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Zion Curtain Update: BYU's D now #2

In this week's release, Football Outsiders advanced S&P+ metrics have BYU's defense at #2 in the country. We add our own simple breakdown in addition to the advanced stats.

Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

BYU's defense still continues its dominance on the field and its rise in advanced statistical measurements. Football Outsiders' latest S&P+ numbers show BYU's defense is now 2nd-best in the nation, behind only Alabama.

This ranking comes on the heels of the Zion Curtain, BYU's defense, holding its 12th-straight opponent (Utah State) under 300 yards of offense.

Football Outsiders uses advanced stats to measure success against opponents played, not just success in a statistical vacuum. Again, visit their Defensive Rankings page for more explanations.

In a continued effort to add my own perspective on this, I have broken down how BYU's opponents do against others, versus how they do against BYU. S&P+ accounts for much more depth than this, but I think this helps:

TEAM

AVG vs OTHERS

vs BYU

Plus/Minus

YDS

PTS

YDS

PTS

YDS

PTS

WASH ST

379 ypg

25.0 ppg

229 yds

6 pts

-150 yds

-19.0 pts

WEBER ST

368

18.6

254

13

-114

-5.6

UTAH

313

24.0

245

24

-68

0.00

BOISE ST

407

31

261

7

-146

-24

HAWAII

303

25.5

149

0

-154

-25.5

UTAH ST

455

28.2

243

3

-212

-25.2

TOTAL PER-GAME AVERAGE

-141 ypg

-16.55 ppg

In case I haven't made the table clear enough, it shows that BYU holds opponents to 16.55 points and 141 yards less than their usual output against all other opponents.

This week, BYU plays Oregon State, the last team to post over 300 yards on the Cougar defense (12 games ago). The Beavers' offense ranks 58th in offensive S&P+. According to football outsiders, Oregon State's offense is fairly average (due to a struggling run game, certainly), and the Beavers will be without starting quarterback Sean Mannion.