Scoring defense and other number crunching

It looks pretty good for Ole Miss to finish No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense when all the bowl games are complete.

Right now the Rebels are No. 1 with 13.8 points allowed through the regular season.

Next is Stanford with 16.0 points per game allowed.

The scoring defense average also includes the opponent’s non-offensive touchdowns. So a special teams touchdown or a pick six goes against a team’s scoring defense average. In essence, the statistic is the number of points allowed by a team, not by a team’s defensive unit.

If Stanford pitches a shutout in its bowl game it would still be allowing 14.76 points a game. If Ole Miss gives up 25 points in its bowl it will still have an average of 14.69 points per game allowed.

Ole Miss has allowed 166 points this season, Stanford 192.

Ole Miss would have to allow 27 points and Stanford pitch a shutout for the Rebels to slip from No. 1 – as it relates to Stanford.

LSU has allowed 197 points and is right behind Stanford.

A couple of interesting teams to watch are Wisconsin and Alabama.

Wisconsin is No. 4 in scoring defense with 201 points allowed through 12 games. Alabama is No. 6 with 203 points through 12 games.

Both Wisconsin and Alabama have conference championship games this weekend and could conceivably pitch two shutouts.

If Wisconsin allows 201 points through 14 games that’s an average of 14.35 points per game.

Whatever the numbers say this has been a great year for defense at Ole Miss.

Here are some other numbers of note for the Rebels:

Third Down Defense: No. 1 in SEC, No. 11 in the nation in at .311 percent.

Defensive Touchdowns: Tied for second in SEC and 10th in the nation with four.

Interceptions: Tied for first in SEC and fourth in nation with 19.

Passing Yards: Third in SEC and 16th in nation with 187.6.

Red Zone Defense: Third in SEC, 11th in nation at .719 percent.

Rushing Defense: Sixth in SEC at 133.6 yards per game.

Pass Defense Efficiency: Third in the SEC and 14th in the nation with a 106.98 rating.

Tackles For Loss: Second in SEC and 10th in the nation with 7.5 per game. The fact that the Rebels have done so well in tackles for loss but not sacks (eighth in the SEC at 2.08 per game) has to due with the fact that often they’re just rushing three or four.

Total Defense: Fourth in the SEC and 14th in the nation with 321.2 yards per game allowed.

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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