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BYU football by the numbers: Comparing the offense in 2018 vs. 2017

What do the numbers reveal about BYU’s offense in 2018?

NCAA Football: Potato Bowl-Brigham Young vs Western Michigan Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

BYU football’s 2018 offense was largely below average compared to the rest of college football, but it still made measured improvement from the 2017 offense.

Here is how the 2018 season compared to the 2017 season (both seasons had 13 games).

Strength of Schedule — Sagarin Rankings

2017: 74

2018: 68

BYU’s 2018 slate was slightly more difficult compared to 2017. BYU played five Power 5 teams this season and four Power 5 teams in 2017.

Points per game

2017: 17.1

2018: 27.2

Although the 27.2 ppg barely sits in the top 80 of FBS teams, it’s a big improvement from the horrendous 17.1 ppg BYU put up under Ty Detmer’s final season.

BYU scored more than 45 points on 3 occasions in 2018, something it failed to do once in 2017. Zach Wilson accounted for all three of the 45-plus point outings.

Red Zone Efficiency

Red Zone Scoring Percentage

2017: 74% (28-38)

2018: 85% (44-52)

Red Zone Touchdown Percentage

2017: 45% (17-38)

2018: 69% (36-52)

Red zone is efficiency is where BYU’s offense may have seen the biggest improvement. Not only did BYU score points more often, but they scored 19 more touchdowns in the red zone and more than doubled what they did in 2017.

Total Offense

2017: 325.2 ypg

2018: 364.9 ypg

Passing Offense

Passing Yards

2017: 2,530; 194.6 ypg

2018: 2,753; 211.8 ypg

Passing TDs

2017: 13

2018: 18

Average Per Pass

2017: 6.1 yards

2018: 7.4 yards

Average Per Catch

2017: 11.1 yards

2018: 11.7 yards

Rushing Offense

Total Yards

2017: 1,697; 130.5 ypg

2018: 1,991; 153.1 ypg

Rushing TDs

2017: 12

2018: 27

Yards per rush

2017: 4.2

2018: 4.1

Third Down Conversion Percentage

2017: 36%

2018: 37%

Third down efficiency is one of the offense’s biggest areas of opportunity moving forward. With Zach Wilson’s mobility, 4 starters on the offensive line returning and another year under Jeff Grimes’ system, an improvement in third down efficiency should be expected.

Turnovers

Interceptions:

2017: 19

2018: 7

Jeff Grimes wanted an offense that took care of the ball, and BYU greatly improved on not throwing interceptions. Tanner Mangum threw 4 picks and Zach Wilson threw 3.

Fumbles:

2017: 8

2018: 10

Conclusion

Although BYU’s offense has a lot to improve on in 2019, the progress from the disastrous 2017 season should be encouraging.

With Zach Wilson back for his sophomore season, most of the top pass-catchers returning, four offensive line starters back and another year with Jeff Grimes’ system, another leap in offensive production should happen in 2019.