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College Football Week 11 Havoc Ratings: Can Northwestern Defend Purdue?


Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: David Bell.

The college football world welcomed the return of MACtion last week. The reason the world celebrates this conference is not just because of empty bleachers on a Wednesday night, but because the impossible becomes possible when programs like Bowling Green and Akron are present.

The Havoc ratings have been updated to include this conference and explain whether or not some of the teams made an impression. Toledo, Kent State and Ball State all currently rank in the top five in defensive Havoc. Both the Cardinals and Golden Flashes racked up double digits in tackles for loss, but Toledo went a step ahead with two forced fumbles and nine passes defended.

Our Havoc column looks at the defensive Havoc and offensive Havoc allowed each week. The calculation is simply a cumulative number of tackles for loss, interceptions, fumbles and passes defensed divided by the number of plays on both sides of the ball.

Don’t forget to check out my updated Power Ratings and follow me in The Action Network App to see when I bet on games that have the biggest Havoc discrepancies.

Week 11 Havoc

Our Havoc chart looks at the percentage generated by defense by the percentage allowed on offense. Keep in mind that the MAC and Pac-12 have had a limited number of snaps in comparison to all other entries.

Here is a raw number breakdown of Havoc generated and Havoc allowed:

Notes on Week 11 Havoc

Middle Tennessee vs. Marshall

Marshall did not cover a 44-point spread against UMass this past weekend, but it allowed only 41 rushing yards to the Minutemen. The Herd are top-10 in the nation in forcing fumbles and have not allowed any opponent to rush for 100 yards. Middle Tennessee is not having any success in the Havoc department, allowing 50 tackles for loss and fumbling five times this season. There should be a few free possessions for Marshall in this contest.

Pittsburgh vs. Georgia Tech

Pitt has been a staple at the top of the defensive Havoc ratings. Its rank of third comes from leading the nation in tackles for loss at 93. While Georgia Tech has allowed just 46 tackles for loss, protecting the football has been the biggest issue for the Yellow Jackets. Geoff Collins’ offense is 119th in fumbles on the 2020 season. 


Check out our new College Football PRO Report, where we highlight key factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.

Northwestern vs. Purdue

Not many people expected a Week 11 showdown between the Boilermakers and Wildcats to feature two undefeated squads. Northwestern is much improved on both sides of the ball, but defensive Havoc has been a standout. The Wildcats are tied for second in the nation in passes defended per game. That will be the key metric to keep Northwestern in a game against a Purdue team that passes 59% of plays at a highly successful rate.

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