2019 College Football: Negative Run Differential & its impact on Wins

Ask any football coach what the corner stone of a winning program is and you will be sure to hear the following, We must be able to


1) Run the Ball

2) Stop the Run


Sure we are in a pass happy era of college football & throwing the football is more important than ever but if you can't effectively run the ball as well as stop the run, you will have a hard time sustaining success. I decided to look back at the 2019 season and see just how the the running game on both sides of the ball impacts Winning.


Below you will see a table that shows the following: Rush Yards Per Game, Defensive Rush Yards Allowed Per Game, Win total for the 2019 season and the Rush Differential. The Rush Differential is simply the Average Offensive Rush Yards per Game - (minus) the Defensive Rush Yards Allowed per Game. After creating this table, It was filtered to show any team that had a Negative Rush Differential. This means that the teams listed below on Average give up more Rush yards per game to their opponent than they Rush for themselves (Usually not a great recipe for success).


As you will see from the table below, giving up more rush yards per game than gained clearly stacks the odds of winning against you. In fact, only 13 teams in the FBS were able to achieve 7 wins or more when allowing more rushing yards per game to their opponents than they gained themselves


UMASS & Akron were the worst in the FBS with a rush differential of -174.5 & -165.92

Out of all FBS teams, 58 teams gave up more Rush yards per game game than gained. The average number of Wins per team on this list is only 4.6. Yes that's right only 4.6 wins on average, not even enough to get you to a bowl game.


I hope you enjoyed this look at how the run game on both sides of the ball impacted wins during the 2019 season. This alone should give your team some extra incentive to work on the run game during spring ball.


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