Texas A&M Football: Advanced stats and the Aggie defense

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Lastly, I’d like to take a look at the Havoc stat. Aside from having a truly amazing name, havoc is the measure of tackles for loss, passes defended, and forced fumbles, divided by total plays.

Havoc Rate is expressed as a percentage, and the national average for 2017 is right around 15 percent. Texas A&M, however, has a Havoc Rate of 18.7 percent, meaning they are the 26th best team in the country at creating havoc around the field. The leaders in this stat are Wisconsin, Michigan, Alabama, South Florida, and UTSA. Havoc does not mean a defense is great alone, as fumbles can be pretty random, and the stat is not opponent adjusted, but it is telling.

The 2016 Aggies, led by Myles Garrett, had a Havoc Rate of 18.9 percent. It is simply amazing that the Aggies can replace one of the best pass rushers to ever set foot on campus, the other defensive end (who was also pretty good), and have only a slight decrease in overall havoc. The 2016 defense would have two more plays out of 1000 in a situation that would go into the Havoc Rate than the 2017 squad. That is impressive itself.