By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer
Offensively, the Cats averaged 24.7 ppg in 2015. The average SEC offense in 2015 posted 28.2 ppp. UK’s offense ranked 9th with Florida (23.2 ppg), South Carolina (21.9 ppg), Vanderbilt (15.2 ppg), and Missouri (13.6 ppg) having less potent offense than the Cats. The most potent SEC offenses averaged over 30 ppg, led by Mississippi (40.9 ppg), Arkansas (35.9 ppg), Tennessee (35.2 ppg), Alabama (35.1 ppg), Mississippi State (34.4 ppg), and LSU (32.8 ppg).
This data provides two important targets for the UK offense. First, it must exceed 28 ppg to have an average to above average SEC offense, and second, it must exceed 33 ppg to have an offense worthy of the top tier of the SEC.
Defensively, the Cats averaged 27.4 ppg in 2015. The average SEC defense in 2015 allowed 22.2 ppp. UK’s defense ranked 13th with South Carolina nipping at their heels (27.5 ppg). The stingiest SEC defenses allowed less than 20 ppg, led by Alabama (15.1 ppg), Missouri (16.2 ppg), Georgia (16.9 ppg), Florida (18.3 ppg), and Tennessee (20.0 ppg).
This data provides two important targets for the UK defense. First, it must limit opponents to less than 22 ppg to have an average to above average SEC defense, and second, it must hold opponents to less than 20 ppg to have a defense worthy of the top tier of the SEC.
At present, and for most of recent history, the UK offense and defense have been under water, and in 2015, the average scoring margin for UK was -2.75 ppg. The average SEC margin in 2015 was 6.2 ppp. UK’s scoring margin in 2015 ranked 12th with Vanderbilt (-5.8 ppg), South Carolina (-5.6 ppg), and Missouri (-2.6 ppg) being the only other SEC teams below water in the SEC in 2015. The most powerful SEC teams posted an average scoring margin 10 ppg or more, led by Alabama (19.9 ppg), Mississippi (18.2 ppg), Tennessee (15.2 ppg), and Mississippi State (11.2 ppg).
This data provides two important targets for the UK. First, it must win by an average of more than 6 ppg to have an average to above average SEC football team, and second, it must defeat opponents by 10 ppg or more to have a football team worthy of the top tier of the SEC.