By: Ryan Moreland (@ryanmoreland)
We are just a few hours from the opening kickoff of the Season 16 Championship game. These are the two teams we all thought would be here in the preseason, but only one will come out on top. Before we get to the game, let’s take a look at the stats behind these teams.
|Regular Season SOS||.391||.469|
|Post Season SOS||.531||.576|
There is no doubt that both of these teams have done enough to prove they belong here (hell, they both have now beaten the third-best team in the CFSL). But as you can see from the chart above, Oklahoma State did have a slightly harder road to get to this point. This obviously won’t account for much tonight, but it is an important stat to know as we look at the numbers that follow.
Also worth noting, only two other teams (Miami and Alabama) have net points over 100 and neither is above 223.
|Points Per Game||49.8 (1st)||42.6 (3rd)|
|Yards Per Game||517.8 (2nd)||468.2 (6th)|
|3rd Down %||43% (t-3rd)||39% (t-9th)|
|Turnovers||21 (t-17th)||26 (t-23rd)|
|Points per Redzone Attempt||5.1 (t-5th)||4.9 (t-11th)|
Both of these offenses enjoyed fantastic seasons, but the clear edge here goes to Kentucky. Taking into account that Oklahoma State had a harder schedule can explain small gaps in some of these numbers (like points per redzone trip), but not the larger gaps (like yards per game). The Wildcats are simply a step ahead of the Cowboys on offense.
It is also interesting to note that both teams have struggled with turnovers. This is not what we would expect out of championship-caliber teams. However, both teams live and die by the pass, and the air raid offense will lead to turnovers.
|Points Allowed Per Game||18.3 (2nd)||13.5 (1st)|
|Yards Allowed Per Game||324.3 (2nd)||226.3 (1st)|
|3rd%||27% (2nd)||24% (1st)|
|Sacks||63 (3rd)||92 (1st)|
|Turnovers Forced||26 (4th)||33 (1st)|
|Points Allowed per Redzone Attempt||3.9 (t-2nd)||3.9 (t-2nd)|
These two defenses have been striking fear into the heart of opponents all season long. While they both have had stellar seasons, the clear edge goes to the Cowboys. The fact that they are first in almost every defensive stat category is hard to ignore.
An interesting note is a disparity in sack totals. Miami wasn’t far behind Oklahoma State with 86 sacks this season, but after those two the number drops considerably. The difference between Oklahoma State and Kentucky is roughly 2.5 sacks per game.
Kentucky has a slight edge offensively. Oklahoma State holds the same advantage on the other side of the ball. Both teams have had great special teams play as well. This should be an absolute battle for the CFSL Crown. The stats give us some insight into this match-up, but the numbers can’t tell us who will win. For that, we will have to tune in tonight at 7 P.M. CST on Twitch.