2013 college football defensive line rankings: Who stood up to run blocking or rushed the passer best?

Kirk Irwin

If we can use line stats to judge offenses, we can do the same to judge defenses, right?

All relevant disclaimers apply -- these numbers judge linebackers almost as much as defensive linemen, etc. -- but again, I figure we can learn quite a bit about the quality of a team's front three, four, six, or seven using these stats, so here they are.

And once again, here are the relevant definitions.

Adj. Line Yards: An opponent-adjusted version of the line measure derived from the formula found here. The idea is to divvy credit for a given rush between both the runner and the blockers.

Standard Downs: First downs, second-and-6 or fewer, third-and-4 or fewer, and fourth-and-4 or fewer. These are the downs in which the offense could conceivably either run or pass and therefore has an overall advantage over the defense. Offenses typically run about 60 percent of the time on standard downs.

Passing Downs: Second-and-7 or more, third-and-5 or more, or fourth-and-5 or more. These are downs in which passing is easily the most likely option for gaining the necessary yardage, and defenses hold the upper hand. Offenses typically throw about 67 percent of the time on passing downs.

Opportunity Rate: This is the percentage of carries in which the offensive line "does its job" and produces at least five yards of rushing for the runner. (Generally speaking, the first five yards are considered the line's responsibility, the next five are split evenly between the runner and the line, and anything over 10 yards is all on the runner.) See Highlight Yards and Adj. Line Yards for more information.

Power Success Rate: As used in Football Outsiders' pro line stats, this is the percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown. Also includes runs on first-and-goal or second-and-goal from the two-yard line or closer.

Stuff Rate: This is the percentage of runs where the runner is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage. Since being stuffed is bad, offenses are ranked from stuffed least often (No. 1) to most often (No. 125); for defenses, the opposite is true.

Adj. Sack Rate: An opponent-adjusted measure of sack rates.

Sortable tables below. And again, Adj. Line Yards and Adj. Sack Rate are opponent-adjusted measures. The other stats below are not.

Hello there, Utah State and Toledo.

Defense Adj LY Rk SD LY/
Carry
Rk PD LY/
Carry
Rk Opp. Rate Rk Power
Succ. Rt.
Rk Stuff Rate Rk
Utah State 135.6 1 2.25 2 2.76 17 30.4% 3 65.5% 56 24.4% 11
Michigan State 132.2 2 2.27 3 2.13 3 30.1% 2 44.4% 2 25.2% 7
Virginia Tech 130.2 3 2.30 6 2.56 12 29.6% 1 58.1% 17 24.1% 15
Stanford 127.6 4 2.28 4 2.77 20 34.6% 22 57.1% 13 26.6% 4
Alabama 125.8 5 2.91 58 1.95 1 33.2% 13 69.0% 77 19.3% 60
Ole Miss 123.8 6 2.67 30 3.01 31 36.5% 38 75.6% 103 21.8% 30
Florida State 122.7 7 2.54 16 2.72 16 30.8% 4 78.6% 112 19.0% 65
Tulane 121.6 8 2.29 5 2.51 10 32.9% 9 43.8% 1 29.0% 1
Clemson 121.4 9 2.63 26 2.46 9 31.7% 6 58.1% 17 25.1% 9
Pittsburgh 120.2 10 2.92 60 2.28 4 38.1% 48 77.4% 107 22.2% 25
Oklahoma State 118.9 11 2.61 23 2.31 5 34.8% 26 58.7% 20 25.5% 6
Arizona State 118.5 12 2.33 7 3.28 63 35.7% 30 58.7% 20 24.3% 14
Penn State 117.9 13 2.61 23 2.43 6 34.7% 24 61.5% 31 22.3% 24
Iowa 117.6 14 2.73 38 2.89 25 35.2% 27 65.9% 60 22.2% 25
California 117.1 15 2.68 31 3.66 100 38.4% 54 59.6% 22 22.9% 19
Memphis 117.1 15 2.54 16 2.64 14 35.6% 29 72.5% 94 23.9% 16
Wisconsin 116.8 17 2.52 14 3.15 48 36.1% 33 61.4% 29 19.5% 58
Florida 116.4 18 2.89 55 2.53 11 40.5% 80 65.7% 59 21.4% 33
Virginia 115.7 19 2.70 36 2.96 29 37.6% 45 57.1% 13 22.9% 19
Utah 114.7 20 2.80 43 2.61 13 34.7% 24 63.6% 40 21.0% 41
BYU 114.2 21 2.54 16 3.01 31 32.9% 9 55.3% 7 22.5% 22
TCU 114.2 21 2.33 7 3.06 40 33.2% 13 68.0% 71 24.7% 10
Colorado State 113.6 23 2.56 19 3.09 42 33.9% 17 62.0% 33 19.7% 54
Missouri 113.3 24 2.84 47 3.54 88 40.0% 74 65.5% 56 19.5% 58
Mississippi State 113.1 25 2.92 60 3.13 45 34.1% 20 64.1% 43 18.6% 73
Louisville 111.8 26 2.38 9 2.45 8 32.2% 8 52.9% 5 27.5% 3
South Florida 111.8 26 2.50 12 2.65 15 41.2% 85 57.6% 15 28.6% 2
Georgia 110.9 28 2.93 63 3.08 41 34.2% 21 80.0% 115 19.3% 60
Baylor 110.5 29 2.53 15 2.94 27 33.5% 16 63.3% 39 24.4% 11
San Diego State 110.5 29 2.66 28 3.34 69 36.1% 33 69.0% 77 18.8% 69
Rutgers 109.5 31 2.50 12 3.11 43 31.4% 5 80.0% 115 21.2% 37
Syracuse 109.0 32 2.69 34 2.79 22 40.6% 82 62.5% 36 22.8% 21
Hawaii 108.8 33 2.88 50 2.76 17 39.2% 65 61.5% 31 22.5% 22
Auburn 108.1 34 3.03 76 3.73 105 41.8% 94 70.5% 86 22.0% 27
Maryland 107.8 35 2.80 43 2.04 2 36.3% 36 51.3% 3 19.7% 54
Connecticut 107.7 36 2.43 10 2.43 6 31.7% 6 66.7% 62 25.2% 7
Boise State 107.6 37 2.68 31 3.48 83 39.1% 63 56.7% 11 21.2% 37
USC 107.4 38 2.58 22 3.22 55 38.3% 53 64.5% 47 18.3% 77
LSU 107.0 39 3.02 73 3.27 61 40.9% 83 64.4% 46 18.6% 73
West Virginia 106.7 40 2.43 10 3.60 96 35.8% 31 60.0% 24 23.0% 17
Wake Forest 106.1 41 2.71 37 3.02 34 36.0% 32 75.5% 102 21.9% 28
South Carolina 105.1 42 2.85 48 3.58 94 41.7% 92 58.5% 19 20.5% 45
North Texas 104.9 43 2.57 21 3.04 38 33.0% 11 60.7% 26 21.4% 33
Arizona 104.8 44 2.74 40 3.23 57 35.3% 28 76.0% 104 20.8% 43
Buffalo 104.6 45 2.78 41 3.16 49 37.9% 47 71.0% 88 21.6% 32
Michigan 104.6 45 3.02 73 2.92 26 36.8% 41 69.8% 82 18.5% 76
Rice 103.9 47 2.56 19 3.76 107 37.1% 43 57.8% 16 19.0% 65
Fresno State 103.6 48 2.63 26 3.26 60 33.1% 12 63.6% 40 23.0% 17
Indiana 103.4 49 3.13 92 3.35 70 47.2% 120 64.8% 50 16.0% 101
Washington State 102.9 50 2.99 69 3.54 88 40.0% 74 65.6% 58 18.7% 72
Idaho 102.3 51 3.11 88 3.72 103 46.7% 118 67.4% 67 15.3% 109
Texas 101.9 52 3.07 82 3.16 49 38.6% 57 69.2% 80 19.9% 50
Cincinnati 101.7 53 2.24 1 3.50 84 36.3% 36 60.0% 24 19.8% 52
Southern Miss 101.6 54 2.61 23 3.80 112 41.0% 84 72.7% 95 20.2% 47
Akron 101.5 55 2.73 38 3.90 115 36.7% 39 65.1% 52 21.1% 40
Florida Atlantic 101.3 56 2.92 60 2.78 21 38.2% 49 56.7% 11 20.6% 44
Tennessee 100.6 57 3.25 101 3.12 44 44.2% 110 82.9% 123 17.4% 86
Minnesota 100.1 58 2.86 49 3.00 30 38.9% 60 56.0% 10 24.4% 11
Houston 100.0 59 2.81 45 3.18 53 38.2% 49 68.6% 74 21.0% 41
Troy 100.0 59 2.88 50 3.30 64 37.7% 46 65.1% 52 19.2% 63
Vanderbilt 99.7 61 2.69 34 4.11 123 42.1% 97 70.2% 84 20.1% 48
Georgia Tech 99.1 62 3.10 87 2.88 24 38.7% 58 77.8% 109 20.1% 48
Illinois 99.1 62 3.12 90 3.66 100 43.2% 106 64.7% 49 17.0% 93
NC State 98.9 64 3.02 73 2.95 28 40.1% 76 72.7% 95 21.2% 37
Oklahoma 98.6 65 2.90 57 3.42 76 36.2% 35 75.0% 99 15.1% 112
Washington 98.5 66 3.35 111 3.02 34 41.6% 91 68.6% 74 14.8% 114
UCLA 98.4 67 2.88 50 3.99 121 39.6% 69 55.6% 9 16.3% 97
Western Kentucky 98.4 67 2.97 68 3.27 61 37.2% 44 67.2% 63 17.3% 88
Boston College 98.3 69 3.00 71 3.20 54 38.9% 60 64.6% 48 15.9% 102
Texas A&M 98.3 69 3.41 118 3.91 117 46.2% 117 53.3% 6 17.8% 83
North Carolina 98.1 71 3.13 92 3.31 66 39.1% 63 59.6% 22 19.3% 60
Toledo 98.0 72 3.28 102 3.43 77 41.8% 94 65.3% 54 16.5% 95
Notre Dame 96.9 73 3.11 88 3.77 108 41.5% 88 62.8% 37 17.2% 89
East Carolina 96.7 74 2.68 31 3.32 67 33.3% 15 69.4% 81 19.0% 65
Oregon 96.4 75 3.06 79 3.16 49 34.0% 19 80.0% 115 13.3% 123
Tulsa 96.2 76 3.06 79 3.47 80 38.8% 59 71.2% 89 21.3% 36
Northwestern 95.7 77 3.09 85 3.50 84 42.5% 103 71.4% 90 17.2% 89
SMU 95.7 77 2.88 50 3.17 52 41.7% 92 64.2% 44 20.3% 46
Purdue 95.5 79 3.38 115 3.61 97 49.7% 124 77.4% 107 14.8% 114
Arkansas 95.4 80 3.37 113 3.58 94 44.1% 109 75.0% 99 16.2% 99
Marshall 95.4 80 2.81 45 2.86 23 33.9% 17 76.0% 104 19.0% 65
UTSA 95.4 80 3.19 96 3.13 45 39.7% 70 87.9% 125 15.2% 110
Florida International 94.9 83 2.95 66 3.94 118 39.9% 73 80.6% 119 18.8% 69
Colorado 94.6 84 2.91 58 3.85 114 42.3% 101 70.0% 83 17.2% 89
Oregon State 94.6 84 3.12 90 3.36 71 41.9% 96 65.9% 60 19.6% 56
Bowling Green 94.4 86 2.94 64 3.78 109 40.1% 76 61.2% 28 19.9% 50
Navy 94.1 87 3.34 110 3.79 111 45.4% 116 78.4% 111 14.4% 118
Nebraska 94.0 88 3.05 78 3.04 38 38.2% 49 61.4% 29 19.6% 56
UL-Lafayette 94.0 88 2.78 41 3.52 86 41.5% 88 63.0% 38 21.9% 28
Iowa State 93.9 90 3.03 76 3.55 90 40.5% 80 62.3% 34 15.8% 103
Kentucky 92.7 91 3.31 107 3.47 80 42.2% 98 81.8% 121 16.7% 94
Arkansas State 92.5 92 3.17 95 3.65 99 42.2% 98 64.0% 42 17.4% 86
Kansas State 92.4 93 2.95 66 3.30 64 38.4% 54 64.2% 44 21.4% 33
Army 92.1 94 3.30 104 3.64 98 43.0% 105 67.3% 64 16.3% 97
UL-Monroe 92.0 95 3.07 82 3.36 71 42.2% 98 67.6% 68 21.7% 31
Ohio State 91.8 96 2.99 69 3.14 47 36.8% 41 62.3% 34 18.2% 80
Texas State 91.8 96 2.94 64 3.23 57 34.6% 22 73.5% 97 15.0% 113
Central Florida 91.5 98 2.88 50 3.33 68 41.2% 85 52.8% 4 25.9% 5
UNLV 91.5 98 3.07 82 3.55 90 39.5% 68 67.3% 64 16.4% 96
Texas Tech 91.3 100 3.00 71 3.75 106 39.3% 66 61.1% 27 19.8% 52
South Alabama 91.0 101 3.22 99 3.67 102 39.7% 70 71.4% 90 15.5% 106
Ball State 90.5 102 3.20 98 3.78 109 40.3% 78 67.8% 70 15.8% 103
Georgia State 90.5 102 3.09 85 3.47 80 41.3% 87 74.6% 98 16.2% 99
Wyoming 90.5 102 3.33 109 3.44 78 43.5% 107 70.2% 84 14.8% 114
Middle Tennessee 90.4 105 3.24 100 3.46 79 39.7% 70 79.0% 113 13.7% 122
Louisiana Tech 90.3 106 2.89 55 3.24 59 38.9% 60 79.2% 114 18.3% 77
Temple 90.3 106 2.66 28 4.32 126 39.3% 66 55.3% 7 19.1% 64
Duke 89.8 108 3.37 113 3.22 55 44.3% 111 69.0% 77 14.5% 117
San Jose State 89.5 109 3.30 104 3.94 118 43.8% 108 81.8% 121 15.4% 107
Kansas 89.4 110 3.19 96 3.57 93 40.4% 79 67.7% 69 18.3% 77
Air Force 88.1 111 3.54 121 3.72 103 42.9% 104 78.0% 110 14.4% 118
Miami 87.3 112 3.32 108 3.02 34 36.7% 39 77.1% 106 14.4% 118
UAB 87.2 113 3.14 94 3.39 74 42.3% 101 68.8% 76 18.6% 73
Western Michigan 87.2 113 3.38 115 3.53 87 44.6% 112 67.3% 64 17.1% 92
Massachusetts 86.4 115 3.38 115 3.01 31 45.1% 115 64.9% 51 17.5% 85
Kent State 86.2 116 3.54 121 2.76 17 47.0% 119 80.6% 119 15.4% 107
Nevada 86.2 116 3.54 121 3.94 118 47.4% 122 87.9% 125 18.0% 81
Northern Illinois 85.8 118 3.29 103 3.36 71 38.4% 54 70.9% 87 12.8% 125
New Mexico 85.0 119 3.52 120 3.82 113 44.6% 112 83.0% 124 13.3% 123
UTEP 84.7 120 3.44 119 4.09 122 48.6% 123 71.4% 90 15.7% 105
Central Michigan 84.3 121 3.58 125 3.03 37 41.5% 88 71.4% 90 17.8% 83
Eastern Michigan 83.8 122 3.36 112 4.19 124 44.6% 112 68.1% 72 12.5% 126
Old Dominion 82.8 123 3.54 121 3.39 74 51.1% 126 68.4% 73 17.9% 82
Ohio 80.2 124 3.06 79 4.22 125 38.2% 49 80.0% 115 15.2% 110
New Mexico State 79.3 125 3.83 126 3.56 92 47.2% 120 75.0% 99 13.8% 121
Miami (Ohio) 78.7 126 3.30 104 3.90 115 51.0% 125 65.4% 55 18.8% 69

Defense Adj Sack Rate Rk SD Sack Rate Rk PD Sack Rate Rk
Toledo 171.9 1 8.2% 3 13.0% 1
Arizona State 170.5 2 6.7% 21 10.1% 12
Clemson 169.6 3 6.9% 18 12.9% 2
South Alabama 166.4 4 8.7% 2 10.8% 6
Virginia Tech 164.0 5 11.9% 1 7.8% 41
Oklahoma 161.4 6 5.5% 41 9.6% 17
Tulane 158.6 7 6.7% 21 10.7% 8
Louisville 155.9 8 8.0% 6 11.8% 3
Buffalo 150.7 9 7.5% 8 10.8% 6
Texas 150.3 10 4.8% 53 11.6% 4
Nebraska 138.5 11 8.2% 3 9.1% 20
TCU 137.5 12 7.4% 11 7.2% 56
Utah State 133.2 13 5.7% 38 7.8% 41
Stanford 131.5 14 6.8% 19 7.5% 51
USC 129.8 15 5.9% 30 8.2% 36
Washington 129.6 16 5.0% 50 11.0% 5
Michigan State 129.5 17 6.0% 27 9.0% 23
Bowling Green 129.4 18 4.4% 66 8.7% 27
Georgia 128.6 19 7.2% 14 8.0% 38
North Carolina 127.3 20 5.8% 33 8.7% 27
Georgia Tech 126.4 21 8.1% 5 6.3% 75
Boston College 126.3 22 5.7% 38 9.8% 15
Utah 124.8 23 7.5% 8 7.1% 57
Eastern Michigan 124.7 24 5.0% 50 9.0% 23
Arkansas 123.6 25 7.2% 14 8.1% 37
Florida Atlantic 120.6 26 7.3% 13 9.7% 16
LSU 120.4 27 5.6% 40 6.9% 61
Idaho 120.2 28 5.8% 33 6.1% 80
Hawaii 119.9 29 5.8% 33 6.9% 61
Oregon 119.2 30 6.5% 24 5.8% 88
South Carolina 119.1 31 5.8% 33 6.7% 65
Fresno State 116.6 32 4.9% 52 10.3% 10
Tulsa 116.6 32 7.4% 11 6.7% 65
UCLA 113.3 34 3.9% 77 9.1% 20
Pittsburgh 113.0 35 3.4% 96 9.6% 17
North Texas 113.0 35 6.1% 26 6.0% 83
Kentucky 112.9 37 4.6% 56 9.2% 19
Virginia 111.9 38 5.4% 45 7.8% 41
Auburn 111.0 39 2.6% 112 10.0% 13
Ohio 111.0 39 5.8% 33 8.0% 38
Missouri 110.9 41 3.6% 88 7.8% 41
Ball State 109.9 42 4.5% 60 6.4% 71
Ohio State 109.7 43 5.5% 41 7.1% 57
Northern Illinois 109.4 44 5.9% 30 5.8% 88
Kent State 109.2 45 5.9% 30 5.1% 101
Memphis 108.3 46 7.1% 16 5.0% 103
Colorado State 107.8 47 5.4% 45 6.7% 65
East Carolina 107.4 48 3.6% 88 10.3% 10
Purdue 105.8 49 2.8% 108 7.4% 53
Vanderbilt 105.4 50 4.0% 75 8.6% 29
Army 105.4 50 2.7% 110 10.5% 9
Middle Tennessee 105.2 52 4.8% 53 8.8% 25
Florida 104.9 53 5.3% 47 4.9% 105
Penn State 104.3 54 6.0% 27 5.9% 86
Iowa 104.3 54 4.2% 70 7.7% 46
Miami 103.9 56 5.2% 49 7.7% 46
Akron 103.3 57 6.8% 19 5.3% 96
Florida State 103.1 58 7.1% 16 6.7% 65
Maryland 102.1 59 5.5% 41 7.8% 41
Cincinnati 101.0 60 3.9% 77 9.9% 14
Rutgers 99.4 61 3.8% 81 6.4% 71
South Florida 99.0 62 4.6% 56 7.5% 51
Northwestern 98.2 63 3.8% 81 7.6% 49
Oregon State 97.4 64 5.3% 47 6.3% 75
Kansas State 97.2 65 3.7% 87 6.8% 63
Wisconsin 96.6 66 4.4% 66 8.3% 35
Michigan 95.8 67 4.1% 72 6.4% 71
New Mexico 95.4 68 6.2% 25 4.1% 112
Tennessee 95.3 69 2.7% 110 8.5% 33
Houston 93.9 70 6.6% 23 5.2% 97
Wyoming 93.7 71 4.2% 70 7.0% 59
Boise State 93.3 72 3.8% 81 6.8% 63
Texas Tech 92.7 73 4.5% 60 5.5% 93
Troy 92.4 74 4.6% 56 6.1% 80
Baylor 92.1 75 4.1% 72 5.0% 103
Kansas 91.5 76 4.5% 60 5.5% 93
BYU 91.3 77 3.3% 99 6.3% 75
UNLV 91.3 77 2.1% 117 9.1% 20
Central Michigan 91.2 79 2.4% 113 8.6% 29
Arkansas State 90.0 80 3.6% 88 6.4% 71
Old Dominion 90.0 80 4.5% 60 8.8% 25
SMU 89.3 82 3.6% 88 7.7% 46
Marshall 88.3 83 4.8% 53 6.0% 83
Duke 88.1 84 3.1% 105 7.3% 54
Mississippi State 87.6 85 4.1% 72 6.2% 78
Syracuse 87.5 86 7.7% 7 5.2% 97
Nevada 87.4 87 4.5% 60 4.9% 105
Iowa State 87.3 88 2.0% 120 6.2% 78
UTEP 86.6 89 2.4% 113 7.9% 40
Central Florida 86.3 90 3.6% 88 7.6% 49
San Diego State 86.0 91 3.8% 81 5.4% 95
Rice 85.7 92 3.6% 88 6.0% 83
Florida International 84.8 93 3.9% 77 6.5% 70
Western Kentucky 84.3 94 6.0% 27 4.6% 109
UTSA 84.0 95 2.1% 117 8.6% 29
Wake Forest 83.2 96 4.5% 60 5.7% 90
NC State 82.5 97 1.9% 122 8.4% 34
Minnesota 82.0 98 3.1% 105 5.9% 86
Louisiana Tech 81.7 99 7.5% 8 4.8% 107
Indiana 81.5 100 3.3% 99 8.6% 29
Washington State 79.8 101 3.2% 102 6.1% 80
Ole Miss 79.2 102 4.6% 56 3.8% 115
Alabama 78.8 103 3.5% 94 4.2% 111
San Jose State 72.6 104 3.2% 102 5.6% 91
West Virginia 72.4 105 3.4% 96 3.6% 118
Arizona 72.3 106 3.3% 99 5.2% 97
UL-Lafayette 72.3 106 4.4% 66 3.6% 118
Notre Dame 72.2 108 5.5% 41 4.5% 110
Texas A&M 70.8 109 4.4% 66 3.2% 121
Air Force 69.3 110 1.8% 123 7.3% 54
Georgia State 67.8 111 1.2% 126 6.7% 65
UL-Monroe 67.3 112 3.8% 81 3.6% 118
Oklahoma State 65.0 113 2.9% 107 4.1% 112
Illinois 63.6 114 2.2% 115 5.6% 91
Texas State 62.6 115 2.2% 115 5.2% 97
Miami (Ohio) 62.0 116 2.0% 120 5.1% 101
UAB 59.0 117 2.1% 117 7.0% 59
Connecticut 56.8 118 3.4% 96 4.0% 114
California 56.5 119 4.0% 75 2.4% 125
Southern Miss 56.5 119 3.9% 77 2.7% 123
Temple 56.3 121 3.5% 94 3.7% 116
Colorado 56.0 122 3.8% 81 2.5% 124
Navy 51.1 123 1.7% 124 3.7% 116
Western Michigan 46.0 124 1.4% 125 3.0% 122
New Mexico State 45.1 125 2.8% 108 4.8% 107
Massachusetts 43.0 126 3.2% 102 2.4% 125

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