Chart: Most improved in turnover margin, 3rd down and red zone

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday January 23, 2017

Some takeaways:

- UCF, Missouri and Vanderbilt were among the most improved scoring offenses, in part because of their improvements in turnover margin, red zone and 3rd down.

- The most improved scoring defenses also on this chart include LSU, Eastern Michigan, Kansas, Indiana, UCF, Arkansas State, South Alabama and Auburn.

- UCF is all over this chart after going 0-12 last year. The Knights are among the biggest turnover margin increases, as well as improvements in 3rd down D, red zone offense and red zone defense.

- Michigan State went from the Playoff to 3-9 in part because they had a sharp drop in key stats. Along with the third-largest TO margin decrease, they had the fifth-largest 3rd down offense decrease, their 3rd down defense went up by 7.3 percent, and their red zone offense decreased by 11.4 percent.

- The LSU defense’s 24.2 red zone touchdown percentage is the lowest for any team since at least 2008 (as far back as the stats go). And coordinator Dave Aranda is coming back next year.

- In Tommy Tuberville’s last three years, Cincinnati went from +2 to -19 to +1 in turnover margin.

- Washington and Western Michigan led the nation with a +18 turnover. Washington led with 33 takeaways, while WMU’s 8 giveaways were the fewest in the country.

- Navy was among the biggest decreases in turnover margin, but they still finished with a positive margin. The Midshipmen have also led the country in red zone offense for two straight years. Their 79.7 touchdown percentage was the highest of any team since Ohio State in 2013. Navy also led the nation in 3rd down offense.

2017 offseason studies

Most improved scoring offenses

Most improved scoring defenses

Most improved rushing offenses

Most improved rushing defenses

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to