saying at this point.

Remember all those “excuses” in a previous post about being fatigued? about time of possession? about more plays? about a formidable rush defense that requires teams to throw it in the air (I don’t think I mentioned that last one, but pretend I did)

For the sake of argument, pretend those didn’t exist.

I introduce to you, the pass efficiency defense statistic. What the heck is that? Well, I didn’t really know either, but this Dave Harsh guy explains it pretty well:

First thing to grasp is how the pass “efficiency” defense is different from just pass defense. Pass defense is based solely on a team’s yardage totals. The pass defense ranking is figured for how many yards per game are allowed through opponents’ passing efforts. Pass efficiency defense takes not only their yardage, but pass completion percentages, both INT total and percentage of INTs thrown, TD total and rate, yards per attempt and yards per completion into account to then give an overall rating. Just like yardage, the lower your opponent’s pass efficiency number, the better you are doing. But unlike stopping just yardage, if the other guy is mistake-free and can score via aerial assault, you are likely going to lose. Really, you can survive a 50-yard pass play that only gets them to your 35, but there is no “recovery room” from an 11-yard scoring strike set up by 12 good runs. It is good when your opponents are less efficient, even if they get a few extra yards.

Okay, so I think I actually do have to use the fact that UCLA was passed on quite a bit to explain the excess yardage. BUT pound-for-pound it is the pass efficiency statistic that is more important in evaluating the efficacy of a pass defense.

UCLA ranks 26th, not 71st in that category. Quite a difference huh?


9 Responses to “UCLA is 71st in Pass Defense and why that is awesome”

  1. BruinSportif said

    Wow…talk about manipulating the numbers. I still do not understand how you can promote DeWayne Walker to be the UCLA coach over so many other qualified candidates. It seems to me that you have an agenda, be it either that you are good friends with Walker or somehow will gain access to the program were he to be made coach. Whatever it is, I commend you on your effort. Unfortunately you are severely misguided. What makes you think that Walker would be a good head coach just because he is a decent defensive coordinator? Please explain your logic, because I am truly struggling with that concept. Really, is this the best UCLA can do? Hire a 2-year defensive coordinator whom no other school is pursuing? Your buddy did not even get an interview at Washington State! Would you say that their standards are higher than ours? Or perhaps your standards for UCLA are simply too low.
    As for the recruiting, oh please! Oh yes, U$C really struggled with recruiting once Walker left. By your logic, no one should ever be fired because it would “hurt” the recruiting. How completely absurd. If we hire the right coach, you don’t think that players would line up to play here? Not to mention that they simply might want to play for UCLA!
    Anyway, I am certainly not here to denigrate DeWayne Walker, I think he has done a decent job with the defense and has earned the right to remain as the coordinator…IF the new coach wants him. If Walker would be such a good head coach, he is welcome to go prove his mettle…AT ANOTHER SCHOOL. We have had enough of UCLA offering unqualified candidates millions of dollars for on-the-job training. It is time for a serious hire.

  2. wewantwalker said

    Manipulating the numbers? Those are the numbers from the NCAA statistic website. Those numbers accurately reflect what they say they reflect. How is that manipulating?

    “USC really struggled with recruiting once Walker left.”

    You lost me dude. Walker is still at UCLA. And his recruiting has been awesome as noted on other posts.

    And this is a serious hire. And even Guerrero acknowledges Walker is a serious candidate.

    As for Walker, I am willing to bet money he has no idea this site exists.

  3. BruinFan1 said

    You are beyond misguided.

    You want UCLA’s next coach to be an experiment with an unproven coordinator. You want our coach to be in the same mold as Toledo and Dorrell? Do you not remember how those two turned out?

    We have two issues when hiring a head coach:
    1. Is this a good coach?
    2. Will this head coach be good at UCLA?

    We know neither with Walker. If you say Walker would be a good head coach, that is PURE SPECULATION on your part. Then we do not even know what the answer would be for #2. With a proven head coach, we at least know the answer to the first part of our problem…are we getting a good coach.

    You are not supporting UCLA’s best interest with your site.

  4. I totally agree. Raw, cumulative numbers like “total offense”, “total defense”, “pass defense” can be very misleading. The efficiency numbers do a much better job of showing how well your team performs because it breaks the numbers down per play. There are some very good defenses out there that have poor passing defensive numbers because opponents start throwing the ball more when they fall behind in the game. Does that mean you have a bad defense? Of course not.

    Take a look at Arizona State as an example. Their passing defense is similar to UCLA at 69th. But their overall defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense are all top 25. They rank near the top of the conference in total defense performance, but you wouldn’t realize that if you just looked at the pass defense number.

    On the flip side of that is Notre Dame. They have the 3rd ranked pass defense in the country. Are you impressed by that? You shouldn’t. Nobody passed against them because they were so darn easy to run over! When you discover that they have a scoring defense of 96th in the nation, that tells a much better story then the total number of yards their defense gave up through the air.

    Anywho, it is good to point out that statistics need to be taken in their entire context and not just cherry picked to prove some point. If you look at all of the statistics for UCLA’s defense this season you see a pretty darn good team. Not a great one, but a good one. And if the Bruins had even a hint of an offense you can bet those numbers would have been even better.

    Do you know how many teams had a better scoring defense than UCLA (33rd) but had a worse scoring offense (90th)? Only two: Iowa and Vanderbilt. Neither one had a better record than the Bruin’s 6-6 mark this season. It is very hard to have a successful team with a very poor offense. Even if you look at total numbers it confirms that fact. Only a few teams like Auburn (total offense: 101, total defense: 8) are able to pull off a wining record… but even they finished at a less than stellar 8-4 this year.

  5. Stu said

    Even with your “modified” analysis, I think most people would consider 26th pretty “average” for any BCS conference team. Heck, that STILL wouldn’t even be ranked. Get back to me with anything that would put Walker in the Top 10.

    And even then…does a good defensive coordinator make for a GREAT Head Coach? Maybe or maybe not, but I don’t want any more coached hired as experiments. Coach Walker needs to go kick some tail as an HC at NE South Dakota State Tech first for 2-3 years…THEN maybe consider him legitimately for the UCLA (or another BCS conference) HC job.

  6. DProdigy said

    The other amazingly misleading part of using pass D- as a team that didn’t hold many leads (or big leads), it’s not like teams were throwing on us to catch up. Ironically, you use this point in the discussion of Notre Dame’s pass D, but conveniently ignore it here.

    The bigger issue which I haven’t seen you guys address and you simply have to as DeWayne Walker advocates- do you see a problem with a person who has never been a head coach having his first job be at a school in a BCS conference with high expectations and high potential? Regardless of his prowess as a DC (we’ll argue about that too), it is appalling to me to support someone who has no prior experience doing the job he’d be hired to do.

    It’d be like taking a manager of a Quizno’s franchise and having him run the company because he did such a good job there- the positions are so dramatically different that to expect proficiency in one based on performance of the other is shocking.

  7. Tommy Bruin said

    No Head Coach experience = No Head Coach job at UCLA.

    Walker = no Head Coach experience


    Walker = No Head Coach job at UCLA.

    I don’t care if he’s the best defensive coordinator in the country (he’s far from it), we don’t want another on-the-job training scenario like we just suffered through with Dorrell.

    Just say NO to Walker!

  8. BruinSportif said

    My comment saying that “USC really struggled with recruiting once Walker left” has to do with the fact that Walker was an assistant at U$C. Many claim that we would lose out on our recruits if Walker left. Well U$C did not lose out once he left, they were just fine.

    Anyway, why do you not discuss any other candidates? Why don’t you compare Walker to other candidates? You have an agenda and it has nothing to do with UCLA’s well-being, it is quite selfish.

  9. Steve Lord said

    I was rooting so hard for UCLA tonite against BYU because Walker is the best choice. FOrget the stats. Just watch his defenses. After watching a few games, you come away with a sense this is a very rare, very great defensive coach. Look how his stategy to blitz the BYU quarterback tonite worked so beautifully, You had a sense in the second half, in which BYU was held scoreless, that BYU never was going to score.

    I used to have the same sense of brilliant defensive coaching when I watched Bill Billichek coach when he was a defensive coach for the Giants. It seemed like he had more men on the field than the other team. I think that is the best way to pick a head coach, find an assistant whose work you can view over many games and measure his brilliance.

    ANd guess what. By that standard Rick Neuheusal loses out. You watch his offenses he coaches and you come away with a sense there is no rhyme or reason. Then you watch a Mike Martz and your jaw drops at his brilliance as an offensive designer.

    Man I sure hope Walker gets the job.

    Steve Lord

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