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BYU takes an 18-game home win streak into Saturday's game with Florida State, with Bronco Mendenhall compiling an overall home record of 21-3 in his four previous home slates.

What is interesting is that BYU has not lost a regulation home game since Bronco's first game as Cougar head coach.

In Bronco's BYU debut on September 3rd, 2005, the Cougars dropped a 20-3 home decision to Boston College, and that remains BYU's only non-overtime home loss of the Bronco era. The other two LES losses were extra-session affairs; 51-50 to TCU on 9/24/05, and 41-34 to Utah on 11/19/05.


In two of the last three seasons, BYU's average home scoring margin has topped 30 points per game--+35.16 in 2006, and +30.16 in 2008. Since 1964, BYU has only had five seasons of 30-plus point average home margins, and two of those five have happened in the last three years.


The value of "Time of Possession" as a relevant statistic is debatable, for the simple reason that efficient and even prolific offensive football teams often don't need a lot of time to score points. Indeed, the longer you have the ball, the fewer possession opportunities are generally available.

Case in point: of the teams currently in the top 20 time of possession (BYU is 5th), only seven are also in the top 20 in points per game (BYU is 38th; 32nd in scoring offense or total points scored). It's early in the season, but you see how the two stats aren't necessarily related.

That being said, I think BYU's ball control offense has been a significant factor in wearing down both of the Cougars' first two opponents, with a similar focus on sustained offense expected to be a factor against Florida State.

Versus Oklahoma, BYU held the ball for 14 minutes more than the Sooners, while against Tulane, BYU's edge was almost seven and a half minutes. With the Seminoles playing at altitude, the longer their defense can remain on the field in pursuit mode, the fewer chances the 'Noles offense will get to score, and the better for the Cougars.

To that point, of the teams currently in the top 20 in time of possession, eight--including BYU--are also in the top 20 in scoring defense (the Cougars are 12th).


A stat I really like is "yards per point," generally a measure of offensive efficiency. In the MWC through two games, here are the yards per point rankings; a lower number is better.

Air Force 11.3

TCU 12.7

BYU 13.0

UNLV 13.2

CSU 14.5

SDSU 14.6

Utah 17.3

Wyoming 18.1

New Mexico 25.1


Note that while Utah leads the MWC in total offense at 509 yards per game, the Utes are not as good at turning yards into points (4th in the MWC in scoring offense, at 29.5 ppg). The win at San Jose State represents the Utes issues through two games--missed field goals and turnovers, including one on downs at the opposition one-yard line.

Also note that Air Force scored 72 points against an FCS foe in week one, thus skewing its number; only TCU, BYU, Utah and New Mexico have not played an FCS team in the first two weeks.

BYU's good YPP number is thanks in large part to zero punts and only one turnover at Tulane. What is more impressive, however, is BYU's defensive YPP number.

New Mexico, for example, has a bad offense, at 25.1 YPP. BYU is allowing a YPP number of 26.7--the best in the MWC:

BYU 26.7

Air Force 23.9

UNLV 23.5

Utah 20.4

Wyoming 15.2

New Mexico 12.9

TCU 12.6

SDSU 12.3

CSU 12.1


TCU gave up "cheap points" to Virginia on the weekend in its only game so far, leading to the Frogs subpar rating (UVa scored 14 points on only 177 yards of offense).


By the way, Florida State has an offensive YPP of 15.2, and a defensive YPP of 16.7; middle-of-the-road numbers in both instances.

For comparison purposes, the nation's top-ranked team in scoring offense (Florida) has an OYPP of 10.9, while of teams which have played two games, the number one team in scoring defense (Boston College) has a DYPP of 44.3


Before I finish, the YPP Margin is the difference between the offensive and defensive YPP number, and in that measure, BYU leads the MWC (the higher the number the better). You can also see how scoring margin fairly mirrors the YPP margin:

BYU 13.7 (2nd in overall MWC scoring margin)

Air Force 12.6 (1st)

UNLV 10.3 (3rd)

Utah 3.1 (4th)

TCU -0.1 (5th)

SDSU -2.3 (7th)

CSU -2.4 (6th)

Wyoming -2.9 (8th)

New Mexico -12.2 (9th)


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