Oklahoma State Cruising in Big 12 Points Per Drive but Struggling on Defense

Written by Kyle Porter

We are a whole 10 games into the Big 12 season, but it’s time to overreact to some early numbers. I went back and tallied up the first 272 drives of conference play and discovered a few things about Oklahoma State (and other teams).

Let’s look at the good (for OSU) first. Again, these charts and numbers illustrated only Big 12 games, not the entire season.

Offensive Points Per Drive (B12 Only)
Team Drives Points PPD
Oklahoma 24 80 3.33
Oklahoma State 24 72 3.00
Texas Tech 29 86 2.97
West Virginia 26 73 2.81
TCU 27 75 2.78
Kansas State 26 67 2.58
Baylor 26 60 2.31
Texas 28 58 2.07
Iowa State 23 44 1.91
Kansas 33 54 1.64

I should note that none of my numbers include pick-sixes or kickoff or punt returns, for example. That removed six total drives from the first 272 in Big 12 play.

It’s pretty interesting to me that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State — presumed to be two of the faster teams in the league — have the two of the three fewest total offensive drives of all teams in the conference.

Texas Tech has been impressive. Texas Tech has also played Kansas.

Here is how those numbers look on a chart.

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 1.34.05 PM.jpg

Now let’s take a look at defense.

Defensive Points Per Drive (B12 Only)
Team Drives Points PPD
Texas 28 41 1.46
Iowa State 24 48 2.00
Texas Tech 29 61 2.10
West Virginia 30 65 2.17
TCU 24 55 2.29
Kansas State 25 61 2.44
Oklahoma State 25 71 2.84
Oklahoma 25 77 3.08
Baylor 25 82 3.28
Kansas 31 108 3.48

Not great for the Pokes (or the Sooners). They are in Baylor/Kansas territory. Two teams that have combined for one win in nine tries. And this isn’t me trying to show you how lousy Oklahoma State’s defense has been compared to Alabama because of points per game allowed. This is tempo-free points per drive allowed, and the Cowboys need to be a lot better. Also, for all of you pointing out that OSU’s defense hasn’t been very good thus far (and there are many of you), this is a post you should be referencing.

Here’s the graph.

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 1.34.11 PM.jpg

Texas has a chance, albeit not a great one, to finish first in the league in defensive PPD and last in offensive PPD. I don’t know what that equates to at the end of the season in terms of record, but it’s at least on the table.

Net Points Per Drive (B12 Only)
Team Net PPD
Texas Tech 0.86
West Virginia 0.64
Texas 0.61
TCU 0.49
Oklahoma 0.25
Oklahoma State 0.16
Kansas State 0.14
Iowa State -0.09
Baylor -0.97
Kansas -1.85

Texas Tech, eh? Again, they’ve played Kansas, but that’s still a pretty potent number. These figures will widen and gain context as the season progresses, but now we have a base for looking at Big 12-only games and arguing about which offenses and defense in the league are good and bad.

  • dooley23

    2 games is hardly enough context to judge a team. Sample size is still far too small

  • Chino_05

    One reason that OU and OSU have fewer total drives may be because their opponents are strategically trying to slow the game down by playing keep-away. Comparing time of possession would somewhat verify that idea.

  • Mark

    So net PPD is showing we should win each game by one point at the last possible minute. So basically the same team we’ve been watching for the last three years LOL.