Running The Numbers

Ole Miss football in the NCAA and SEC stats at the completion of the regular season. Stats are per-game averages …

Category: Actual, National Rank, SEC Rank

Rushing Offense: 169.67, 55, 7

Passing Offense: 257.17, 47, 5

Total Offense: 426.83, 46, 5

Scoring Offense: 30.92, 49, 6

Rushing Defense: 133.33, 29, 6

Pass Efficiency Defense: 137.64, 83, 9

Total Defense: 385.00, 49, 7

Scoring Defense: 28.50, 67, 11

Net Punting: 36.44, 71, 13

Punt Returns: 4.95, 98, 14

Kick Returns: 19.54, 91, 13

Turnover Margin: -.08, 61, 8

Pass Defense: 251.67, 84, 12

Pass Efficiency: 142.68, 39, 6

Sacks: 2.83, 14, 2

Tackles For Loss: 7.67, 6, 2

Sacks Allowed: 2.75, 99, 11


So, what to make of the numbers?

Here are a few thoughts. The rushing defense got better. Remember the Texas game? Heck, remember the Central Arkansas game?

As the numbers point out, this is not a dominant run defense. There is room for improvement, but this defense ends the season at a pretty good pace against the run. In the final four games, Georgia, Vanderbilt, LSU and MSU all averaged less than 4 yards a carry. That’s a pretty big statement against Georgia and LSU.

The Rebels finished with a big performance in the Egg Bowl, holding the Bulldogs to 30 yards on 25 attempts.

The numbers also show remarkable improvement on making plays in the back field, sixth in the nation in tackles for loss, 14th in sacks from a unit that had just 13 sacks a year ago.

Obviously there’s a long way to go in special teams. Freeze said depth issues showed up there during the season, most notably on the 89-yard punt return allowed at LSU.

The offensive line has to get better. The sacks allowed numbers have to improve. They would be worse this season if Bo Wallace was a stiff in the pocket and had no mobility about him.

Freeze has said from the beginning that the offensive line would be the last group to reach his standard level of play. This will be a group to keep an eye on in the spring.

Some other interesting comparisons. Stacked against the 2011 numbers from the national perspective, the offense finished 29 spots higher in rushing offense, 60 spots higher in passing offense, 68 spots higher in total offense, 67 spots higher in scoring offense.

Compared to the 2007 Ole Miss offense, the last year that Ed Orgeron was coach – and when Dan Werner was offensive coordinator and Freeze was wide receivers coach – the numbers went this way: an improvement of 29 spots in rushing offense, 19 spots in passing offense, 45 spots in total offense, 55 spots in scoring offense.


Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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