The Offense

ssckelley

Well-Known Member
Everywhere I look people ("experts") tell us how bad Iowa's offense is, some are Hawkeye fans. To be clear I'm not going to present a case that Iowa's offense is great, heck I'm not even going to call it good, but it isn't as bad as some make it out to be.

One statistic that I keep seeing thrown out there is Iowa's offensive yardage, which is the 2nd lowest in the Big Ten ahead of only the Illini, yet Iowa is 5th in the Big Ten in points scored. My argument has been that the reason why Iowa's offense looks this bad in yardage is because of Iowa's defense and special teams, the offense keeps getting good field position which results in less yardage available. So I went hunting for some data to support my narrative and I I have found it. I found a site (links are below) that measures everything with the special teams, turns out according to the data Iowa has the 10th best special teams when you look at all the data it collects (STR). But I'm interested in field position and according to the data Iowa gains an average of 14 yards per possession (NFP) over their opponents. Iowa's Offensive Field Position (OFP) is 62.1 yards from the endzone, on defense (DFP) it's 76.3, the difference is where they get the 14 NFP and all 3 are the best in the country. Add that 14 yards per drive to Iowa's offense and it doesn't look so bad. BTW, I'm new to reading this data so if I'm interpreting it wrong just let me know.

Capture.PNG

There is a lot more statistical data that I'm hiding because I'm just looking at field position here. Feel free to peruse the other data in the links below.

This site also measures the offensive data and it includes what the offense does with the field position given (along with a bunch of other data). Using that they have Iowa's offense ranked 63rd in the country and 8th in the Big Ten. FWIW Purdue is ranked 74th nationally and 11th in the Big Ten. In case you are wondering and don't want to look at the site Iowa's defense ranks 2nd behind Georgia in defense and overall Iowa is ranked 6th behind Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Florida. It matches up close with what many have been saying on here that Iowa is not the 2nd best team in the country but solidly in the top 10.

Here are the links so you can peruse the data for yourself:

Special teams: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overallst/2021
Offense: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overalloff/2021
Defense: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overalldef/2021
Overall: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overall/2021
 

GesterHawk

Well-Known Member
I got roasted a couple years back when I suggested Iowa's good defense made the offense look worse due to giving the offense shorter fields to work with. Because people still considered yards to be the best indicator of offensive performance. I think folks are finally seeing that yardage is only a small portion of that.

It was back when 80% of this board hated the BF hire and I was just simply pointing exactly what you have.

Good on you for pulling the data.
 

CP87

Well-Known Member
I got roasted a couple years back when I suggested Iowa's good defense made the offense look worse due to giving the offense shorter fields to work with. Because people still considered yards to be the best indicator of offensive performance. I think folks are finally seeing that yardage is only a small portion of that.

It was back when 80% of this board hated the BF hire and I was just simply pointing exactly what you have.

Good on you for pulling the data.

People who still lean on yards/game to evaluate a football offense also look at pts/game to evaluate a basketball offense...I have no time for those folks. We have so much more available that accounts for so many more factors, do better.
 

CP87

Well-Known Member
60th in offense among FBS (right in the middle of the pack) is not great. Some things to keep in mind:

1st year OL coach

1st year RB coach

2 true freshman WR in our rotation

starting 2 fresh and soph on OL most of the year

we haven't yet had our bye week to self-scout, regroup, and tweak fundamental approaches

according to Football Outsiders D efficiency rankings, so far this year we have played the 6th (PSU), 10th (ISU), 33rd (Indiana), 38th (CSU), 92nd (Maryland), and 120th (Kent St.) defenses in the country

This offense is going to improve. If they can get up around the top 30 in the country, look out.

By the way, these are the defenses coming up: 35th (Purdue), 4th (Wisky), 50th (NW), 54th (Minn), 89th (Illinois), 16th (Nebraska)
 

NorthKCHawk

Well-Known Member
I think there is validity to this theory. The stats seem to support it, and so does common sense. Petras has a better reputation outside of the fan base than inside. Write-ups after Penn State were basically: he is efficient and maybe developing into something slightly better than just a game manager. He is definitely performing in the Top half of conference QBs.

Iowa drove 75 yards to get back into the game in the 2nd quarter. I literally texted a buddy right before that drive and said we were incapable of driving 75 yards against this D. He IS getting better.

Petras and the offense just need to keep chopping wood and be more efficient. BF needs to call better games too. If they have a short field, they need to score 7. If they have a long field, they need to at least get to mid-field for a weaponized punt or a field goal.

NO negative plays and NO turnovers. Move the sticks and good things can happen.
 

dagdaj

Well-Known Member
I'm with you. I don't think statistics are the way to evaluate this offense.

I expected Goodson to have a bit gaudier stats. Buoyed by massive days against the non conference opponents and Maryland. That didn't happen. Also, I'm not saying they're bad. I just think he's *that* good that they'd be much gaudier. I think that's a combination of play calling and an offensive line that's less Iowa than usual. If opponents make even the tiniest mistake when he has the ball, there's a 50-50 chance he'll be in the endzone.

I think that offensive line is responsible for some of the incomplete passes as well. Maybe even some of the interceptions. Some of the play calling has hampered numbers. The balance has hampered numbers. Some of the circumstances presented by the gaudy defense. Some of it is the otherworldy punting....meaning you're consistently starting only 25-30 yards from the red zone, your numbers are going to look different. It all blunts the numbers.

Like you say, not great. Maybe not even 'good'. Certainly average. And absolutely not even remotely close to "bad".

I'll take the 4 yard first down from Pottebaum right up the gut in a clock eating drive (assuming it makes sense situationally) over a completed Petras pass or the chance at Goodson busting one any day. Sometimes those things don't pan out. But a first down puts you a little closer and gives you 3 more chances. And surely, the offense has shown it has haveto when it had to.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
Everywhere I look people ("experts") tell us how bad Iowa's offense is, some are Hawkeye fans. To be clear I'm not going to present a case that Iowa's offense is great, heck I'm not even going to call it good, but it isn't as bad as some make it out to be.

One statistic that I keep seeing thrown out there is Iowa's offensive yardage, which is the 2nd lowest in the Big Ten ahead of only the Illini, yet Iowa is 5th in the Big Ten in points scored. My argument has been that the reason why Iowa's offense looks this bad in yardage is because of Iowa's defense and special teams, the offense keeps getting good field position which results in less yardage available. So I went hunting for some data to support my narrative and I I have found it. I found a site (links are below) that measures everything with the special teams, turns out according to the data Iowa has the 10th best special teams when you look at all the data it collects (STR). But I'm interested in field position and according to the data Iowa gains an average of 14 yards per possession (NFP) over their opponents. Iowa's Offensive Field Position (OFP) is 62.1 yards from the endzone, on defense (DFP) it's 76.3, the difference is where they get the 14 NFP and all 3 are the best in the country. Add that 14 yards per drive to Iowa's offense and it doesn't look so bad. BTW, I'm new to reading this data so if I'm interpreting it wrong just let me know.

View attachment 8186

There is a lot more statistical data that I'm hiding because I'm just looking at field position here. Feel free to peruse the other data in the links below.

This site also measures the offensive data and it includes what the offense does with the field position given (along with a bunch of other data). Using that they have Iowa's offense ranked 63rd in the country and 8th in the Big Ten. FWIW Purdue is ranked 74th nationally and 11th in the Big Ten. In case you are wondering and don't want to look at the site Iowa's defense ranks 2nd behind Georgia in defense and overall Iowa is ranked 6th behind Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Florida. It matches up close with what many have been saying on here that Iowa is not the 2nd best team in the country but solidly in the top 10.

Here are the links so you can peruse the data for yourself:

Special teams: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overallst/2021
Offense: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overalloff/2021
Defense: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overalldef/2021
Overall: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overall/2021

That is great quality data analysis!!

I've been saying this to, one can't look at the yardage gained to measure Iowa's offense. The yards were not there to gain. People and media just have such a narrowed vision with shit, it's hilarious.
 

hawkfan2679

Well-Known Member
Based on this analysis, the thing that really sticks out to me would be with the defense scoring about 4 points/game and starting every possession at or around the 38 yard line, we're still only averaging 27 offensive points/game. On the 68 plays we're getting per game, what are we doing with them? There are no teams worse in the B1G in terms of yards per play (we're at 4.65 btw) and there's only 9 teams worse in all of FBS in that regard. Even with full understanding that we go ULTRA conservative late in games because we do defer to the defense quite a bit, that's still very concerning.
 

AreWeThereYet

Well-Known Member
Iowa's Offensive Field Position (OFP) is 62.1 yards from the endzone, on defense (DFP) it's 76.3, the difference is where they get the 14 NFP and all 3 are the best in the country. Add that 14 yards per drive to Iowa's offense and it doesn't look so bad. BTW, I'm new to reading this data so if I'm interpreting it wrong just let me know.

View attachment 8186

So my interpretation is Iowa's offense is benefiting from the best average starting position relative to the goal line OFP = 62.1

Iowa's opponents are getting the worst average starting position relative to the goal line DFP = 76.1

I'm not so sure this is due to offensive production but rather the defense is creating short field opportunities for the offense. To the offenses credit they aren't getting stuck in the hole either. Punting is a big factor in defensive field position but Iowa's offense is putting the punter in a position to do his thing. The offense is doing an excellent job at ball security (rank #8), and an average job against busted drives (rank #60)

Iowa is 19/23 in the red zone for 11 TD & 8 FG, which means getting a decent number of opportunities and taking advantage. Offensive point per drive (OPD ranked #56) is subpar but not as bad as other offensive metrics. The other offensive metrics have been pretty bad. (I haven't checked big play rate, which I suspect is a bit better than Iowa's other offensive stats.)
 

ssckelley

Well-Known Member
Based on this analysis, the thing that really sticks out to me would be with the defense scoring about 4 points/game and starting every possession at or around the 38 yard line, we're still only averaging 27 offensive points/game. On the 68 plays we're getting per game, what are we doing with them? There are no teams worse in the B1G in terms of yards per play (we're at 4.65 btw) and there's only 9 teams worse in all of FBS in that regard. Even with full understanding that we go ULTRA conservative late in games because we do defer to the defense quite a bit, that's still very concerning.

Did you get a chance to look at the offensive FEI? I didn't get a chance to dive into it really deep but I think those numbers address this. I'm sure it doesn't help when Iowa is taking a knee with 2 minutes left in the game either. I remember seeing Iowa ranked very low in some of the catagories, which is probably to your point. It doesn't paint Iowa as a great offensive team but it also doesn't make Iowa to be as bad as many make it out to be. Iowa has a middle of the road offense, it doesn't make a lot of mistakes (turnovers & penalties) which helps make it work.
 

uihawk82

Well-Known Member
Everywhere I look people ("experts") tell us how bad Iowa's offense is, some are Hawkeye fans. To be clear I'm not going to present a case that Iowa's offense is great, heck I'm not even going to call it good, but it isn't as bad as some make it out to be.

One statistic that I keep seeing thrown out there is Iowa's offensive yardage, which is the 2nd lowest in the Big Ten ahead of only the Illini, yet Iowa is 5th in the Big Ten in points scored. My argument has been that the reason why Iowa's offense looks this bad in yardage is because of Iowa's defense and special teams, the offense keeps getting good field position which results in less yardage available. So I went hunting for some data to support my narrative and I I have found it. I found a site (links are below) that measures everything with the special teams, turns out according to the data Iowa has the 10th best special teams when you look at all the data it collects (STR). But I'm interested in field position and according to the data Iowa gains an average of 14 yards per possession (NFP) over their opponents. Iowa's Offensive Field Position (OFP) is 62.1 yards from the endzone, on defense (DFP) it's 76.3, the difference is where they get the 14 NFP and all 3 are the best in the country. Add that 14 yards per drive to Iowa's offense and it doesn't look so bad. BTW, I'm new to reading this data so if I'm interpreting it wrong just let me know.

View attachment 8186

There is a lot more statistical data that I'm hiding because I'm just looking at field position here. Feel free to peruse the other data in the links below.

This site also measures the offensive data and it includes what the offense does with the field position given (along with a bunch of other data). Using that they have Iowa's offense ranked 63rd in the country and 8th in the Big Ten. FWIW Purdue is ranked 74th nationally and 11th in the Big Ten. In case you are wondering and don't want to look at the site Iowa's defense ranks 2nd behind Georgia in defense and overall Iowa is ranked 6th behind Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Florida. It matches up close with what many have been saying on here that Iowa is not the 2nd best team in the country but solidly in the top 10.

Here are the links so you can peruse the data for yourself:

Special teams: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overallst/2021
Offense: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overalloff/2021
Defense: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overalldef/2021
Overall: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ncaa/fei/overall/2021

That is data, such as field position and yardage gained during exchange of possessions, and runbacks of kicks, punts, fumbles, and interception, that need to be factored in. When you look at an overall box score and look at total yards those are offensive yards and yet you have to look at maybe 75 yards in interception returns and 70 yards in punt returns.

Yet, like hawkfan2679 said in their post #8 in this thread raw numbers like totals do not tell the story as well as averages do. Iowa's offense isn't as efficient as it could be as their yards per play is low. But Iowa has had a lot of negative running plays and sacks. I think our offense overall looks bad looking at totals and averages but it still makes enough big plays to score about 24-27 points per game.

If they can get to be more efficient avg per play and score 35-38 points a game that would be above average.
 

ChosenChildren

Well-Known Member
According to the Massey Ratings (highly respected), here are Iowa's Offensive and Defensive Rankings:

Defense: #2 in the country
Offense: #29 in the country.

They define "Offense" as "Offensive Power to Score." I believe that that is another way of saying offensive efficiency, which of course goes up when the following occur:

1. You don't turn the ball over.
2. You score a high percentage of TDs when you are in the red zone.
3. You score on a high percentage of your possessions (maybe because your defense and your punter give you a lot of short fields).

Basically, yards per game means absolutely nothing in modern football. I trust Massey's system.

Massey currently ranks Iowa 3rd overall in the nation, behind Georgia and Michigan.
 

ChosenChildren

Well-Known Member
That is data, such as field position and yardage gained during exchange of possessions, and runbacks of kicks, punts, fumbles, and interception, that need to be factored in. When you look at an overall box score and look at total yards those are offensive yards and yet you have to look at maybe 75 yards in interception returns and 70 yards in punt returns.

Yet, like hawkfan2679 said in their post #8 in this thread raw numbers like totals do not tell the story as well as averages do. Iowa's offense isn't as efficient as it could be as their yards per play is low. But Iowa has had a lot of negative running plays and sacks. I think our offense overall looks bad looking at totals and averages but it still makes enough big plays to score about 24-27 points per game.

If they can get to be more efficient avg per play and score 35-38 points a game that would be above average.
Iowa is averaging 31.5 points per game, which is in the top half of the Big Ten right now.
Very efficient offense because of complimentary defense and special teams!
 

hawkfan2679

Well-Known Member
Did you get a chance to look at the offensive FEI? I didn't get a chance to dive into it really deep but I think those numbers address this. I'm sure it doesn't help when Iowa is taking a knee with 2 minutes left in the game either. I remember seeing Iowa ranked very low in some of the catagories, which is probably to your point. It doesn't paint Iowa as a great offensive team but it also doesn't make Iowa to be as bad as many make it out to be. Iowa has a middle of the road offense, it doesn't make a lot of mistakes (turnovers & penalties) which helps make it work.
I think the bold is the most important part. I think a little less of the offense than you, I think, but totally acknowledge that they very rarely put our defense in a tough spot. I also definitely wanted to mention in my original post about our conservative-ness, such as taking knees when you can't even run out the clock as I know that plays a part.

The FEI has a ton of good data (have only looked at offense). This continues to tell the story, I think, as most of them aren't great.

Offensive drive efficiency: 80th (this is a negative number, albeit -0.2, which means our offense is losing scoring value on average per drive)

Offensive points/drive: 56th - I assume this is a function of starting every drive 25-30 yards from FG range

Offensive available yards %: 92nd - This one speaks to my point about doing less with more (in terms of scoring vs. field position). This one measures drive yards gained divided by drive yards available based on starting field position

Offensive yards per play: 102nd - Mentioned that one too...this metric factors out garbage time, so good on them for pulling that together!

Offensive drive value: 102nd - Ick. This one measures the percentage of offensive drives that conclude with a drive end value greater than the drive start value, based on field position. So again, doing less with more...

Offensive first down rate: 95th - This one is crucial to improve because with starting field position so good, we really only 2 - 3 first downs each drive to at least get into FG range. This one measures drives that earn at least 1 first down btw...
 

GesterHawk

Well-Known Member
1. We put up 12 more points against the second ranked defense in the B10 (at the time) than they were allowing per game at the time. Only 3 were a result of a TO short field (this stat is both a plus and minus for the offense).

2. We have had around 8 to 12 -2 yard V-formation plays this season. This will dent a yard per play average.

3. Iowa has run about 10 to 20 less offensive plays than a lot to most of the other teams... in the nation. This is a big hit on their offensive yards totals.

4. Iowa is in the top 10 in the nation with plays over 20 yards (from the broadcast last weekend.) They are a chunk of yards team for the first time in forever. This is just interesting to me.

5. 6-0. We are scoring more than each team we have faced. Boom. (Mike drop).
 

hawkfan2679

Well-Known Member
1. We put up 12 more points against the second ranked defense in the B10 (at the time) than they were allowing per game at the time. Only 3 were a result of a TO short field (this stat is both a plus and minus for the offense).

2. We have had around 8 to 12 -2 yard V-formation plays this season. This will dent a yard per play average.

3. Iowa has run about 10 to 20 less offensive plays than a lot to most of the other teams... in the nation. This is a big hit on their offensive yards totals.

4. Iowa is in the top 10 in the nation with plays over 20 yards (from the broadcast last weekend.) They are a chunk of yards team for the first time in forever. This is just interesting to me.

5. 6-0. We are scoring more than each team we have faced. Boom. (Mike drop).
2. It does. Using 12 plays at -2 a pop, our yards/play goes from 4.65 to 4.85, which is enough to get us up to about 110th in the country and out of last place in the B1G.

3. Interestingly enough, I think due to our defensive prowess we're not seeing the play deficiencies as we have in years past. Iowa's per game average of 68.33 plays per game has us just about dead smack in the middle of the pack (tied for 66th). North Texas leads the country with 82.2 plays per game, for what it's worth. But total plays and total yards weren't ever being factored into any of these equations, per the notes that a couple posters above already stated (as to their misleading-ness).

4. Also interesting and something that I didn't know. After watching the Red River Shootout game I find that surprising (the two teams were playing "efense" because there definitely was no "D") as well.

5. Facts!
 

uihawk82

Well-Known Member
Iowa is averaging 31.5 points per game, which is in the top half of the Big Ten right now.
Very efficient offense because of complimentary defense and special teams!

Yes. I hope the offense can get to where they can generate about 35 points on their own normal drives, longer drives by showing more consistency and eliminating many of the negative yardage running plays. We see how many teams throw a lot more short passes to running backs who are pretty open. Some of the passing to Goodson has shown what that can accomplish and IKM can do well also in the receiving area.
 

ssckelley

Well-Known Member
I think the bold is the most important part. I think a little less of the offense than you, I think, but totally acknowledge that they very rarely put our defense in a tough spot. I also definitely wanted to mention in my original post about our conservative-ness, such as taking knees when you can't even run out the clock as I know that plays a part.

Just to be clear I'm not advocating that the offense is good, I see first hand all the points you are making. My point is that the offense isn't as bad as some make it out to be and the data the "experts" are looking at is flawed.

Keep in mind Iowa hasn't had that game where they've been able to rack up a ton of points and yards. Even that Maryland game, where they scored 51 points, was mostly due to the defense getting 6 turnovers. I look at Purdue's numbers and even as crappy as their offense is rated the numbers are inflated because they were able to rack up almost 600 yards in offense against a very bad UConn team. I felt the offense should have been able to do more against KSU and CSU, for a variety of reasons they didn't.

I will say I'm optimistic that this offense can improve and it all starts with the OL play. If the OL can keep making improvements then all this data we are talking about will keep getting better. It better as this defense and ST's can't keep bailing them out every game.
 

uihawk82

Well-Known Member
1. We put up 12 more points against the second ranked defense in the B10 (at the time) than they were allowing per game at the time. Only 3 were a result of a TO short field (this stat is both a plus and minus for the offense).

2. We have had around 8 to 12 -2 yard V-formation plays this season. This will dent a yard per play average.

3. Iowa has run about 10 to 20 less offensive plays than a lot to most of the other teams... in the nation. This is a big hit on their offensive yards totals.

4. Iowa is in the top 10 in the nation with plays over 20 yards (from the broadcast last weekend.) They are a chunk of yards team for the first time in forever. This is just interesting to me.

5. 6-0. We are scoring more than each team we have faced. Boom. (Mike drop).

Kirk has always been a first of all limit the number of possessions and win the time of possession coach. Old school football, great defense, dont turn the ball over, and a great kicking game and coverage.

You made a bunch of good observations and I wonder if the big chunk plays come somewhat from Brian being around the Patriots organization where they run the ball, dink the passes to the slot receivers, then hit big passes of 20+ yards when they have the right matchup and possibly one of the greatest QBS of all time
 
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