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The Other Yards

We all know about total yards and total defense, but teams rack up other kinds of yards through a football game. For lack of a better term, I'm calling them "Other Yards" today. The formula is simple:

Other Yards = Punt Return Yards + Kickoff Return Yards + Interception Return Yards

Of course, you both gain these and give up these. That's why I calculated the net Other Yards for each team. Here's how everyone looks through three games:

Team Net Punt Ret. Net KO Ret. Net INT Ret. Net OY Per Game
LSU 166 -38 104 232 77.33
Florida 50 -45 148 153 51.00
Auburn 38 34 -1 71 23.67
Georgia 55 -42 42 55 18.33
Vanderbilt 10 32 3 45 15.00
Ole Miss -19 79 -45 15 5.00
Arkansas 65 -104 -37 -76 -25.33
South Carolina -36 -100 57 -79 -26.33
Kentucky 37 -127 6 -84 -28.00
Mississippi State 39 -32 -100 -93 -31.00
Tennessee -96 13 -32 -115 -38.33
Alabama 27 -261 38 -196 -65.33


Now, Other Yards on its own doesn't really hold a whole lot of value, but looking at its components does.

For instance, remember how I highlighted the six top-scoring teams in the league the other day? All of them but one have deficits in net kick off returns. That's because they have been kicking off far more often than their opponents. The one that's net positive? Auburn, who's given up the most points of all of them.

That's not all. The two with the largest kickoff return deficits are Alabama and Kentucky. They happen to be ninth and 12th, respectively, in kickoff coverage. That probably won't bite Alabama this weekend, as Arkansas is tied for 10th in the SEC in kickoff returns, but it certainly might for the Wildcats as Florida is tops in the conference.

Speaking of Florida, look at the interception return yardage for the Gators. Throw in LSU there too. They've both been criticized for low total yardage counts, but Ahmad Black, Janoris Jenkins, and Patrick Peterson have been racking up some yardage that doesn't show up prominently in the box score. Peterson has been killing it on punt returns too.

And how about Tennessee's punting game? The Vols have punted five times and forced four punts themselves, but they're almost 100 yards in the hole when it comes to returns. And Kentucky has punted just once compared to 11 forced punts, yet the 'Cats are only 37 yards positive on the year.

Feel free to use the table and this link to explore matters further. There's a lot of interesting information buried away in these stats that normally doesn't get top billing.