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The Week that Was for Georgia Tech's Opponents: Week 8

Checking in on our opponent's performance so far this season

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Author's Note: Last week was fall break so I've added some goodies in this post

Weekly F/+ Ratings

F/+ ratings are a combination of play by play metrics developed by Bill C. of Football Study Hall and by drive metrics developed by Brian Fremeau of his own awesome site. A higher F/+ ranking is better and I've done my best to color code it and label it. Here is a graph of our opponent's weekly F/+ rating. And remember the weeks are the F/+ ratings GOING IN TO that week. The jump after week 7 preseason projections were removed and new info was added, so you can't compare the overall values from before then to after then, but the relative ranks are still good.


  • We are still in some middle ground where we are clearly better than the bottom half of our schedule, but not quite in the same group of the elite in our schedule. And our schedule is pretty dang tough, BYU is 19th in the country so we have already played 3 teams among the top 20 in the country.
  • Clemson took quite a tumble. A top 15 team does not get beat that badly at home by anyone, even a juggernaut like FSU. Uh oh.......I can't start getting my hopes up for that game this early.
  • I want to say that VT is over rated, but you'll see in the next chart that they really are kicking some butt this year.

Opponent Performance

Something else I am curious in is our opponent performance by game, and how that relates to common opponents. A great measure of game performance is Points Per Drive. This is simply the number of points you scored in a week divided by the total number of drives you had during the game. The great website fbsdrivestats takes this even further by removing drives that end in a Kneel Down (like the one right before halftime of the Duke game) and garbage time drives (essentially when a game is clearly out of hand). This gives us a great measure of your offensive and defensive performance in a given game. Here is a table showing our opponent's so far, and upcoming opponent's, Points per drive performance in their games between FBS opponents.

Points Per Drive Scored
GT Duke UNC VT Miami BYU Syracuse UVA
4.67 SU 5 Navy 3.40 MTSU 2.33 UNC 5.6 USF 3.33 Texas 6 Tulane 2.08 Ball St.
3.88 Duke 2.92 Troy 2.33 GT 1.9 Pitt 3.8 GT 2.8 MTSU 1.85 NCST 1.86 Maryland
3.11 UNC 2.69 Pitt 1.53 UM 1.55 GT 2.83 FAU 2.4 Houston 1.06 Penn St 1.5 Duke
2.4 UM 2.43 Duke 1.43 USC 1.50 Marshall 1.62 UF 2.18 GT 0.78 Clemson 1 Oregon
1.18 BYU 2.33 Memphis 1.25 ECU 1.27 ECU 1.43 UNC 2.18 USU 0.78 NW 1 BYU
0.91 VT 0.88 GT 1 VT 0.83 Bama 0.94 UVA 0 GT 0.21 Pitt
0.88 Utah
Points Per Drive Allowed
GT Duke UNC VT Miami BYU Syracuse UVA
3.8 UM 3.88 GT 4.36 ECU 1.56 Bama 2.4 GT 1.75 Texas 4.67 GT 3.69 Ball St
2.33 UNC 3.47 Pitt 3.38 USC 1.50 Marshall 1.53 UNC 1.33 Utah 3.82 Clemson 3.45 Oregon
2.18 BYU 2.21 Troy 3.11 GT 1 UNC 1.4 USF 1.18 GT 3.73 NW 2.45 Maryland
1.55 VT 1.5 UVA 2.33 VT 0.91 ECU 1.21 UF 1 UVA 2.5 Tulane 2.43 Duke
0.88 Duke 1 Navy 1.43 UM 0.91 GT 0.55 FAU 0.91 MTSU 1.44 PSU 0.94 BYU
0 SU 0.58 Memphis 0.00 MTSU 0.91 Pitt 0.64 USU 0.71 NCST 0.88 Pitt

I've highlighted our performance for each team so it is a little easier to comprehend. This table is getting pretty big, I might need to think of a better way to visualize all this. Like I said earlier, look at VT's defense. They have allowed basically no one to put the ball in the endzone consistently against them. It is comforting to me that of the 6 opponents we have played against half of them we were their worst defensive performance. Something to hang our hat on at least. (thanks Bamboo Shaft)

ACC Rankings

Finally I want to track how each ACC team is doing against other ACC teams. How can we do this? I will be taking the Points Per Drive margin from each game and putting it in context against all ACC opponents. So Georgia Tech scored 3.88 Points per Drive in non garbage time and excluding kneel downs against Duke, while allowing .88 points per drive. That gives us a net margin of 3.00 for the Duke game. That is pretty good. Here is how that performance will look against all other ACC games.


Now we can get into some fun with this chart. We can see that the top 4 teams in ACC play so far are GT, VT, Clemson, and FSU. This isn't overall strength, I'm literally just saying, in the ACC games that have been played those four teams have done the best. But, those teams haven't played the same set of teams, so how do we compare them? Well, one thing we can do is to look at the average of their opponent's "Conference PPD (points per drive) margin".



PPD Margin

Average Opponent's

PPD Margin

GT 1.28 -.43


Clem 1.12 -.47
FSU 2.46 -.41

So it appears that each of these teams has played an easier than average schedule. However, their opponents averages are all lower than they should be, because all of their opponent's had to play the good teams. Basically the fact that the games between GT/VT/Clem/FSU are included in their opponent averages are skewing the numbers. What we need to do is look at the average of their opponent's ppd when they don't play each of these four teams.



PPD Margin

Average Opponent's

PPD Margin

Adjusted Average

Opponent's PPD Margin

GT 1.28 -.43 -.08
VT .99 -.03 .51
Clem 1.12 -.47 .42
FSU 2.46 -.41


Wasn't that fun? Now we can say that while we have a high PPD margin, it has actually come against an easier schedule than some of the other top ACC teams. I'll try to do this each week so we can see how the numbers change.

** Author's Note: Fixed some wording because sometime I no speak good