Who really had college football's best defense this season?

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Yesterday, we attempted to find the best offense in all of college football by leveling the playing field. We took 15 major statistical categories and found the champion from each of the five collegiate divisions from FBS to NAIA. The result? You can't go wrong with Baylor, but be sure to check out Maine Maritime's rushing numbers. 

Now it's time to take a look at defense. We've picked out 18 categories and posted the champion from each division in descending order. 

Scoring Defense

Florida State 

12.14 points per game 

North Dakota State 

11.27

Indianapolis

13.26 

Wisconsin-Whitewater 

9.07

Missouri Valley

12.83

Touchdowns Allowed Per Game

Louisville 

1.38 

North Dakota State

1.33 

Indianapolis 

1.58 

Wisconsin-Whitewater 

1.07 

Missouri Valley

1.67 

Total Defense

Louisville 

251.46 yards per game 

South Carolina State

238.00

Winston-Salem (N.C.) 

233.58

Wabash (Ind.)

220.70

Missouri Valley

225.83

Yards Per Play Allowed

Michigan State 

4.04 

South Carolina State 

3.49 

Winston-Salem (N.C.) 

3.72 

Wabash (Ind.)

3.51 

Missouri Valley

3.68 

Rushing Defense

Louisville 

80.69 yards per game allowed 

North Carolina A&T 

90.27

Shepherd (W. Va.) 

48.33

Linfield (Ore.) 

60.25

Missouri Valley

70.50

Yards Per Carry Allowed

Louisville 

2.58 

South Carolina State 

2.27 

Shepherd (W. Va.)

1.90

Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas)

1.71 

Missouri Valley

2.00

Rushing Touchdowns Allowed Per Game

Florida State

0.50 

North Carolina A&T 

0.36 

Shepherd (W. Va.) 

0.17 

Linfield (Ore.)

0.33 

Faulkner (Ala.)

0.42 

Passing Defense

Florida State 

156.64 yards per game 

Florida A&M

125.33

Clark Atlanta

142.10 

Mount Ida (Mass.) 

81.90 

Concordia (Neb.) 

134.72

Yards Per Attempt Allowed

Florida State 

5.14 

South Carolina State

5.22 

Winston-Salem (N.C.) 

5.09 

Thomas More (Ky.)

4.43 

Mayville State (N.D.)

4.89 

Opponent Completion Percentage

Florida Atlantic 

47.09 

South Carolina State

47.81 

Adams State (Colo.) 

45.89 

Mount Ida (Mass.)

38.04

Mayville State (N.D.)

43.77 

Interceptions Per Game

Houston 

1.92

Sacred Heart 

1.77 

North Alabama 

2.23 

Salisbury (Md.)

2.09 

Mayville State (N.D.) 

2.00 

Interception Percentage

Florida State 

6.09 

Norfolk State 

6.69 

North Alabama 

7.36 

Norwich (Vt.)

7.80 

Mayville State (N.D.) 

7.12 

Touchdown Pass Allowed Per Game

Louisville 

0.62 

South Carolina State 

0.62 

California (Pa.)

0.55

John Carroll (Ohio)

0.55 

Missouri Valley

0.75 

First Downs Allowed Per Game

Louisville 

14.08 

North Carolina A&T 

15.18

Winston-Salem (N.C.) 

14.33 

Wabash (Ind.)

13.30 

Missouri Valley

13.83 

Red Zone Defense

USC 

62.79 percent 

Missouri State 

64.86 

American International (Mass.)

56.52 

Redlands (Calif.)

47.22 

N/A

 

Third Down Defense

Louisville 

26.74 percent 

North Dakota State 

26.34 

Winston-Salem (N.C.) 

22.16 

Wabash (Ind.)

22.53 

Missouri Valley

24.12 

Sacks Per Game

Louisville 

3.31 

South Carolina State 

4.77 

Johnson C. Smith (N.C.)

4.70 

Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) 

3.79

Oklahoma Baptist

4.09 

Turnover Margin

Houston 

1.92 

Sacred Heart

1.46 

Fayetteville State (N.C.) 

1.90 

Wabash (Ind.)

2.40 

N/A

 

In the end, Louisville won eight categories in FBS, you can't go wrong with either North Dakota State or South Carolina State in FCS, Winston-Salem appears to be the stingiest defense in Division II, Wisconsin-Whitewater led Division II and all of college football in both scoring categories (although teams were absolutely foolish to pass against Mount Ida), and Missouri Valley won an astounding nine of a possible 16 categories in NAIA.