Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky football 122nd in total defense; plus more NCAA statistical rankings

Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops watched his team play against New Mexico State during the first quarter at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016.
Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops watched his team play against New Mexico State during the first quarter at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. Lexington Herald-Leader

Three weeks into the 2016 season, Kentucky ranks 122nd out of 128 FBS teams in total defense. The Cats are allowing 528 yards per game, putting them ahead of only Texas Tech (531.3), Arkansas State (532.0), Bowling Green (532.7), Hawaii (535.5), Texas State (548.5) and Rice (567.0).

Kentucky’s highest ranking in the NCAA stats belongs to pass efficiency. Believe it or not, the team that threw as many interceptions (three) as completions (three) at Florida last week is 13th nationally in pass efficiency with a rating of 170.1

Kentucky’s 692 yards of total offense in Saturday’s 62-42 win over New Mexico State moved Eddie Gran’s offense up to 68th nationally at an average of 416.7 yards per game.

New Mexico State did convert seven of 15 third-down attempts, however, leaving UK at 127th out of 128 teams in third-down defense. On the season, opponents have converted 57.7 percent of their third-down opportunities against UK.

Here are Kentucky’s national rankings in various statistical categories:

Kentucky in NCAA football statistics

Category

Rank

Average

Scoring offense

54

34.7

Total offense

68

416.7

Rushing offense

55

190.3

Pass efficiency offense

13

170.1

Third down offense

73

38.7

Scoring defense

122

43.7

Total defense

122

528.0

Rushing defense

116

243.0

Pass efficiency defense

108

151.1

Third down defense

127

57.7

Turnover margin

115

-1.3

Net punting

57

38.1

Kickoff returns

48

23.2

Kickoff return defense

19

16.4

Sacks

97

1.3

Sacks allowed

102

3.0

Penalties

76

62.3

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