Opponent Stat Preview: Ole Miss Offense vs GT Defense Part 1

Wesley Hitt

Looking at the matchup when Ole Miss has the ball

Normally we would check in on the stats matchup with one article comparing the two teams. But since we have all week for articles I figured I would break the Opponent Stat Preview into a couple of articles. The first two will cover the matchup when Ole Miss has the ball, while the latter two will cover the matchup when Georgia Tech has the ball. So lets get to it

Per Play Performance

S&P+ is a statistical measure of a team's performance on a per play basis. The "S" stands for success rate, "P" for point value, and "+" is opponent adjusted. It is essentially OPS+ for football. It takes the slugging percentage, your explosiveness, and adds it to your on base percentage, your success rate, and adjusts for opponent. 100 is average and everything greater than 100 is good, (120 is about top 20 or so) so for each category the higher the bar the better. You can read more here.

These are the normal per-play measures of success I have used all year, but just in case here is a quick refresher; Passing Downs are 2nd-and-7+ and 3rd/4th-and-5+, Standard downs are all other downs. Overall S&P+ is the total S&P+ for the unit, offense or defense. A new category is Drive Efficiency, which measures your success on the drive, not each individual play that makes up the drive.

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  • This matchup features two slightly above average units. The thing that really sticks out is how well Ole Miss performs on Passing Downs. This is usually a sign of a great or successful QB, someone who is able to come through in the clutch and convert these long-to-go downs. This year Bo Wallace is 51st in the nation in Passer Rating, while 24th in Completion Percentage at around 66 %. The great website cfbstats.com breaks this down even further. Here are Bo's passing performances broken down by down and distance:
Bo Wallace's Passing by Down
Down Passer Rating Yards/Att Completion %
1st 124.07 6.07 62.9
2nd 159.86 8.77 69.2
3rd 128.26 8.15 61.3
3rd 1-3 to go 107.55 4.87 66.7
3rd 4-6 to go 98.49 5.11 55.6
3rd 7+ 142.36 9.88 61.7

  • That's a great 3rd down and long passer, its only over 60 attempts but thats pretty impressive. And because I'm curious I looked at the passing breakdowns by situation for Georgia Tech's defense, lets just say its not pretty.
  • Unless Georgia Tech's defense can get pressure on the QB (and sacks are built in to the passing S&P+ measure, so its not like they are missing and we perform better than this would indicate. Georgia Tech is this bad on defense even with Jeremiah Attaochu wrecking havoc) I don't think Ole Miss will have an issue throwing for the yards they need. Georgia Tech's pass rush will have to step up big to give our secondary a chance.
  • Other than passing downs, this is a close matchup. Georgia Tech has done an outstanding job this year of bending not breaking, and we will need to continue that to have success for this bowl game. Georgia Tech has allowed a full 1.14 points less PER DRIVE than they would be expected to given their opponent's starting field position, good for 22nd best in the country. I'm not sure if this is sustainable or predictive, but it has held up all year. Our per play performance is pretty average, which worries me, but this is something Ted Roof coaches to and knows we tighten up near the endzone. I will continue to investigate this trend in the off-season.
  • Any other insights about this chart that you have? Put them in the comments.

Special Teams Breakdown

These numbers are national rank according to FEI's Special Teams Rankings. They are measured by comparing each team's performance to national averages for kicks in the same situation. For example missing a 50 yard field goal is punished less than missing a 25 yard field goal.

When Ole Miss Kicks the Ball

All numbers are National Rank out of 125

Overall Special Teams Ranking

Punting /

Punt Return

Kickoffs /

Kickoff Return

Average Yards To Endzone*

Average Ending Yards to Endzone

Field Goal Efficiency

Ole Miss Kicking 85 63 47 70.5 38.2 60
Georgia Tech Returning 21 17 51 69.7 35.5 - - - -

* The average yards to endzone when "Ole Miss Kicks" is their opponent's average starting field position for all drives, as measured as the distance from the endzone. When "Georgia Tech Returns" it is Georgia Tech's average starting field position on all drives

This might be tough to digest at first, but it shows you the special team's stats for when Ole Miss is kicking (their punting, kickoff, and field goal ranks) and the stats for when Georgia Tech is receiving the ball (punt return, kickoff return, there is no such thing as field goal defense so, that is blank). Special teams is the only place where Georgia Tech has a clear advantage. Ole Miss ranks in the bottom third of FBS teams in overall special teams rankings, while Georgia Tech is in the top 20 percent. Georgia Tech is going to need a huge game from Sean Poole and Harrison Butker. Ole Miss is not particularly good at any special teams category, woohoo!

Well that was Part 1 of 4 in our Opponent Stat Preview, tomorrow we will look at the matchup between Ole Miss's Offense and Georgia Tech's defense with some drive based statistics.

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