1. Big Ten average third-down conversion
Again, the Michigan State Spartans’ defense finished dead-last in allowing third-down conversions with opponents extending the drive 43 percent of their chances.
While it seemed like the number was more around 85 percent of the time, it was still 10 percent higher than the Big Ten average of about a third of the time.
All of these defensive statistics I’ve mentioned are related in some way. Allowing such a high completion percentage and allowing such a high average yards per completion made it a cake walk to either pick up a long third down or only have a few yards to convert. The longer the drive goes, the more tired your players are and the harder it is to get to the quarterback in time as well as staying in coverage for the backfield players.
The cliché is that your team should be built in the trenches but it’s true. An elite defensive line can make everyone else’s jobs easier. After looking up and down this roster several times, I expect this group to be better with the experience and new talent heading into the 2023 season.