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Ole Miss DC Mike MacIntyre won’t win the Broyles Award, but he’s made a damn good case

The Rebels defensive coordinator has done wonders.

Chase Bowen-247Sports

As of now, I would imagine that LSU passing game coordinator is the front-runner for the Broyles Award with what he has done with Joe Burrow and the Tigers’ offense. But, Ole Miss defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre has essentially moved mountains in year one in Oxford.

The former Colorado head coach has returned to his roots coordinating defense and he has revived the Landsharks with a makeshift roster and a new 3-4 scheme. Need proof? Oxford Eagle’s Nathanel Gabler dug into some statistics to compare last year’s defense to this year’s through 10 games and it’s literally insane.

Ole Miss defense before and after MacIntyre

Year PPG YPG YPP SP+ Sacks 10+ yard runs per game
Year PPG YPG YPP SP+ Sacks 10+ yard runs per game
2018 36.2 483.4 6.32 90th 1.83 7.6
2019 23.9 396.9 5.51 37th 2.7 3.9

Outside of the above numbers that are damn near a miracle, the rest of the numbers are even more damning to what Wesley McGriff did in 2018 and what MacIntyre has been able to do this season. This time last season, the defense was 90th in SP+, but this season, the defense is 37th heading into this weekend’s game against LSU.

Not only that, but the rest of the resume, outside of pass defense and red zone defense, is the resume of a Broyles Award winner. Especially compared to last year’s numbers:

  • 26th rush defense (116th in 2018)
  • 32nd sacks (97th)
  • 44th scoring defense (113th)
  • 64th tackles for loss
  • 68th third down conversion (85th)
  • 76th pass efficiency defense (108th)
  • 71st total defense (121st)

The numbers are one thing, but the tools that he was afforded to do it with is another thing. Before 2019, the Rebels were not at 85 scholarships following a five-year NCAA investigation that not only shattered the Ole Miss reputation on the recruiting trial, but it ransacked their scholarship availability, ultimately making it very difficult to sign impact defensive recruits.

Now, on a defense that has added impact dudes like Lakia Henry and Sam Williams MacIntyre’s front seven has some punch and is making crucial plays that the 2018 defense was unable to. He has also seen true freshmen like Deantre Prince, A.J. Finley, and Jay Stanley get tons of playing time, utilizing the size:speed ratio that this staff has been recruiting to the last two cycles.

As I said above, MacIntyre may not win the award this year because the Ole Miss team is currently 4-6 and will more than likely finish 4-8, but the nomination alone is indicative that people are paying attention and giving props to the work he has done in Oxford with a defense that hardly had a pulse last season.