The difference between most teams getting in the red zone 4+ times per game and us getting in the red zone 4+ times per game, is that those other teams can score touchdowns without even being in the red zone. We don't have that big play ability, for the most part.
So even if we didn't have the red zone penalties and converted all of our red zone trips into touchdowns, we're looking at 28 points per game. The best teams in the nation in the red zone last year only converted TDs on about 75% of their red zone trips, and averaged about 5.8 points per red zone trip. Average teams got about 4.5 points per red zone trip.
With four red zone trips per game, an above average team would get between 18-24 points per game.
What all this means is that penalties have cost us probably about 4-5 points per game. Not insignificant (we need all the points we can get), but its not likely going to make the difference for this team in most games.
We need to do one of two things:
1. Get get in the red zone a lot more often then the average team AND eliminate the red zone penalties.
2. Develop big play threats.
#2 doesn't seem very likely for this year at this point, so #1 seems to be the place to concentrate our effort. One way is obviously to improve execution on offense. Also, given that our defense is ahead of our offense at this point, it might be good for us to take more chances on the opponents side of the field to try to generate turnovers in our opponents territory and give us more short fields.
Keep in mind, penalties have erased some of our biggest plays
The OP is exactly right. Everyone has penalties. 6-7 penalties is not bad at all. Its just when your offense is so pitiful that you can't overcome a holding penalty.
How many times has Iowa state had a penalty on offense and then still got the first down? I'd say about 1 in 10. Its because we can't manage plays of 15 yards consistently.
I agree but it is when and where our penalties happen that hurt us even more. When they erase positive yardage and big plays, they hurt. When they are in the red zone, they remove points. When they force 3rd and 20, they hurt. 1st and 15 doesn't hurt as much.
The penalties also kill momentum. I am a big believer in momentum in college football. You can see our team stumble when we get a penalty. The next play is usually a disaster
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