Comparing LSU and Alabama’s Defenses Using the ‘Positive Impact Factor’: Fan’s Report

The traditional passer rating doesn't include rushing statistics so it can't capture the option play LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson used to set up the game-winning field goal in the first meeting. using my Positive Impact Factor (PIF) rating system, which does include rushing stats, can give us a broader look at how well each team did against quarterbacks this season, no matter their tendency.

In the first game in November, LSU's quarterbacks, Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson, combined for just a 17.9 PIF out of 100. Alabama's A.J. McCarron posted a PIF of 36.7. What's hidden in LSU's average is that Jefferson, who had more touches than Lee, had a 76.2. Jefferson exposed something that stood out during Alabama's season as a whole: mobile quarterbacks tended to have more success against the Tide.

How did the two teams rank against each other? LSU's defense held opposing quarterbacks to a PIF of 27 while Alabama held quarterbacks to a 36.2. Both teams forced opposing quarterbacks to throw interceptions on at least 7.3% of their incompletions and lose fumbles on 2% of their carries. LSU is better than Alabama in both categories (8.7%, 4.7%). LSU also holds opposing quarterbacks to a touchdown on only 1.38% of their touches vs. Alabama's 1.44%. Both sets of numbers are great but LSU has the edge across the board.

If these trends hold up, expect to see more quarterback turnovers in the BCS National Championship game on Monday night.

As an LSU fan, I'd like the Tigers to play as well against A.J. McCarron as they did the first time, but I have no illusions about LSU holding the Tide without a passing touchdown again.

More from Patrick Johnston:

LSU's Les Miles wins Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award

LSU's 2012 schedule includes eight home games

Gunner Kiel commits to LSU

Sources:

Patrick Johnston, "What is the Positive Impact Factor?", Big East Coast Bias.com

Stats from LSU Sports.net and Roll Tide.com

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Updated Jan 8, 8:17 pm EST

Comparing LSU and Alabama’s Defenses Using the ‘Positive Impact Factor’: Fan’s Report


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